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History Repeats and Repeats Itself as Georgia Takes Another Junior Cup

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September 19, 2016 02:47 PM

Story and photos by Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern

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Alejandro Moreno Latorre, center, is congratulated by his teammates and coach Will Wright, right.

With USTA Georgia’s Rick Davison making a surprise appearance, the Georgia team continued to prove its strength, taking its 23th consecutive Icy Hot Southern Junior Cup..

In the Gold Division, Georgia and South Carolina claimed singles victories over North Carolina. The Peach State staked out a close 10-8 lead in singles against South Carolina. While the South Carolina Boys’ 18s and Girls’ 16s were undefeated, the Georgia Girls’ 18s, Boys’ 16s and Girls’ 14s also ran the table.  

That left Georgia and South Carolina to fight it out for the cup in Sunday morning’s doubles. Georgia needed just four of the nine doubles matches to prevail. While they walked away with five wins, the clincher came on a service hold by Jacob Mitchell, who teamed up with Alejandro Moreno Latorre in Boys’ 14s to defeat Ashe Ray/JJ Tracy 6-2.

Tyler Stice and McCartney Kessler, who were undefeated in Gold Division matches, were named the Georgia MVPs by coaches Will Wright and Stephen Diaz. Kessler defeated top South Carolina junior Emma Navarro in a match tiebreak. The Palmetto State’s Jared Pratt and Maggie Cubitt were named their team’s MVPs by coaches Cornelius Jordan and Carl Hocker.

Watching from the stands with the Georgia players was Davison, USTA Georgia’s long-time director of adult and junior competition. Even though he suffered multiple strokes within the last two months, Davison made the trip. In an after-match celebration, his son, Derek, addressed the players and coaches, “Thanks so much for your love and support over the past six weeks. I know my dad is really excited you brought the ship back in.”

“There is no doubt Rick’s appearance inspired the Georgia team. He has done a great job in supporting Georgia juniors over the years and a big reason why they have had so much success,” USTA Southern Director of Programs and Player Development Bill Ozaki said.

This year Champions Club in Lupton City, Tenn., served as tournament headquarters. Matches were also played at the Baylor School. Indoor courts were used Sunday at the Racquet Club of Chattanooga and the Strang-Voges Tennis Center at McCallie School

Click here for a complete listing of Icy Hot Southern Junior Cup information.

In another development this year, Mississippi earned a spot in the Silver Division for the first time. See story.

TEAM

BOYS’ MVP

AGE DIVISION

GIRLS’ MVP

AGE DIVISION

Alabama

Maxwell Giddens

16s

Lindsey Song

18s

Arkansas

Hunter Harrison

18s

Tatum Rice

18s

Georgia

Tyler Stice

16s

McCartney Kessler

18s

Kentucky

Matthew Halpin

16s

Caroline Cox

18s

Louisiana

Grant Landreth

14s

Mary Cecile Hancock

14s

Mississippi

Sebastian Rios

18s

Sylvia Viljoen

18s

North Carolina

Trice Pickens

18s

Jenna Thompson

16s

South Carolina

Jared Pratt

18s

Maggie Cubitt

16s

Tennessee

Sam Fischer

18s

Ally Bojczck

18s

 

 

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