The Bucks County Tennis Association (BCTA) hosted a friendly co-ed competition for participants of its Seasons 3 and 4 signature Learn, Practice & Play programs.
Athletes competed in three divisions – Red Ball (ages 10-and-under), Orange Ball (ages 11–13), and Green Ball (teens/adults).
BCTA’s Laura Canfield noted, “Athletes were recommended by their coaches for this invitational event. The emphasis was on participation, fun and sportsmanship – the first introduction to competition for most players. At first, many of the athletes were uncertain about scoring and line calling, but by the end they were keeping their own scores and confidently making line calls.”
In the Red and Orange Ball division, athletes were divided into two teams and everyone played multiple timed matches in both singles and doubles.
The Upper/Central Bucks teams in both divisions included athletes from Doylestown, Perkasie, Newtown, Warrington, Quakertown, Hilltown and New Hope, while the Lower/Southern Bucks teams in both divisions included Langhorne, Levittown, Yardley, Bristol and Bensalem.
Players in the Green Ball division competed in a round-robin singles event as they tested their skills against competitors from around the county.
Teams and athletes were awarded the coveted BCTA Gold, Silver and/or Bronze bag tags as well as MVP honors to the athletes who scored the highest number of points for their respective team.
Sportsmanship was strongly stressed all day, as players were asked to introduce themselves to each other, and begin and end all matches with a handshake as well as play with integrity.
A sportsmanship award was given to one athlete on each team as well as an athlete in the Green Ball division.
Laura said, “The competition for the sportsmanship honors was very difficult as all of the players were incredibly positive and supportive!”
In the Red Ball division, every point won by athletes counted toward the overall team score with the Upper/Central Bucks Blue Eagles narrowly edging out the Southern/Lower Bucks Red Racqueteers by a score of 259 – 240.
In the Orange Ball division, every game won by athletes also counted toward the team score and the Upper/Central Bucks Icy Spiders and the Southern/Lower Bucks Lightning Bolts dueled to a tie, 59–59, which opened up the opportunity for an exciting “Team Singles” tie-breaker.
Upper/Central Bucks teammate Gwyneth Fedus was the “last player standing,” helping the Icy Spiders to earn the gold medal.
Congratulations to all the athletes who participated in this fun event.
Athletes in the Green Ball division also enjoyed very competitive matches with every game won being counted toward the athlete’s total score.
At the end of the round-robin play, Mereck Epperson earned the Gold Medal by just three games over Silver Medalist Michael Donohue, with Makenna Swasey just two games behind the Silver Medalist to garner the Bronze Medal.
Central Bucks Blue Eagles: MVP–Mac Bruneti; Sportsmanship—Dominic Gennetti.
Lower Bucks Red Racquetters: MVP–Lily Esmay; Sportsmanship—Anya Priyolkar.
Orange Ball athletes: Charlie Batman, Keira Calista, Ryan Caputo, Sofia Carafa, Gwyneth Fedus, Alex Hoang, Julia Hobson, Lauren Mawson, Mathew Monical, Laasya Muppala, Braedon Owen, Sheridan Owen, Aiden Pustay, Ava Ren, Rylee Russell, Jack Sheridan, Ritvik Sindia, Jayden Williams. Central Bucks Icy Spiders: MVP–Jack Sheridan; Sportsmanship—Gwyneth Fedus.
Lower Bucks Lightning Bolts: MVP–Aiden Putsay; Sportsmanship—Jayden Williams.
Green Ball athletes: Ryan Baker, Adrienne Bolinder, Eric Lang, Mereck Epperson, Makenna Swasey, Michael Donohue.
Gold Medal—Mereck Epperson; Silver Medal—Michael Donohue; Bronze Medal—Makenna Swasey; Sportsmanship—Adrienne Bolinder.
A huge thank you to Bucks County Parks and Recreation for hosting the event at Core Creek Park, to the U.S. Tennis Association assisting with the participant “giveaways”; to the BCTA volunteers and coaches: Tim Donney, Arden Williams, Jim Dalo, Laura Canfield, Barb Long; student helper Emily Johannan, and the various parent volunteers.
One-thousand athletes participated in BCTA programs in 2018.
PHOTO CAPS: 1. The BCTA Green Ball team
2. The BCTA Red Ball team with coaches Tim Donney (left) and Arden Williams (right).