"There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win." -- Elie Wiesel
Last weekend (Oct. 7-9) in Mobile at the United States Tennis Association League Championship,
18 and over, 3.5 captains meeting, the tournament director began the briefing by congratulating the captains and their teams with an astounding statistic.
Every year, some 900,000 recreational tennis player of all ages across the United States and its territories, compete in USTA sanctioned tennis leagues. Of that nearly one million individuals, only around 7,000 players advance to the USTA national championships.
Maui Magic was among the 2016 best of the best in Mobile Alabama.
Mahalo nui loa to the more than 200 generous supporters who helped the 15 Maui Magic players represented and competed for Maui and Hawaii in Mobile, Alabama.
As luck would have it, we weren't the ultimate winners or losers -- we were the oldest and we were the ultimate and best ambassador of Maui No Ka Oi.
We spread a lot of aloha around the Mobile Tennis Center and the great and lovely city of Mobile.
Maui Magic Captain Jane Sakakihara had this to say about the team's amazing adventure and tennis performance:
I commend all my players for the supportiveness and team cohesiveness.
We all came away with a good sense of accomplishment as players and ambassadors of Maui Hawaii. Even with our overall win-loss record being more L's than W's, we won in our generous team and "no-quit" team spirit. This was a great building experience. We now have a greater understanding of what it takes to compete and win more at the national level.
Remember, Maui Magic was among the "best of the best" in both our Hawaii-Pacific Section and at Nationals -- nothing to sneeze at.
We played some great tennis, and had long rallies and well played points. we had fabulous weather, and witnessed and displayed good sportsmanship with our opponents. Even with the inevitable "questionable calls," there were no major infractions or complaints compromising our matches. Our consistency and amazing footwork accounted for the many looooooooooong rallies is all of our matches.
Captain Jane (yours truly) can attest to an unbelievable
55-ball rally between Karin Engert and her Florida single opponent. Their average rally lengths 20 balls -- with both enduring loose balls rolling onto their court from both sides forcing them to start their point all over again!
All our matches were hard-fought battles with plenty of deuce games. Of the Maui Magic's 15 individual matches played against four teams in our flight - Florida, Boston, Puerto Rico, the Magic had four, third-set matches; one singles victory and one doubles wins. We were in every match against very good tennis players.
Our opponents were all pleasantly surprised with our many assortment of gifts to them...Our Hawaii teams ALWAYS shares LOTs of aloha with our gifts of shell lei, macadamia candies, mini Honu (ceramic turtle), glass tubes with sea-glass/shells/Maui sands,
Maui calendars, original, handcrafted pouches made by Maui Magic artisan Joann Quintos.
Our team had the most of senior players. We fought hard and all our players "left everything" on the court.
This was a memorable steppingstone experience.
Next time - and there will be a next time, we will undoubtedly be better prepared for better results.
Although the 2016
Maui Magic champion
playoff squad will "split up" next year, maybe in 2018, we'll regroup for an even stronger MAGIC Maui challenger!
And as Margaret Thatcher said - "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win."
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