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TENNIS: E'town team to compete for USTA Tri-Level state championship

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By Greg Crews

 

By GREG CREWS gcrews@thenewsenterprise.com LOUISVILLE — When Christie McFarland first pitched the idea of an adult tennis team to local players, she promised it would be just as fun as their regular social matches but would also give them a chance to face some tougher competition in situations that offered a bit more intensity. It’s safe to say McFarland was right. After defeating teams from Elizabethtown and Bardstown, McFarland’s eight-player squad out of Elizabethtown will begin competing today in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Kentucky State Tri-Level Championships at the Advantage Tennis and Fitness Center in Louisville. “Any time that you have a USTA team or league, you have the opportunity to advance to a state championship,” said McFarland, the creator and captain of the Elizabethtown team. “This team could win a state championship. … We’ve got a good team. I think we’re capable of doing it.” Team members include McFarland, Kim Cardin, Gail Clark, Rosemary Moffett Hedges, Claudia Showers, Nicole Showers, Rhonda Sims and Julia Workman. “A Tri-Level league consists of three levels: 2.5 (beginner), 3.0 (intermediate) and 3.5 (advanced),” McFarland said. “It allows leagues and teams to form with players of very different playing levels.” The state championships, which begin with pool play today and Saturday and conclude with finals Sunday, will feature 49 teams representing Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville and Purchase. The level of competition, McFarland said, will be unlike anything her team has gone up against. “Oh yeah, definitely. These teams in Louisville play all year round. They have indoor facilities,” she said. “And the teams from these other places play on USTA teams all year round.” McFarland said the goal is to come back with a championship trophy, but as long as they all have fun, they will be satisfied. In fact, that was the basic theme behind the team when she created it. “I just saw that tennis was growing here in E’town due to the local tournaments and involvement with the sport,” McFarland said. “We pretty much just used word of mouth to get the team together. … I went out on social mixer nights, Tuesday nights, and asked ladies if they would be interested and they were, so I started it up. At the social mixers they’re really not playing for anything. This gives them more serious competition, but we’re still playing to have fun.” McFarland said she was surprised by the response she got for the team, especially since “apparently someone tried to start one a few years ago and didn’t have any success.” The league will once again form in the spring and McFarland said she hopes to see it grow. Anyone who is interested in playing can contact her at (270) 254-5704. Greg Crews can be reached at 505-1754