The IronOaks Tennis Club (IOTC) 7.0 Men’s team captured the National Championship title at the rain-shortened United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) 2018 League National Invitational held at the Surprise Tennis Center February 1 through February 3. Annually, the USTA invites the 17 league winners from their respective sections from around to country to compete in a National Championship tournament. Teams from as far away as Hawaii and Puerto Rico come to compete for the right to be crowned USTA League National Champions.
Out of the 17 Sectional teams competing in the 2018 tournament, the IOTC Men was the only team that went through the Friday and Saturday round robin portion of the tournament undefeated. When the rains came and washed out the Sunday competition, the IOTC Men were declared National Champions by virtue of their undefeated record. This was the IOTC 7.0 Men’s second National Championship having captured the crown in 2012.
On Friday morning, the IOTC Men defeated a team from Westlake, Ohio, winning two lines to one, with winning one line in a third set tiebreaker. Friday afternoon, they followed up by defeating the 2017 finalist from Waipahu, Hawaii, again winning two lines to one and, again, by virtue of winning a third set tiebreaker.
Saturday morning, the IOTC Men again found themselves in a dogfight, defeating a team from Wenatchee, Washington, two lines to one and, for the third match in a row, by virtue of winning a third set tiebreaker. At this point in the tournament, the IOTC Men found themselves all alone in first place by themselves through the first three rounds. Knowing they had to win the Saturday afternoon match to guarantee a position the Final Four on Sunday, the Men went out and swept the team from Naples, Florida, winning all three lines to finish the round robin portion undefeated and with the number one seed heading into Sunday’s final round.
Members of the 2018 National Championship team are Ken Stanley, captain; Zev Yardeni, Marv Jensen, Bill Cunningham, Tom Snider, Mark Heth, Mario Dominguez, Jerry Geiszler, Hal Davis, Phil Messer, Jake DeMoss, Jim Utter, Gary Porter and Tim Shum.