Front row - L to R: Jane Moore, Diana Spurlock, Dale Richardson, Mary White. Back row L to R: Jim Adams, Denver Robinson, David Dunlap, Steve Smith, Bob Gray.
Two local Woodbury tennis players, Bob Gray and Steve Smith, teamed with McMinnville players, coach David Dunlap and Diana Spurlock, to play on a USTA 7.0 mixed doubles tennis team from Murfreesboro that won a state championship. Play was held in Chattanooga the weekend of Aug. 28-30. The Murfreesboro team qualified for the state tournament by winning the local Murfreesboro league during summer play. The Murfreesboro team also won the Nashville league by winning 5 of 6 matches competing against 3 other Nashville teams.
Friday's competition saw play indoors consisting of pro sets because of the day long rain. Playing 3 teams/3 courts at a time, the Murfreesboro team went undefeated without losing a court while defeating teams from Chattanooga & Memphis.
Saturday brought sunshine and the best of 3 sets outdoor, with 3rd sets being determined by championship tiebreakers. Playing teams from Loudon and Knoxville, Jane Moore/Steve Smith, continuing to play in the #1 position, lost 2 matches, each in a championship tiebreaker. But other teammates Mary White/Bob Gray, Dale Richardson/David Dunlap, Diana Spurlock/Denver Robinson, kept their records untarnished and the team undefeated by winning 2 courts each match round. Mary White/Bob Gray probably had the "two best matches" of the tournament on Saturday. They defeated Loudon in a hard fought 3rd set tiebreaker Saturday morning to keep Murfreesboro undefeated. Then on Saturday, at the 2:00 pm match against Knoxville, they were down 4-0 when the rains came. After about a 45 minute rain delay, they came back out as hot as the sun winning the next 12 of 15 games and taking the match 6-4, 6-3. This left the team's undefeated chances in the hands of Dale Richardson/David Dunlap and they proved very capable by showing their championship ways by winning a hard fought 3 set match tiebreaker. Out of 7 teams, this left Murfreesboro as the only undefeated team with only 2 rounds to be played Sunday.
Championship Sunday saw the Murfreesboro teams of Moore/Smith, White/Gray, Spurlock/Robinson defeat all 3 teams from META in the 10:00 am match. Then, an undefeated tournament and an outright championship rested on the teams of Dale Richardson/David Dunlap, Diana Spurlock/Denver Robinson & Jane Moore/Jim Adams as they were set to do battle against the rival team from Nashville at 2:00pm. Dale, having exceeded speed limits and driving on a faulty tire from Murfreesboro, just made it in time as the teams were being called on the courts. Carrying that "rush" onto the court, Dale and David won 6-3, 6-2! Playing #2 proved not to be as easy for Diana/Denver as they were matched against the #1 team of Nashville. After trading points & games, Nashville squeezed out a close victory 7-5, 6-4. Now all the pressure rested on Jane Moore/Jim Adams. End of the day, last court, last match, last chance, after a "heated" match, Moore/Adams WON in straight sets giving the Murfreesboro team an undefeated and untied "USTA 2009 7.0 MIXED DOUBLES TENNESSEE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!"
(Players note: Steve Smith makes dedication to Dr. Michael Jordan who performed "total knee replacement surgery" February 2008, and to family and friends for recovery support and encouragement!)