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Chestnut Forks women’s tennis team 4th at USTA national championships

Monday, Dec. 9 | By Peter Brewington
Some women sign up to play USTA tennis and complain they don’t play in that many matches, either because there are too many players on the roster or the match schedule is too limited.

That wasn’t the case for six players from Warrenton-based Team Allota Rackets, who kept playing and playing and playing.

After a banner regular season, the 2.5 USTA League team out of Chestnut Forks Athletic Club shined in three prominent postseason events.

After winning the district title in Virginia Beach and the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section title, their summer season extended into fall as they took fourth in the nation at the National Championships in Indian Wells, Calif., in October.

“Who would have thought in two years of playing tennis we would find ourselves in the National Championships in Indian Wells,” said team member Joan Latane of Warrenton.

“We learned so much about the game but mostly how to persist and persevere as a team,” said team captain Lisa Gorsuch.

Joining Latane and Gorsuch in California were co-captain Soyoung Kim of Haymarket, Rebecca Schaefer of Hume, Brenda Burleson of Haymarket and Meredith Bearov of Washington (Va.).

Chestnut Forks defeated Hawaii 3-0, Missouri Valley 2-1, Eastern 2-1 win and Caribbean 2-1 to conclude a 4-0 sweep of their pool play bracket.

The semifinals began on the third day with a 2-1 loss to Pacific Northwest. The team then fell to Northern California 2-1 to finish fourth.

“We win as a team, we lose as a team. Everyone was playing hard, playing their best,” said Brenda Burleson.

The players credited the coaching of Chestnut Forks pro John Dokken, who conducted numerous clinics with the players, for their surge into the national spotlight.

“We certainly felt ready and very excited for the opportunity to compete with the other skilled 2.5 players,” said team captain Gorsuch.

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