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Texas Team Takes On Tucson 13 Years After Title Run

November 18, 2011 02:31 PM
(Left to right) Robert Plummer, Kristen Samuelson, Kaye Williams & Cindy Crawford-Rice are back together in Tucson over a decade after winning a USTA League national title in 1998.
By Matt Birch, special to USTA.com

TUCSON, Ariz. -
Thirteen years ago at the USTA League Mixed National Championships in Tucson, the 10.0 Texas section representatives from Houston captured the title. Team captain Robert Plummer has recently brought his old team back together, returning to the desert to compete this weekend at Nationals.

The 1998 National Championships were also held at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center and the return to Tucson has brought back many great memories to the four returning members from the championship squad. Returning this year from the '98 championship team is Plummer, as well as Co-captain Kristen Samuelson, Kaye Williams and Cindy Crawford-Rice.

Many members of the team previously competed in tennis at the collegiate level, and Samuelson and Crawford-Rice were teammates at the University of Houston, where they competed for the Cougars from 1988-90.

After winning the championship in 1998 the team split up, with a few team members moving west to the San Antonio area. However, everyone stayed active in the tennis community, with many of the ladies teaching the game at various high schools in Texas. They all had kept in contact with each other over the years but had not played together until recently, when Plummer wanted to put the group back together.

The 1998 team played out of the Lee LeClear Tennis Center in Houston, and the current group now plays out of the Sweetwater Country Club in the Houston suburb of Sugarland, Tex. They find a lot of similarities between their current team and the championship group.

"It is still a lot of fun," Williams said. "It gives us even more reasons to pick on each other and have fun. There’s always a lot of laughter amongst the team. Our game might not be what it used to be, but our egos are still there. I think we’re all really competitive people. Our goal was to win. We didn’t want to get back together and not win."

Twelve teams are competing this weekend at the 10.0 level - and this Texas group is very confident and hopeful that they can outlast the competition and finish off the 2011 season the same way that they did in 1998.

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