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40-Love in two national tournaments

40-Love in two national tournaments

Team competing in the 18+ division in Orlando, Fla., this weekend, then in the 40+ division in Arlington, Texas, Oct. 19-21
40-Love in two national tournaments
The 40-Love tennis team won the USTA Eastern section 18+ championship at Central Park in Schenectady.
Photographer: PHOTO PROVIDED

The team name, 40-Love, has double meaning.

If you're up by that score in a game of tennis, you're in a good spot; the "40" part also represents "a happy nod to their ages."

The 40-Love women's 3.5 team, comprised of players from Albany and Schenectady counties, will compete in the 40+ division at the USTA national championship tournament in Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 19-21. But they also doubled their success by winning the 18+ division at sectionals, as well.

That means 40-Love will be in action even sooner, as they compete in the USTA 18+ national championships in Orlando Fla., this Friday through Sunday.

The team reached both national tournaments by winning sectional tournaments at Central Park in Schenectady in August against teams from Long Island, metro New York City, Westchester County, New Jersey and Western New York.

40-Love is almost exclusively made up of women over 40, so reaching nationals in the 18+ division, which essentially is the open category, with players in their upper teens, 20s, 30s and older. In fact, all eight team members at the 18+ nationals are 40 and over.

Of those, captain Wendy Goffin of Guilderland, Pam Zentko of Scotia, Shannon Gillson of Guilderland and Deb O'Brien of Guilderland will also be among the 10 40-Love teammates competing in the 40+ nationals in Texas the following weekend.

"The interesting thing is that, of the people participating, everyone is over 40," Goffin said. "We will be playing some young people, but we're still going to be competitive."

40-Love does have some younger players, such as Madeline Carswell of Delmar, who is a freshman at SUNY Oneonta, but she couldn't make the 18+ nationals because her college team is in the SUNYAC Tournament this weekend.

"We know the teams we're playing. We did a little research," Goffin said. "We are missing some key players who couldn't make it, but this is a team with a chance."

40-Love will play two matches Friday and two on Sunday, and if they advance in their flight, the semifinals and finals will be contested later on Sunday.

The team arrived in Orlando on Thursday and has spent some time mixing and matching doubles pairings to see what might work best.

Besides Goffin and Gillson, Paddi McGrinder of Niskayuna and Wendi Enright of Schenectady formed a core group of a 2.5 team in 2012 that has endured as 40-Love has elevated to 3.5. McGrinder and Enright will compete in the 40+ nationals next weekend.

"We had no expectations going into sectionals, and everybody stepped up in a big way," Goffin said. "I think it might be kind of the same thing this weekend."

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Mike MacAdam at 518-395-3146 or [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.


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