Lora Ball, the tennis coach at Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington, Pa., is entering her twelfth year playing USTA League and her tenth year as a captain. Ball currently captains senior, adult and combo teams at the 4.0 level. She is also a mixed doubles co-captain.
Lora Ball: I didn’t start playing tennis until I was 40. I met a group of ladies at Horsham Tennis Club. We were just playing recreational and doing clinics, and then we heard about USTA League. At the time, it was a bit difficult to get on a team because we were playing 2.5. We moved to Fort Washington Swim and Tennis and started playing there. We all started 2.5 and now we are 4.0 and 4.5. I thought, ‘I can be captain. There is not a lot of work involved.’ It has been just a great experience. The same group of ladies still plays together. It’s a great social network.
MS: What are you looking for in a player?
LB: My teams have always been my friends. From time to time, we do meet new people. I try to keep my roster to a minimum, but sometimes there are openings. I’ve had players who had to move. If there are openings, I look for nice people first. I love to surround myself with nice, friendly people. That is my first priority. We’re all competitive and want to win, so second I look for talent. I look for good people, most importantly. We like to have fun and I want it to be fun for everyone.
MS: Where is your favorite place to play?
LB: Fort Washington Swim and Tennis. It’s my favorite club. The people are so great, I love the park setting, and I prefer the hard courts. I also like Magarity Tennis Club. I play mixed and senior mixed there. They are very accommodating to the seven teams that play out of their club.
MS: What do you think about the new USTA League structure coming in 2013?
LB: I think it is a little confusing, but I’ll get it. I’m easy going. Change is hard for everyone. It is more about the unknown right now. Once we all have the opportunity to ask questions, we’ll get it. I’m sure the USTA put plenty of time into this to make sure it is good for the way of the future.
MS: What is your best memory of USTA League?
LB: It’s all good! When we are have a winning season that is good. The last two years we went to districts, and that is fun. When I first started playing, I asked myself, ‘Will I ever make a 4.0?’ Now I’m there because of USTA League. Just having a winning season and going to districts is such a fun experience.
To learn more about USTA League play opportunities, or how to become a captain, visit the USTA League page on the Middle States Web site.