| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

Top-ranked USTA Eastern juniors will be adding a team component to their individual competition this summer, and playing together in prestigious USTA National Championships across the country. The juniors, who are selected based on their section endorsement, will be participating in the USTA Intersectional (16 and Under), National (18 and Under), and Zone Team (12-16) championships. The week-long competitions allow the juniors to develop friendships and enjoy being part of a team.

“These juniors travel extensively to play in individual competition tournaments all summer long,” said Julie Bliss, USTA Eastern’s director of competition and player development. “The Intersectional, National and Zone Team events are a great way for them to spend time together, and play as a team for USTA Eastern.”

The USTA Boys and Girls 16 Intersectional Team Championships kick off the summer July 10-16 in Shreveport, La. Next, are the USTA Boys and Girls 12, 14, and 16 Zone Team Championships, held July 27-August 1 in State College, Pa.; Kalamazoo, Mich. and Waco, Texas, respectively. Finally, the Boys 18 National Championships are held July 30-August 6 in Urbana, Ill. and the Girls 18 National Championships are held August 1-7 in Claremont, Calif.

Marvin Dent, who has been coaching the BG 16 Intersectional Team for years, asks the players he coaches to find a new friend each day. “I try to teach them to transcend their own interest in the name of the team,” said Dent. “It takes an extra effort to realize there is no ‘I’ in the word team.”

With the Girls 18 team, many team activities have become a tradition, from decorating the team van to making team t-shirts. When they are not playing, the players tour the surrounding area, enjoys team dinners and hit the hot shopping spots, said the team’s coach Marian Rosenwasser.

“The primary goals are to play together as a team, enjoy the camaraderie, exhibit outstanding sportsmanship, sharpen our doubles tactics, create a viable doubles line-up and above all, have fun,” said Rosenwasser. The format also gives the players a taste of what they will experience when they play for their college tennis teams.

“The kids have pretty much experienced everything at a national junior level and playing a "college-match" against other sections is eye-opening and fun for them,” said Ricky Becker, coach of the Boys 18 National team.

USTA Eastern BG 16 Intersectional Team (Coach: Marvin Dent)

►Lexi Borr of Westfield, N.J.
►Hannah Camhi of Woodbury, N.Y.
►Richard J. DelNunzio of Forest Hills, N.Y.
►Eric Rubin of Lido Beach, N.Y.
►Emily Safron of New York, N.Y. 
►Alexander Van Cott of Unadilla, N.Y.
►Howard Weiss of Great Neck, N.Y.
►Katherine Yau of Manhasset, N.Y. 

USTA Eastern Boys 18 National Team (Coach: Ricky Becker)

►Emilio Mora of Mamaroneck, N.Y.
►Winston Lin of Williamsville, N.Y.
►Harry Seaborn of North Salem, N.Y.
►Cameron Silverman of Mount Kisco, N.Y.
►Henry Steer of Bernardsville, N.J.
►Jason Tahir of Rochester, N.Y.

USTA Eastern Girls 18 National Team (Coach: Marian Rosenwasser)

►Katie Goepel of Chatham, N.J.
►Tina Jiang of Bridgewater, N.J.
►Sarah Kandath of Gansevoort, NY
►Jamie Loeb of Ossining, N.Y.
►Akiko Okuda of Tenafly, N.J.
►Leighann Sahagun of Queens Village, N.Y.

For more information, visit www.eastern.usta.com.