Amanda Spake’s Fall Tri-level 3.0/3.5/4.0 team captured the Mid-Atlantic Sectional title in January at Virginia Beach by upsetting the top Shenandoah team in the semi-finals. According to Spake, this was the toughest match of the tournament and the weekend’s highlight for her team. “We lost to Shenandoah last year and knew it was mandatory to beat this year’s team if we were to win the section,” Spake explained.
The Spake team victory had an off-court boost to help defeat their rivals. Due to The Shenandoah players’ confusion about the start time, their 3.0 and 3.5 players did not arrive at the facility by the mandatory time required by USTA officials. In the end, the tournament referee gave the players an extra 15 minutes to begin play but they were penalized three games. For Spake’s team, this was a stroke of luck and it definitely helped her 3.5 and 3.0 players. While the 3.0 players, Farrah O’Colman and Sharon Huang, lost a close match, the 4.0 team of Liz Baker and Belinda Jane and the 3.5 team of Sue McHugh and Megan Parsons brought in the 2-1 win. The finals against Anne Arundel’s #2 team was anti-climatic after the big semi-final win with all three levels winning their courts.
Spake shared that the 3.0/3.5/4.0 Tri-level Division was much larger this year than last. There were four flights instead of two and nearly twice as many players. She believes that Tri-level has really caught fire in Virginia, DC and parts of Maryland, where there are Adult 18 and over, Senior, and Mixed Tri-level leagues for players with different ratings. Spake further believes that Tri-level is one of the best post-season tournaments. Her team also enjoyed a great winter escape to a beach town with many charms.