Contributed by Trilogy at Vistancia Member Kate Waite

Trilogy at Vistancia is very proud to host of a group of USTA-sanctioned, 65+, 8.0 Women’s Doubles tennis players. The eight women in this highly competitive USTA (United States Tennis Association) league are each USTA computer-rated 4.0 players, playing together as a team for only four years. (For those who are not familiar, 8.0 doubles tennis means two players with combined ratings that equal 8.0, such as 4.5 + 3.5, 5.0 + 3.0, or two 4.0s.)

In the past, the league teams of Trilogy at Vistancia Member Sue Olson and her fellow captain Cindy Bluml have typically been very close to winning the Phoenix District. In 2015, however, the women qualified for their first time to not only win District and the Southwest Sectionals, they made it all the way to compete in the 2016 National Tournament held at Surprise, Arizona last month!

To play in Nationals, the women first qualified by winning the USTA Championship in the Phoenix District. That required them to travel weekly to locations as far away as Sun Lakes and Scottsdale.  They then won the 65+ 8.0 Division in the Phoenix District qualifying to compete in the Southwest Sectionals.

Next, Sue’s Phoenix team went on to compete and win in the USTA Southwest Sectionals held in Surprise, Arizona, against other Southwest Sectional winners from Tucson, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to name just a few.  (Pictured to the right, team members include (L-R): ChristiAnne Ritchey, Sue Olson (Co-Captain), Carolyn Bagley, Gayle Wegner, Judy Beran, Cindy Bluml (Captain), Vivian McCurdy, Jill Kirkpatrick.)

After winning the Southwest Sectionals tournament, the Phoenix team then advanced to the USTA Nationals, which was held in early April in Surprise, Arizona. This winning team’s competition included three flights of five teams each.  The Phoenix team was in Flight 1, which included Phoenix, Texas, Intermountain, mid-Atlantic, and Hawaii.

Sue explained, “Each flight winner and a wildcard team with the next best record advanced to the Semifinals early Sunday morning. Winners of the Semifinal competition were Northern California, which overtook one of the mid-West teams from the Chicago area; and my Phoenix team, which overtook Southern California. So, the mid-West team and our Phoenix women then advanced to the USTA National Finals. What an honor!”

“After a relatively brief rest and refreshment time, the mid-West and Phoenix teams resumed play to compete in the National Finals that Sunday afternoon,” described Sue. “We’re very pleased that our team won such a hard-fought 2½-hour final match against some very strong competitors.”

Sue Olson and Cindy Bluml’s Phoenix team brought home impressive medals, winning the USTA 2016 National 65+ 8.0 Women’s Division.

L-R: ChristiAnne Ritchey, Sue Olson (Co-Captain), Carolyn Bagley, Gayle Wegner, Cindy Bluml (Captain), Vivian McCurdy, Jill Kirkpatrick, Judy Beran.

Congratulations, to Trilogy at Vistancia Member Sue Olson on this amazing accomplishment!  Your community is proud to have a national champion in the neighborhood!  

Check for Sue Olson’s Saturday USTA league play, and come out to watch some fantastic tennis when her team plays HOME matches at Trilogy at Vistancia!