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SoCal is Back on Top at USTA Boys 18 Team Championships
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From 2004 to 2009, the Southern California Section ruled the USTA Boys 18 National Team Championships, but they haven t held the trophy again since - until this year.

USTA/SoCal won the 2015 USTA Team Championships
© Marcia Frost
The Atkins Tennis Center at the University of Illinois was once again home to this boys event, held just before the Nationals at Kalamazoo. The proximity to the biggest event in national junior tennis has always attracted some of the top players, such as the second ranked American professional in the world, Jack Sock, and more recently NCAA finalist (and now pro) Noah Rubin.

The talent this tournament has drawn makes it as unpredictable as the Midwest weather, which in July can vary between 100 degree drought and 75 degree rain. This year, however, there wasn t any huge surprises.

On their trip to the final, third-seeded Southern California lost only two points, one to the Northern team and one to the second-seeded Southern team. In between, they shut out Texas, a winner here in 2011 and 2012.

The top-ranked Eastern team, which hasn t made a final since the National Team Championships came to Urbana in 2009, faced their only major challenge over the Missouri Valley (5-8) team, but prevailed 4-3.

It was a hot and sticky day for the Eastern/Southern California final, and the players were definitely feeling the heat. There wasn t a lot of running to balls, and even cheering by the teams was lessened by players finishing up and needing to get cooled and hydrated.

Perhaps it was the weather, or maybe it was the desire to earn back the trophy, but the Southern California team appeared to take the win quickly and methodically, in just two-and-a-half hours.

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Page updated on Sunday, October 06, 2019
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