The Senior Women’s 3.5 tennis team from Delaware will be representing the USTA Middle States region in this upcoming weekend’s USTA National Championship in Indian Wells, Calif.


The Senior Women’s 3.5 tennis team from Delaware will be representing the USTA Middle States region in this upcoming weekend’s USTA National Championship in Indian Wells, Calif.

The team, named “Tennipause,” is part of the USTA Delaware District Summer League and will complete in the tournament on Friday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 23. “Tennipause” will make the trip after claiming the sectional playoffs in Princeton, N.J. and the Delaware District playoffs.

“We are excited. When it was announced, the woman from Middle States called and said that we needed to make a decision by the next day. I said, ‘There’s no decision to think about, we’re going,’” said teammate Denise Knox of Wyoming.

The middle states region includes teams from Delaware, New Jersey and various areas of Pennsylvania. The “Tennipause” team includes women from across the state from Clayton to Lewes to Wilmington and even has a teammate from Chestertown, Md.

Formed before the 2010 summer season, Clayton player Janice Cassedy started talks about a team by contacting her friends that play tennis.

“I initiated the team by contacting my tennis gal pals to see if they had any interest in forming a team with the main focus of having fun and playing some tennis,” said Cassedy.

It was Cassedy’s quirky sense of humor that led to the team’s name of “Tennipause.” The team, which has 13 players, is part of the senior division for players that have reached the ages of 50 and 60 years old. Only 10 of the 13 women on the team will be going to the tournament.

In 2010, the team went 13-0 in the regular season but lost in the final match of the playoffs. Their 2011 regular season record is 9-2.

There will be a total of 18 teams competing in the national championship, which has a round robin set up where every team will play each other. “Tennipause” will play in four rounds to qualify for the semi-finals and finals. Both the semi-finals and finals will be on Sunday, Oct. 23.

In the league, all teams play in doubles matches; there are no singles matches.

For the team though, the most important aspect is having fun especially considering they didn’t expect to be here.

“We didn’t expect to get this far,” Knox said. “It’s all about having fun.”

To prepare for the tournament, Cassedy said they will prepare the same way they have for their previous matches by relaxing and having fun.

“Winning happens. We enjoy the competition, exercise and social opportunities,” Cassedy said.

Most of the women on team have been playing USTA league tennis for years. For Middletown resident Kim Consalvi and Wyoming resident Debby Polise, this is their first go on a senior tennis team.

Polise said the difference is in the way women in the senior tennis leagues play tennis. Rather than focusing on how hard they hit the ball, Polise said the women focus on the placement of the tennis balls.

Consalvi said this is the most fun she’s had while playing adult league tennis.

“I’ve played on several adult teams before. But this is the most fun and most relaxed I’ve been playing on a team,” Consalvi said.

Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com.