Bucks County Tennis Association participants from seasons three and four public park programs, from municipalities throughout Bucks County, gathered at Core Creek Park’s tennis courts in Langhorne to test their prowess against their peers in Red-, Orange- and Green/Yellow-Ball competitions.
In addition to the Core Creek event, athletes from BCTA’s Advanced Team Tennis Training program competed in a Doubles Round Robin Team Tournament, held at Northampton Tennis & Fitness Center in Richboro.
The Team Challenge is a USTA pilot program designed as an introduction to competition for players ages 5-13. Athletes were identified by their local community for this invitational “All-Star” event and competed in the Red-Ball division (ages 7-10) and the Orange-Ball division (ages 11-13). The event focuses on entry-level team play and character development by offering a low level competitive play experience that highlights teamwork and skill development in a fun social environment.
Two teams in each age division vied for gold and silver medals, as well as team sportsmanship awards. Champions and runners-up were determined by total team scores, which were accumulated via round-robin doubles matches. BCTA coaches and volunteers were on hand to guide players and matches, and several parents helped with scorekeeping.
Simultaneously, athletes from BCTA teen/adult programs and advanced team tennis training programs competed in Team-Meet-Up Challenge and Team Tournament events, respectively.
The afternoon began with perfect tennis weather with the teen/adult competitors in the Green/Yellow-Ball Team-Meet-Up Tournament Challenge playing round-robin matches to earn individual points in determining gold and silver medals and bronze awards. Jared Freddo earned the most points for the gold medal, while Samai Kolandaivelu came in at a close second for the silver with a one game difference in the cumulative scores of 22 and 21.
During the same time as the Green/Yellow-Ball competition, the Red-Ball players competed on two teams, each earning individual points for his or her respective team. Before beginning their matches, the Red-Ball participants warmed up and voted on a name and prepared a cheer for their respective team.
Then the Team Tennis Challenge began. Fans enjoyed great rallies on the 36-foot courts and cheered during the “Team Singles” bonus round. The Fighting Caterpillars led the Tennis Aces at the end of doubles play.
Tennis Aces won the Team Singles “Bonus Round,” but its efforts were still not enough as the Fighting Caterpillars garnered gold medals and the Tennis Aces the silver by the narrow score of 261-260.
Green/Yellow-Ball participants were Stephanie DiNardo, Jared Freddo (gold medal), Samai Kolandaivelu (silver medal), Suzan Kramer, Victorian Mahmoud, Vincent Picerno, Maggie Rogers, Chuck Smith and Dan Ward.
Red-Ball participants were Ryan Caputo, Thomas Caputo, Violet Friemann, Finola Gallagher, Ethan Gourley, Aayush Patel, Arush Singh and Nathan Wong for the Fighting Caterpillars (Northern/Central Bucks); and Katherine Bitting, Bruce Marcucci, Vaughn McCann, Gage Prate, Logan Schutsky, Oliver Todt and Declan Veitz for the Tennis Aces (Southern Bucks).
Later in the day, under overcast skies and spotty rain, the Orange-Ball Team Challenge participants took to the courts with great enthusiasm and sportsmanship. Similar to Red-Ball, after several rounds of competitive doubles play, the Tennis Tigers led the Champions, but the Champions came “roaring” back to win the Team Singles “Bonus Round,” but still fell shy of toppling the Tennis Tigers, with the Tigers earning the gold medal with 250 points over the silver medal Champions at 239 points.
Orange-Ball participants were Keira Calisa, Jay Hundiwala, Ryan Friemann, Zachary Kramer, Colin Moore, Devam Patel, Mackenzie Riley, Xavier Robayo, Jake Schutsky, Connor Sims and Mason Walter for the Tigers (Northern/Central Bucks); and Andrew Daley, Lily Esmay, Lleyton Jones, Quinn Jones, Gamira Kobewatte, Kate Marsden, Lauren Mawson, Rishi Patel, Melina Petrakopoulos, Anya Priyolkar, Annalise Resta and Sadie Wiley for the Champions (Southern Bucks).
Meanwhile, over at Northampton Tennis & Fitness, the Purple Alligators (captained by Connor Gallagher) garnered the gold medal with cumulative game scores of 47-36 over the silver medalists team, the Pumpkins (captained by Brianna Wilkinson).
The Purple Alligators Team was comprised of Amaris Alfonesca, Sandeep Cerlakola, Gwyneth Fedus, Connor Gallagher, Aiden Paternoster and Tu Nhi Penrose; and the Pumpkins Team was Mereck Epperson, Nilesh Lakshmana, Owen Pray, Ronald Tsai, Ava Sieg, Brianna Wilkinson and Emily Wilkinson.
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