Stanford-area women's tennis team captures a national title


A women's tennis team from the Stanford area, representing the USTA NorCal Section, captured a national title at the USTA League 4.5 Adult National Championships at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center last week in Tucson, Ariz.

The Stanford squad defeated a team from Tyler (Texas) in the championship match, 3-2, on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Stanford ousted a team from Marietta, Ga., 3-2, in the semifinals.

Stanford advanced unbeaten through pool play on Friday and Saturday.

The national championship team is captained by Mary Gustafson and included Marsha Suen, Kelly Mulready, Susan Lynch, Mia Banks, Marilyn Morrell-Kristal, Lynley Payne, Grace Meraz, Irene Otten, Paula Moser, Michelle Bellomo, Debbie Gertsen, Ellie Victor and Suzanne Hayes. The team plays out of Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center.

This season's USTA League 4.5 Adult National Championship brought together 34 teams (17 men, 17 women) from around the nation.

The USTA League is celebrating its 31st anniversary this year. Established in 1980, it has grown from 13,000 participants in a few areas around the country to more than 779,000 players across the nation.

The highest level of competition is 5.0 while the entry level is 2.5. USTA League is open to any USTA member 19 years of age or older. It features Adult and Mixed Doubles divisions as well as a Senior Division (age 50) and a Super Senior Division (age 60).

The USTA league was established to provide recreational tennis players throughout the nation with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels.

In other USTA action:

Stanford took home third place at the USTA On Campus-Northern California Championships and earned an automatic bid to the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championships on April 12-14, 2012, in Cary, N.C.

Stanford will be joined at the national event by NorCal champ Cal and runner-up UC Davis.

More than 21 teams and 200 participants competed in the NorCal event. The Tennis On Campus National Championship is the culmination of the regular season, which features co-ed teams from more than 550 colleges and universities nationwide competing in intramural and intercollegiate tennis.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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