Petersburg Racquet Club now begins its march to a national championship in earnest.
The club will take six teams to the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Georgia State Championships on Friday in Macon, Ga. A state title means advancement to the sectional round in Lexington, S.C. from Aug. 15-17 with a trip to the nationals in Cayce, S.C. in October as the ultimate goal.
Connor Evenson’s 10 and under team won state last year and the now 11-year-old thinks his 12 and under team is poised to do the same.
“A lot of us are experienced, so we have a lot of good strokes and have been playing together a lot,” said Evenson. “I think we’ll do good.”
Each summer, PRC is a major player on the JTT scene and Cheri Hain, the club’s Play Program director says inclusion is the key.
“We have kids from high school to middle school to tournament players to Southern-ranked players, so we have a program that includes every level, every age,” said Hain. “It really incorporates every kid in our program.”
PRC will be traveling to Macon with two teams in the 10-year-old age bracket, two from the 18s, and one apiece from the 12- and 14-year-old division.
Vu Nguyen, the club’s director of tennis, noted that for some it will be their initial foray into this type of competition.
“For a lot of our players, this go-around is their first time at JTT,” Nguyen said. “It’s always kind of an exciting time when they experience that team event for the first time.”
Nguyen said the event isn’t just about winning.
“It’s really more about them experiencing a team event, having that fun aspect,” he said. “The expectations are to go and enjoy a team atmosphere.”