Winning a USTA national championship isn’t easy. One might think winning two in a row would be doubly difficult, but not for a talented group of juniors, led by Richland Tennis Center head pro Bobby Reeves.
The North Richland Hills-based team, representing the Texas section, cruised to its second consecutive USTA 18-Under Junior Team Tennis Championship last month in Cayce, S.C.
“Last year was tough, we had some really close matches, but this year, honestly, we didn’t really have a close match,” Reeves said. “We probably had a stronger team than last year, which had a little bit to do with it.”
I’ve known all these kids since they were young, and taught some of them, so we just kind of pulled the team together the last two years.
Richand pro Bobby Reeves
The team, whose players are ages 15 through 18, featured Chelsea Kung of Fort Worth, Eric Morris of Corinth, Jonathan Sheehy of Arlington, Parker Wynn of North Richland Hills, Reagan Collins of Lubbock and Riley Reeves of Fort Worth.
“The level [of competition] wasn’t quite as high as it was last year,” Reeves said. “I think California had a national tournament going on at the same time that their teams were trying to qualify for, but I think we would have been fine no matter what. ... We were pretty stacked.”
Wynn is ranked No. 3 in Texas in the USTA’s 18-under division, and Sheehy is No. 6. Both have had impressive junior careers in singles and doubles. In addition to repeating the national team championship, Wynn joined Sheehy’s brother, Joshua, in winning the Texas U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Arlington in July to advance to the U.S. Open National Playoffs in August.
Wynn will be signing a national letter of intent Wednesday with Louisville, and Jonathan Sheehy plans to sign with Abilene Christian, where he will join his brother playing for the Wildcats. Riley Reeves, Bobby Reeves’ daughter, is signing with Colorado State, and Collins plans to walk on at Texas Tech next fall.
Kung, 15, is a freshman at Keller Central High School and is ranked No. 1 in Texas and the Gulf States in her age group by Tennis Recruiting Network. She is ranked No. 40 in the USTA 16-under national rankings. Morris, 17, is ranked No. 2 in Texas by TRN.
“I’ve known all these kids since they were young, and taught some of them, so we just kind of pulled the team together the last two years,” Reeves said. “Making it three years in a row would be tough, but I’ve got some other kids I might reach out to. It would be nice to put another team together.”
Tennis fans won’t be able to tune into some of the best play in the nation next weekend, but they will be able log on to watch.
ESPN3 will provide live streaming coverage of the final two rounds of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, which run Thursday through Nov. 15 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
ESPN3’s coverage of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships semifinals will begin at 8 a.m. on Nov. 14. The men’s and women’s singles finals will begin at 9 a.m. on Nov. 15.
The national indoor tournament features the top men’s and women’s collegiate players in the country and is the pinnacle of the fall season. The men’s field will include TCU sophomores Cameron Norrie and Guillermo Nunez, who helped lead the Horned Frogs to the semifinals of the NCAA championships in Waco last spring.
Norrie, ranked No. 15 in the nation, had an impressive fall. The New Zealand native earned an automatic berth into the indoor championships in September by winning the Oracle/ITA Masters championship with a victory over No. 7-ranked Nicolas Alvarez of Duke. Norrie then won his first professional tournament at the Futures of Mansfield in October.
Nunez, of Chile, is ranked No. 19 and got an at-large selection into the indoor championships after a strong showing at the USTA/ITA Texas Regionals last month in Houston. Nunez reached the quarterfinals before falling to SMU’s Nate Lammons. Along the way, Nunez defeated Texas A&M’s Frankie Colunga and John Mee of Texas, both in straight sets.
Coverage of the semifinals will begin at 8 a.m. on Nov. 14. The men’s and women’s singles finals will begin at 9 a.m. on Nov. 15.
Patrick McEnroe and USTA national coach Stephen Amritraj will provide commentary for the six matches, with McEnroe conducting on-court interviews with players during set breaks.
Live scoring will be available throughout all four days of the event, on host Columbia University’s athletics website, GoColumbiaLions.com.