Last year an 18 & Over 9.0 mixed doubles team from Denver, N.C., took a trip to the Southern Sectional Championships, but due to injuries and some missed opportunities, they fell short of their goal of winning a title.
Fast forward one year, the same team wrote an entirely different story.
Chris Chapman’s 9.0 squad of Lake Norman stormed into the 2015 USTA Southern Mixed Doubles Sectional Championships and swept the competition. They finished 4-0 on their way to a Section title, only losing three courts throughout the tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn.
“We liked our chances going into it,” Chapman said. “The goal was to get back to states and get to sectionals. We just formed a little bit stronger of a team.”
As a captain for a team that came up short last year, Chapman made sure he strengthened his lineup for 2015. His 9.0 roster included players from across the Lake Norman area, Charlotte and even Elon.
In 2014, Chapman’s team was operating on somewhat of a skeleton crew due to injuries from the season. He said this year everything fell into place for them.
“We came out of a tough state tournament. There was another team just as strong as us. We were prepared. It’s all about matchups and the super-breakers and being efficient,” Chapman said. “People don’t realize how hard it is to get to nationals. It takes effort but it also takes some luck. There are some strong courts out there. You just don’t know what you’re going to get.”
The 9.0 mixed doubles champions were familiar with their opponents in Chattanooga. They faced three teams in their flight that competed in the tournament in 2014. Now with more experience under their belts, Chapman is ready to bet on his team at Nationals.
“We mesh well together. We’re friends off the court and on the court. My job as a captain is pretty easy,” Chapman said. “Everyone has such good experience. I like our chances. North Carolina is known for being one of the toughest states at sectionals. If we get the right draw and get to the semis, anything can happen.”
Denver’s 18 & Over 9.0 mixed doubles team will head to Tucson, Ariz., on Nov. 13 to compete for a national title.
Denver mixed doubles team wins Section title