A Maplewood couple recently helped their tennis team advance to the national championship round of the largest adult recreational tennis league in the world.
Paul and Kana Brinckerhoff of Maplewood were part of the New Jersey team from the United States Tennis Association's Eastern Section.
“My wife, who is a far superior player, and I joined the Maplewood Little Club about 5 years ago and started playing more regularly,” said Paul. “(This year) we took our son Thomas (age 10) to lessons at the Westfield Tennis Club and they had a mixed doubles league and my wife and I thought it would be fun. This was our first season in that league.”
This year the team won the USTA League Eastern Section Championships in Schenectady, NY, qualifying them to move on to the National Championship held from Nov. 21 to 24 in Arizona.
“You were a great team to have at sectionals, and we wish you the best of luck at nationals,” Lauren Bull, Manager of the Adult League after the win.
“We were overjoyed that we had qualified but were sad when we realized that our schedules would not permit us to attend Nationals,” said Paul.
The team, made up of adults 18 and up, fell in Flight One during the round-robin phase.
They secured two wins and two losses, but were in a strong section of the draw with four other teams, two of which had 3 wins and 1 loss each to advance, according to Benjamin Snyder, a communications coordinator of USTA Eastern.
“Kana won two out of the three matches she played in Sectionals,” said Paul. “I played in one match and lost. I consider it a learning experience, though, and look forward to playing better next year. I think we have a good chance to return to Nationals.”
Members of the team included:
- Christian Fredrik Bonn, Westfield
- Arnold Resurreccion, Bloomfield
- Maricel Piriz, Union
- Adel Elsekhily, Clark
- Sante Calandri, Springfield
- Igor Shames, Basking Ridge
- Kimberly Sorce, Bedminster
- Charlene Lee, Westfield
- Chang Lee, Basking Ridge
- Maria Yaroshenko, Westfield
- Mark Stellwagen, Mountainside
- Paul Brinckerhoff, Maplewood
- Kana Brinckerhoff, Maplewood
- Marc Robert Benou, Westfield
- Mutsumi Kaneda, Montclair
- Richard Parks, Westfield
- Justin A Chou, Westfield
- Rob Ockenfuss, Summit
- Sonali Chahal, Springfield
- Manisha Vinay Degaonkar, Bridgewater
- Ruby Andrion, Cranford