Did you know my wife is a tennis hero? It is absolutely true. Read on…
Congratulations to the A3 ALTA City Champions! What a thrilling City Finals event and unlikely playoff run for this group of terrific players from Montvale Swim and Racquet Club.
The unlikely journey began because depending on the number of divisions, ALTA will sometimes invite 3rd place teams into the playoffs. Well, the women of Montvale Swim and Racquet barely finished in 3rd place and did not have a better record than other 3rd place teams. However, because a couple of third place teams were not able to field teams for a playoff run, captain Roberson received a call late in the week inviting them into the dance. (A call many teams were about to regret!)
Thus the journey began. Weekend #1 found the Montvale team upsetting the first place team with the best record at the A3 level with a convincing 3 – 0 sweep, stunning the hosts. The next weekend found two more back-to-back 3-0 sweeps sending the underdogs directly into the city finals with a boatload of momentum.
The City Finals would not to be as easy. The opponents were a team based out of Carl Sanders YMCA and they were loaded with talent. Montavale’s sterling 1’s started the day on a positive note with a solid victory, but line #2 went to the talented YMCA pairing. Montvale dominated at line #3 to give them a 2-1 lead in the best of 5 match. Line #4 was keenly contested with YMCA drawing even with a 3 set victory. The stage was set. The match stood at 2-2 with the deciding match on the court.
Montvale had to feel good as they had Mary anchoring the lineup. A cool customer who simply doesn’t get rattled was added to the team this season as an alternate. She had played lines 1 -3 for years prior to this season where she filled in wherever needed. A high line player with an excellent partner would surely spell victory at line #5…or would it? After a convincing and swift first set victory, YMCA refused to buckle. They stepped up their game taking the second set and drawing even. It was now all on the line. One set. Sudden death. Winner take all.
The final set was underway with each team playing their best tennis of the match. Serving up a break at 3-2 Mary went down 0-30. The next point was one for the ages with Montvale digging hard and winning a point that looked as if YMCA would go up 0 – 40. Instead Montvale took the point and held on to serve to go up 4-2. YMCA refused to fold, holding serve and fighting back 4-3. Montvale was now serving and again on the service ropes. Too many ad-in and ad-out points to count. It was a dramatic game until Laney finally took over by rushing the net at deuce and ad-in to take command of the game. Down 3 – 5 and forced to hold serve to stay in the match, YMCA began to feel pressure. The Montvale duo took full advantage of the situation, broke the server and won the match…
The team flooded the court to celebrate a City Championship. CONGRATULATIONS!