They had a tough flight but made out pretty well.
Based out of the Newburyport Racquet Club, the New England Nor’Easters took their game to the United States Tennis Association 18 and Under Junior National Championships in Cayce, S.C., in late October to face 15 other teams from around the country and found themselves, through the luck of the draw, immersed in the toughest flight.
No, they weren’t spiraling toward the ground from 30,000 feet, but the tournament’s setup called for four flights of four teams apiece, and the Nor’Easters were placed smack dab in the middle of the toughest of those quads facing North Carolina, Oklahoma and Hawaii.
“I had no problem with the way that they did it,” Nor’Easters coach John Tracy says of the flight system. “I just thought it was a little bad luck that we could have done a little better. But I don’t know how much better we would have been. We lost three matches to two to North Carolina, and they came in third place.”
The Nor’Easters placed third in their flight, losing also 3-2 to Oklahoma but taking down Hawaii 5-0, then went on to face the other third-place finishers with the possibility of placing ninth overall, the best outcome they could enjoy. After taking care of business against Florida (3-2) and Mid-Atlantic (4-1), the Nor’Easters took ninth best in the country.
“I thought our boys doubles did very well — they never lost a match,” Tracy says of his boys, Chris Kirkpatrick, Dan Cunningham, Alec McNiff and Nico Limacher. “They beat a team from North Carolina that hasn’t lost a match together for two years, and they beat them. We had some good boys singles matches, and there were some really good singles players down there, so that was tough.”