Palmetto Dunes tennis team headed to USTA nationals

August 4, 2011 

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Cindy Vander Berg says her team never wavered in its belief it was the favorite to win a championship.

Simply put, her team never had a reason for doubt.

The senior 4.5 women's team from Palmetto Dunes Tennis Club brought back a title Tuesday from the USTA League Southern Section Championships In Mobile, Ala. The team finished 5-0 in the tournament and lost just one court in the five matches, wrapping up the championship by breezing to a 3-0 victory in the finals against a squad from Atlanta.

The Palmetto Dunes team will travel to Rancho Mirage, Calif., from Oct. 14-16 to compete for a national championship.

"It was one of the better experiences we've had as a team," said Vander Berg, who said some team members have played together for more than five years. "Being able to stay relaxed and just enjoy it together, it was overall an awesome experience."

The Southern Section Championships included 10 teams from nine states. The Palmetto Dunes women qualified for the regional tournament by winning the South Carolina state tournament in May.

The Hampton Lakers, a men's 4.0 team, also competed in Mobile this week. The senior team finished 1-3 in round robin play, failing to qualify for the championship round.

The Palmetto Dunes squad took seven members to Mobile: Vander Berg, Marjory Smith, Maureen Bush, Donna McKenna, Rachel Sigmon, Mary Jackson and Lori Bergmann. Vander Berg said the same group, along with the possibility of one or two others, is committed to traveling to California this fall.

"I think we will be glad to be there, but we aren't going there just to play," Vander Berg said. "We're going with the intention of playing well."

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