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San Antonio Squad Succeeds with Seniors at Nationals

November 19, 2011 12:09 PM
The core members of San Antonio's 8.0 team are out to prove that age is merely a number.
The Texans play an up-tempo, energetic brand of tennis which has brought them all the way to Nationals..
By Matt Birch, special to USTA.com

TUCSON, Ariz. -
If tennis experience is the key to winning a National Championship, then the 8.0 representatives from Texas should have an advantage this weekend at the USTA Adult Mixed National Championships.

The roster for this group from San Antonio is composed of nine team members who could compete at the USTA Senior level, with five qualifying for the Super Senior level.

Team captain Shawn Connolly gives equal playing time to every member of the team that attends each tournament. Connolly explained that everybody who attended sectionals got to play in a match, and everybody who has traveled to Tucson this weekend will get to compete as well.
He also reflected on his experience as captain of this unique group.

"It has been a very rewarding experience. This is the best team that we’ve ever had, and it is just like a family on this team."

Two of the most experienced players on the team are Greg Gallaspy and Buddy Lomax. Gallaspy is competing in his third lifetime Nationals, and has been playing tennis for 46 years. Lomax, 77, is the oldest member of the team and has approximately 64 years of tennis experience, including playing collegiately at Tulane University.

"In my case, being 77 years old, it’s a matter of working harder all the time, almost every game for every point," Lomax said. "For me, after one tough match, I am absolutely exhausted. That’s the big difference for me in competing against these younger people."

Although the team may be older than most of their opponents this weekend, Gallaspy does not think his group from The Club at Sonterra is at a disadvantage.

"I try to work smarter than my opponents," Gallaspy added. "I try to shorten up the points, and don’t get in long rallies with these young kids. Their wheels are better, and a lot of them are stronger. Tennis is our passion and you just have to prepare yourself the right way." He also discussed his experience at Nationals and his expectations for the weekend.

"It’s a chance of a lifetime to compete at Nationals and I have been blessed to be able to come several times. It is something that you really value and appreciate. We have been having a lot of fun on this team, and we are here to win. This is what it’s all about. This is the best of the best; some of us are just a little bit older."

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