Women’s tennis team from Bass River advances to third straight National Championship | Sports


Beverly’s Bass River Tennis Club’s talented members continue to impress — not only on a local and state level, but recently on the national stage as well.

This summer, captain Cate Arkins and her 55-and-over 8.0 level tennis team advanced to its third consecutive National Championships, which will be held this October at USTA’s National Campus in Orlando, Fla.

In punching their ticket, the Bass River women utterly dominated the competition at New England Sectionals, finishing unbeaten in team matches. That included a 3-0 mark in flight play with a 7-2 individual match record to clinch a semifinal spot, another 3-0 performance over Simsmore Tennis in the semis, and a title-clinching triumph over Marcus Lewis Tennis Center, once again by the same score.

“All our players have represented New England and Nationals before, so we were well prepared for Sectionals,” said Arkins, a non-playing captain this season after helping her squad qualify for Nationals in each of the past two seasons.

“This will be our third consecutive year representing New England. We’ve done well the past couple of years but this year we’re setting our sites on the title.”

And why not? Arkins and her teammates, Elizabeth Dick, Debee Kelly, Nancy Harbert, Lise Kaufman, Diane Downing, Kathy Frick, Patty Ehlbeck, Diane Cahill, Lorraine Salter, Donna Crocker and Wendy Kraunelis are all experienced and gifted players. They’ve all been there before; they know what to expect and how to handle the pressure, and after a phenomenal performance at New Englands there’s no reason to think they can’t take the U.S. 55 & over crown.

In the decisive sectional finals victory, the Bass River group turned in its most impressive outing, winning all three positions convincingly in straight sets. That’s not easy to do at any level, let alone against a worthy opponent likewise vying for a golden opportunity down south.

“All these ladies are strong players and great competitors,” added Arkins. “Everyone plays on other teams and quite often see each other across the net as opponents. We worked hard all season during practices and matches to get ready for Sectionals, and we will continue to practice the couple of months to get ready to represent New England.”

Arkins and Co. have plenty of time to prepare for their big matches; Nationals 8.0 level 55 & Over competition begins on October 19 and wraps up with the title bout two days later.

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