PDT Sports Report
Portsmouth’s undefeated 3.0 District League Tennis Champion team, hailing from the Portsmouth Tennis Academy, is headed to the Kentucky State Championships.
Winning the regional league championship by going undefeated in the Ashland, Ky. District Regionals and earning the rank of No. 1 has enabled this team to advance to the upcoming State Championships in Louisville, Ky.
The team of twelve women, ranging in ages in their 20s to 70s includes mothers, grandmothers, retired working professionals, one grandmother and granddaughter team and even area tennis coaches. Many of the team members began playing as 2.0 players just a few years ago and have progressed to the 3.0 level.
The team’s undefeated status is at least partly because of their dedication to each other. During their last season, the team had no forfeits, simply because the players filled in for each other every time they were needed.
Many of the team’s victories came over college level players and against teams headed to the upcoming state championship tournament.
The Portsmouth team is part of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and plays at the 3.0 level.
“Competing in the USTA is how you get the matches and ratings,” Team captain Karen Smith said. “You can advance at the end of the year according to how well you played. Although our level is 3.0 right now, we clearly have players who are playing above this level.”
Smith said USTA ratings start at 2.0 and team’s, depending on their progression and talent, can progress upwards to 4.5 levels and above. She said playing on a 3.0-rated team means facing some strong matches and really good players.
As captain, Smith recruits players, sets up matches and decides who plays each match in order to determine the best match up. Smith said the team exhibits a positive attitude and great sportsmanship.
Team players who earned the right to travel to the Louisville State Finals this weekend are Jodi Wright, Missie Foster, Ruth Singer, Katherine Davis, Diana Michaels, Nancy Jarrells, Terri Laxton-Donally, Emily Sparks, Krista Gohman, Christy Wilcox, Amanda Hedrick and Karen Smith.