2012 Atlantic Coast 45’s

by Wade Frame

Its early spring, and time to get everything in order for the 2012 Atlantic Coast 45’s. This intersectional match features teams from New England, Eastern, Middle States, and Mid-Atlantic sections. A round robin format is used and has each team play 4 singles and 3 doubles matches against each of the other sections.  Mid-Atlantic is the host section and the matches will be held on Har-tru courts at split sites of the Columbia and Woodmont country clubs. It is great to be back on clay after having to go indoors for the past two years at the Middles State and Eastern sites.

Hosting teams are usually able to put together tougher teams and we are scheduled to start play against host Mid-Atlantic at Columbia Saturday morning, and then face off against Middle States in the afternoon at Woodmont. We’ll finish on Sunday morning against Eastern, the 2011 AC45 winner.

New England’s travel team is looking good at eleven players, with nine returnee’s and two rookies. Heading up the singles ranks are David MacBurnie, Bill Mountford, Dave Cox, Anthony Ditulio, and Phil Kadesch – who will also play a doubles match. With decades of doubles experience, we have three long standing teams of Jon Bates and Harlan Stone, Scott Snow and Mike Kolendo, and Chris Holmes and Wade Frame.

Saturday mornings match starts with a change as we are to play at Woodmont instead of Columbia. We’re ready to go with our #1 lineup when we find there is another change – we’ll play Middle States, not the home team from Mid-Atlantic. After a bit of lineup juggling we’re ready to go, David MacBurnie at 1st singles followed by Bill Mountford, Dave Cox, and Anthony Ditulio; at 1st doubles Stone and Bates, 2nd Kadesch and Frame, and Kolendo and Snow at 3. New England gets off to a quick start winning both 1st and 3rd doubles in straight sets. These wins are offset as Middles States takes straight set wins over Cox and Ditulio at 3rd and 4th singles. Bill Mountford plays a strong match to take 2nd singles 6-2, 6-2. Kadesch and Frame take the 1st set from Al Hernandez and Brad Werner at 2nd doubles, but drop the 2nd set when Frame’s serve heads south. The serving troubles continue through the 3rd set and even Phil’s great play can’t turn it around. Middle States wins to tie the match at 3-3. David Mac is playing a very tough Jim Kohr. While Jim dominates the first set 6-3, and Mac fights back to take the second set in a tight tiebreaker. It’s a tough set and costs him an injured back. Battling a rejuvenated Kohr, dry and dusty courts, and a painful back, David pulls off a great win with a 6-3 final set to give New England the match, 4-3. A first round loss would make it hard to take home the trophy.

We’re off to Columbia next to take on Mid-Atlantic – late and with no time to eat, we’re back on the courts as soon as we arrive (Yes Phil – we should have stopped at Subway…). Mac’s back is feeling better after the break and he’ll go again at 1st singles, Bill at 2, Dave Cox at 3, and Phil Kadesch will switch from doubles to singles at 4. We need to find 4 points against the home team, who just swept the East, 7-0. It turns out David’s back was better in the car than on the court – he falls fast to Davy Houston. Dave Cox falls next at 3 to a tough Dean Packard. Bill has a tight match at 2 but also falls in straight sets. Mid-Atlantic is up 3-0, and we’re off to a bad start. Phil finds his singles legs at 4 and has a nice win over John Olson 7-5, 7-6; New England is on the board.

Mike and Scott take a straight set win at 3rd doubles over captain Bill Rublee and partner 7-6, 6-1. At 1st doubles Bates and Stone drop the first set 6-1 to Spencer Kersian and Joe Messmer. New England fights back to take a very tight 2nd set in a tiebreaker.  Chris Holmes and Wade Frame take the 1st set 6-3, but drop a close 2nd set in a tiebreak. After playing a great tiebreak, Bates and Stone get back in their usual form and take the 3rd set with score of 6-4. New England and Mid-Atlantic are now tied at 3-3. In the last match of the day Chris and Wade get an early break in the 3rd set, hold serve and get another break to close out the match 6-2 and give New England its second win of the day with a 4-3 victory over Mid-Atlantic.

After a good long day on the courts we find the traditional event dinner is off! It’s disappointing that another Atlantic Coast custom seems to be fading away. We find a nice steak house to celebrate the days wins and plan for taking the final match against the East. Having beaten both Middle States and Mid-Atlantic, we just need to win 4 matches to take home the Cup!

On Sunday morning at Woodmont  Country Club, Bill Mountford will take over at 1st singles with David’s back keeping him out of the action. He’ll be followed by Anthony Ditulio, Dave Cox, and Phil Kadesch. Anthony gets it rolling with a 6-0, 6-0 win, quickly followed by Bates and Stone at 1st doubles 6-0-6-1. Vets Scott Snow and Mike Kolendo dictate their match for a 6-0, 6-4 win. Team rookies Dave Cox and Bill Mountford bring home the match with straight set wins! With 5 wins over the East, New England wins the 2012 Atlantic Coast 45’s, and takes home the Atlantic Coast 45’s Cup for the 4th time in the last eight years.

I have been very lucky to captain the team for nine years and had the honor of playing with some of New England’s best veteran players. Thanks to all players for their effort, great play, and fellowship. Rookie Bill Mountford will take over the captain’s duties in 2013 and I expect he’ll bring home even more wins as New England’s captain – Thanks Bill!

I would also like to thank the New England Senior Tennis Foundation and USTA New England for their help and support each and every year.

The Team before play started

The Team after the win!