Sports

Southlake men’s tennis team crowned national champions at USTA League in Las Vegas

October 6, 2019 (top row left to right) Kyle Davidson, Daniel Vejman, Pete Saunders, Nick Buoni, Johann Jooste, Jeff Jannasch, Joe Hattrup, (bottom) Zoltan Papp, Carlos Aguilar, Mario Toledo, Caden Moortgat, and Leif Meineke of the Texas section came in first place in the Adult 18 & Over 5.0+ Mens League National Championship at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
October 6, 2019 (top row left to right) Kyle Davidson, Daniel Vejman, Pete Saunders, Nick Buoni, Johann Jooste, Jeff Jannasch, Joe Hattrup, (bottom) Zoltan Papp, Carlos Aguilar, Mario Toledo, Caden Moortgat, and Leif Meineke of the Texas section came in first place in the Adult 18 & Over 5.0+ Mens League National Championship at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Daniel Shirey/USTA

Southlake is known for its championships and the latest is a men’s tennis team winning the United States Tennis Association League Adult 18 and Over 5.0 National Championships in Las Vegas.

The team won six matches over three days in Las Vegas Oct. 4-6, capping their title with a 2-1 victory in the finals over Charlotte, North Carolina. Earlier in the day they defeated Montgomery County, Maryland, 2-1.

The team is captained by Jeff Jannasch and includes Leif Meineke, Caden Moortgat, Mario Toledo, Dawid Kuczer, Daniel Vejman, Kyle Davidson, Cameron Nash, Joseph Hattrup, Zoltan Papp, Peter Saunders, Johann Jooste, Carlos Aguilar and Nick Buoni.

They play at the Southlake Tennis Center and won the USTA league in Fort Worth.

The team’s motto was “unfinished business.” Jannasch, Meineke, Vejman, Hattrup, Saunders, Papp, and Aguilar were together two years ago and reached the semifinals of this same tournament.

However, Jannasch said league rules state that if a team reaches nationals, it has to disband its roster the next season in an effort to avoid annual dominance by the same squad. That didn’t stop them planning a reunion for this season.

“We all said we need to do this again in two years,” Jannasch said. “Then we started talking about it again a little over a year ago. We went out and picked up a little depth.”

After winning the Fort Worth championship, the team captured the Texas Sectional title to become one of only 15 teams out of more than 350 across the nation to advance to Las Vegas.

“It was a lot of sacrifice — work, family, friends, financial and health,” Hattrup said, adding that, of course, it was all worth it.

Jannasch said most of the team is over 40, but the roster does include a high school player, Moortgat has signed to play at Boise State after graduation from Plano West. Jannasch said several members of the team have college experience.

“But no one had ever won something like this,” he said. “The word epic just kept popping out there.”

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