What’s so different about zonals? First of all it’s a team event. Second of all, the kids are at the tournament all week – win, lose or draw. The excitement starts weeks before the actual event when the players are announced. Almost every player in the 12′s tries to figure out what team they are on and who else is on their team and every time someone drops out and an alternate replaces them, most of the kids revise their teams based on the new kids. It’s like a tennis version of March Madness – figuring out your brackets. The figuring and the calculations don’t stop there. Everyday, kids want to know what place their team is in so they are always looking to find out how every match went to see which team has the most individual match wins. For the record, my team is 2 matches behind the other Eastern Team in my Flight with a combined record of 48-6. The Eastern Strings – Coached by Kathrin Sorokko is 50-4.
So what do you do when you’re not playing tennis. One word -Manhunt. The Eastern kids on my team played Manhunt, the kids on some of the other Eastern teams played Manhunt, the New England kids played Manhunt. Some of the kids went to Laser Tag too. And then there’s team dinners. My team went to Outback yesterday, two teams went to Carrabba’s today. These are things you do that make zonals such a unique experience.
I appreciate all of the input I have gotten these past few days from all of the members of my team and from everyone else who contributed. Tomorrow is the last regular day of match play and the tournament’s player party is held tomorrow night on the campus of the Westtown School. Sunday the top team in each flight play off for the Championships and the other teams have one final singles match. All matches count for National Rankings.