Junior Team Tennis Update

Joe McClements Smashers lead the way in the 12 and Under league.  The team is lead by his son Rece and teammates Ethan Mania and Max Jackson.  Rece, Ethan and Max are teammates all year long in different sports (tennis, basketball and baseball).  Joining them are Jordan Flicker, Jessie House, Nayeli Selkis and James Pouch.  The Smashers are 5-0 followed close behind by the Capital Region team (4-1).  Last year, the Smashers and Capital Region were bringing up the rear in this league.  The Smashers have won 162 total games and lost 86, Capital Region has won 153 and lost 85.  The two teams meet when the season resumes January 7th.

Each Junior Team Tennis match is made up of 6 sets (One each Boys Doubles, Girls Doubles, Boys Singles, Girls Singles plus 2 sets of Mixed Doubles).  The sets are played until one team wins 6 games – if the set goes to 5 all they play a tiebreaker to see who wins the set.  At the end of the match, whichever team has won the most games, wins the match.

The 14b league is a virtual dead heat.  On paper the Albany Attack leads the league with a 4-0 record with the Junior Slammers of Karen Ricci a close second at 3-1 but that does not tell the whole story.  When these two teams met the Albany Attack had to go into overtime to beat the Junior Slammers, it was that close.  The Junior Slammers actually have a better record in total games.  Both teams have lost 76 games but the Junior Slammers have won 124 games while the Albany Attack has won 121 games.  Both teams are 17-7 in total sets.  The Albany Attack features most of the top players from Bethlehem’s JV Boys Tennis team – Ronald Shi, Kevin Gu, David Kalmer and Matt Jonas  – who are joined by Josh Sagaille.  The team also has Kaitlyn Dugrenier – whose father Paul is Team Captain.  The other girls on the team are Elyssa Connolly, Claudia Alant, Valerie Luttman and Shannon Service.  The Junior Slammers include Coach Ricci’s daughter Anna along with Connor Levy, Emma Delaney, Ben Mason, Mimi Liebers, and brothers Nick and Matt Ricciardelli.

The smallest league, with only 3 teams, is the 14 and Under Advanced League (14a).  In the 14a’s, it is a team called Soups, that looks like the team to beat.  Captain Kevin Lau has his daughter Christina on the team, along with Lesley Santos, Jason Tang, Michael Zhu, Michael Haelen and Nisha Detchprohm – all experienced tournament players.  Lau, Santos, Tang and Detchprohm all play for Niskayuna.  The Soups are 4-0 and have won 23 of the 24 total sets that they have played.

The 18b Intermediates league is so big it had to be split up into two leagues.  The North Division features teams from Tri City and Saratoga.  Two teams are currently undefeated – Adirondack Aces and Love Hurts.  Both teams are 5-0 and both teams have won 26 of the 30 sets they have played.  The big matchup between these two teams will be on January 22nd.  The Adirondack Aces are coached by Chris Demetreus and feature his son Alex, Emma Morrissey (Glens Falls #1), Kaitlin Flaherty (Queensbury #1),  Alex Castonguay, Aubrey Hodnett, Josh Silverberg and Evan Markson.  Love Hurts features Abygail Doud, whose mother Nancy is Team captain, along with Juliana Rosati, Alex Silver, Kai Kobori-Hotchkiss, Jack DeRizzo and Hannah Pendergast.

The South Division of the 18b’s features teams from Capital Region and Sportime.  The Slicers, out of Sportime, are the dominant team in the league.  In six matches they have won 34 sets and lost just two sets.  When they played the second place team (15-LOVE) they won all six sets and won the match 36-22.  Members of the Slicers are Jay Gu, Alyssa Frost, Jimmy Ding, Lesley Santos, Eunu Song, Salil Choudhry and Anne Choi.  At the end of the season, the winner of the North Division will play the winner of the South Division to determine a league winner.

There are 12 teams in the 18a – Advanced League and 3 of them are undeafeated (although some scores have not been reported yet).  Ballston Spa Lobsters are 4-0 which is captained by Chip Friends and includes his daughter Allison, Elle Ross, Madison Gemerek, Nick Spoor, Tyler Sheldon and Scott Ferron.  Junior NY Buzz is 3-0 with captain Tom Schmitz.  The Junior Buzz have Tom’s daughter Claire, Keishorea Armstrong, Chassidy King Mitali Das and Molly Goodman – the top 5 players for the Section Champion Emma Willard.  The team also has Sectional Singles Champion Cat Crummey of Shaker.  For the boys – the Junior Buzz have Tom’s son Robert along with Josh Jachuck, Rohine Bose and Emerson Kelby.  Kevin Lau’s Dynamite team is 3-0.  The team has son Nick Lau, Nisha Detchprohm and Russell Santos of Niskayuna along with Samantha Blond, Sarah Connolly and Matt Bunch.

The league features lots of good tennis and good fun.  The season rolled into the holiday break with all three Capital Region teams playing all three 15-LOVE teams and at the end there was pizza and soda for all.  We will be following the leagues as the season continues.

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