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Eastern Teams Hit Jackpot in Las Vegas

The winning men's Open Level team from NYAC

What happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. At least not for USTA Eastern.

That’s because the section hit the jackpot at the National Team Championships (Open Level), which attracted more than 300 players from across the country Oct. 8-10 at the Darling Tennis Center. A men’s Eastern team won the National Championship, and a women’s Eastern team finished as finalists. Both teams play out of the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

The format for the tournament was one singles and two doubles courts per match. The Eastern Men, led by Captain Jeffrey Appel, captured the National Championship with the passionate efforts of Kaes Van't Hof, Cory Parr, Stephen Bass, Todd Paul, Jason Pinsky and Devin Wakeford.

"I’m really proud of my guys who showed that top tennis is still alive in New York City," said Appel. "My team was comprised of former tour pros who predominantly work in finance, and who continue to play for the love of the game."

During flight play, Eastern beat the defending champions out of the Intermountain section, the Intermo Kinas, with Parr and Paul coming from a set behind to beat current touring pros Brian Wilson and Philip Stolt. In the finals, the Eastern team defeated another Intermountain team, Intermo Pop. 

Bass didn’t drop a set and was the team’s Most Valuable Player, said Appel. Bass, who supported himself on the professional tennis tour by playing poker, was unbeatable at first singles. "He executed with superior court strategy and mental discipline," said Appel. "It’s obvious why he is going to become such a successful trader on Wall Street and why he was so well thought of this summer at SAC Capital, while doing an internship."

The Eastern women finished in 2nd place, losing in the finals to Southern California. The Eastern team was led by captain Alice Pirsu-Gesky and co-captain Eric Cruz and included Klara Miklikova, Dominique Liguori, Elsa O’Riain, Joanna Roth and Jennifer Tuchband.

In the 5.5 Men’s Championship, the Southern Section team took home the title, defeating Middle States Marshall 2-1.

Congratulations to Eastern on their outstanding play in Las Vegas!