Junior Nationals

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Patty Hogan, Junior Nationals Director, summed up the action:

This year’s Junior National Championships, hosted by The Beacon Hill Club in Summit, N.J. will be remembered for several significant “firsts”.

This was the first year there were enough players to hold a separate championship for the 10-and-under girls.

This was the first time we had a player from Yale win a Junior National Title, as Brandon Kutcha took time off from his studies to team up with his brother Michael to win the very competitive Boy’s 18-and-Under title. They won a thrilling three-set, third set tie-breaker over the first player ever to come back from a stroke to reach a national final. That player is the incredible Eric D’Elia, who suffered a stroke in July but was able to team up with Marc Powers to beat some very tough teams en route to the finals and the close loss to the Kutcha brothers.

It was a great Nationals for these and for all of the nearly 200 juniors who participated this year. When it was all over, eight teams were crowned 2006 National Champions.

In the first-ever Girls 10-and-Under tournament, Elizabeth Kallenberg and Katie Hammond won a close three-set final over Yassi Shafaie and Avery Hatfield. The Boys 10-and-Under final was won by Peter Simonds and Daniel Adajian over Kevin O’Malley and Grant Van Fossan.

In the final of the Girls 12-and-Under, Corey Delaney and Nicki Ross topped Katie Hopper and Maddie More. The finals of the Boys 12-and-Under saw Ryan Hissey and Scotty Safford pull it out over Taylor Geiger and Rory Shepard. The Hissey/Safford team had thelargest cheering section, as many of the “Philly Faithfuls” made the annual trip to New Jersey to cheer on their teams.

The Girls 14-and-Under title was won by the team of Hana Bowers and Karen Cash. They topped the team of Adrienne Bourget and Margaret Souther to claim the title. The Boys 14-and-UnderChampions are Nick Newhouse and Jason Ottomano. They had a strong tournament, especially in their win over the veteran team of David Dickson and Cody Newton in the finals.

The Girls 18-and-Under winners were Mia Kent and Elspeth Boynton. They topped Molly Findley and Lindsay Toth in the finals. Findley and Toth’s appearance marks yet another first; they are the first team from the Pittsburgh area to reach a junior national final.

Special thanks goes to the sponsors: Marsh, Viking, The New Jersey Men’s Platform Tennis Association, The New Jersey Women’s Platform Tennis Association, the APTA Junior Development Fund and to first time sponsor Balle de Match.

Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 7, Issue 5, April, 2006