Monday, May 2, 2011

A Cinderella Story

"Smashin' with Passion," 2011 National Qualifier Champions

Once upon a time, Stacey, our team captain, had a dream.  Over the years, she searched for people who would become a part of her fairy tale.  Her tennis team struggled in the early years and one season failed to win a single match, although they had loads of fun and made friends.  In order for Stacey's dream to become a reality, she needed to add some missing ingredients.  She found Larry and made him her SSCC, "super secret co-captain."

The SSCC persuaded members of his Wednesday night men's tennis group to join the "family."  The team nearly went all the way last year but fell short of a championship and finished in second place.  Stacey refused to let go of her dreams and nudged her players to participate in tournaments and work on physical fitness.

The new USTA computer rankings came out in November and two of Stacey's team-mates, her SSCC, Larry, and his mixed doubles partner, Ninon, were both elevated to higher rankings, forcing Stacey to make crucial adjustments in her line-up.  Larry would find a new partner in Tori, aka, the Blue Shadow.  Tori played injured  the prior year and the computer re-ranked her at a lower level, allowing our SSCC and Tori to team up and remain on the roster.

"Let's enter the Sycuan WTT Tennis tournament," Larry said.  "The winner gets to go to Vegas."

Armed with Larry, the team SSCC, and Mike Moberg, Mike Mulligan, Shelley, Ninon, Corri and Tori, Stacey's team marched onto the courts in November.  Her story almost ended when the team was one point away from elimination.  It overcame a seven point deficit when Moberg and Shelley went into overdrive, winning the super tie-breaker and a berth in the regional tournament in Las Vegas.

The team practiced with fervor and encouraged one another to eat healthy.  Pounds were shed and killer attitudes were refined.  At last, the team headed to Vegas to meet it's destiny, an opportunity to win a national championship.

The gusty winds proved to be daunting for the teams from the Midwest and the East.  They played indoors and rarely faced the elements.  Stacey's team thrived in the outdoors and often played in Santa Ana winds which blew roof tiles off homes.  Mother Nature shaped Stacey's team into tennis warriors.

After five rounds of tennis in Vegas, only one team stood in the way of Stacey's Cinderella story, another group from San Diego.  In the end, with the match tied at twenty nine points each, it was Mike Moberg and Shelley who once again claimed the final point for Stacey's team.  The other team went for the kill with the final game tied at three apiece.  In WTT, it's sudden death.  The umpire remained silent as the ball barely missed the line by less than an inch and Moberg called it out.  At last, Stacey's Cinderella story was a dream come true.  Her team now advances to the national championships the first weekend in November, a full year since it all started, etching out a victory when the dream appeared hopeless.  Not this team, it believes in happy endings and it will be ready for Indian Wells.

The six months of preparation for nationals will be vigorous. Stacey's team is relentless and this writer is proud to play a part in her dreams for a national title.  Fairy tales can come true.  All it takes is to dream big and then work hard every day to turn that dream into reality.  May God bless Stacey and her team and may they be a bright light for others.  Don't ever give up and don't stop believing!

Congratulations to the Ramona team.  Let's bring home the trophy from nationals in November...

Larry, Shelley, Stacey, me, Corri, Ninon, Chris and Mike

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000189 EndHTML:0000077623 StartFragment:0000002614 EndFragment:0000077587 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/mikemulligan/Documents/VegasTournamentResults.doc
4.0 Division - Flight B

Kick Aces
Line Painters
Riviera Oaks

Indy Kick Aces

Line Painters

Riviera Oaks-Ramona

What the Fuzz

Total Games Won/Lost


Winning %




Line Painters vs. Indy Kick Aces  36-17

What the Fuzz vs. Riviera Oaks-Ramona  33-22


Indy Kick Aces vs. What the Fuzz 32-22

Riviera Oaks-Ramona vs. Line Painters 36-16

Line Painters vs. What the Fuzz 35-19

Riviera Oaks-Ramona vs. Indy Kick Aces 30-23

Quarterfinals - Seeds are flight winners based on win-loss record &

seeded by winning % + 3 wild card teams (best winning % among 2nd place teams)*

Serves You Right (#1 seed) def. Let It Be (#3 wild card) 27-26 ; Indy Kick Aces (#2 wild card) def. Hold My Drink (#2 seed) 27-26

The Leftovers (#3 seed) def. Team Astro (#1 wild card) 30-27 ; Riviera Oaks-Ramona (#4 seed) def. Just Out (#5 seed) 32-18


Semifinals - Quarterfinal winners

Riviera Oaks-Ramona (#4 seed) def. Serves You Right (#1 seed) 34-22

The Leftovers (#3 seed) def. Indy Kick Aces (#2 wild card) 33-21

Finals - Semifinal winners

Riviera Oaks-Ramona (#4 seed) def. The Leftovers (#3 seed) 30-29

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