By J. Fred Sidhu
Indian Wells, Calif. – They’re spread out across the four corners of Colorado and yet, while they are separated by time and distance, they share a love for the sport of tennis.
The USTA Intermountain Section 4.0 senior women’s team features players from distant Colorado locations such as Parker, Woodland Park, Colorado Springs, Alamosa, Littleton, and Frisco.
The team, which is competing in the 2010 USTA League 4.0 Senior National Championships at the Mission Hills Country Club, played matches all across the state of Colorado despite having to travel hours at a time.
"They truly represent the state of Colorado," said team captain Catherin Dunbar. "What makes us kind of special and unique is that we’ve really come together from the entire state and come over mountains literally, and miles to form a team."
According to Dunbar, the average time a member of the team had to drive for a practice or match was two hours and 15 minutes. Once, a team member made the 250-mile trip from Alamosa to Denver to play tennis.
Dunbar said her team carpooled often. "We would move matches around to accommodate people," she added.
"We had come from so many different locations. Nobody knew every member on the team," Dunbar said. "Because of all of the driving and the time we’ve gotten to know each other, we’ve become a close team. That was one of the factors in us getting so far."
Dunbar attributed the formation of her team to Colorado’s strong tournament system because over time, she saw and met many of the same players at different tournaments. After getting to know players from across the state, Dunbar started a senior 4.0 team.
She told them she thought she had a good team and they could get through Districts. After winning the District tournament, Dunbar told her team they could win Sectionals.
At Intermountain Senior Sectionals in late September, the Colorado women won five straight matches to advance to the Nationals.
"We’ve really had a great run. We wanted to represent Colorado and really do a good job of that," Dunbar said. "I think the driving, the weather and the unusual conditions just made us a stronger team and you can’t do that if you don’t love tennis and we love tennis."
While her team played in the Nationals under beautiful, sunny skies at the Mission Hills Country Club, Dunbar wondered, "Where are we going to have the team party?"