An old trophy has a new home.
For the first time in years, the Middle States Section took the Men’s 45 division of the Atlantic Coast Cup after defeating the Eastern, Mid-Atlantic and New England sections during a weekend of Intersectional competition.
The Atlantic Coast Cup has been played for more than four decades, pitting the four USTA sections against one another in numerous age categories. Middle States has struggled in recent years, but finally emerged as champions in early May.
Captained by Mike Ehrenberg, members of the team are Young Min Kwon, Al Hernandez, Fred Perrin, Josh Sarner, Jay Kanetkar, Eric Jan Walson, Mike Cremeans, Jim Peterson, Jay Nerenberg , Jeff Hoffman, Rick Hoffman, Dave Wolf, Mark Dorsch, Brad Werner, Bill Bernie, Seth Miller, Bill Danser and Dave Marshall.
“Year after year, we would drive home after losing this event and say, “If we could get our best players to come out, we could win this,’” Ehrenberg said.
This year, it seemed like everything was lining up for Middle States to finally capture the title. Between the collection of talent that comprised the lineup, and Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley serving as the host and creating a home-match environment for the team, the potential to hoist the Cup felt closer than ever to players on the team. But there was still plenty of tennis to be played against strong opponents, most notably, powerhouse team and two-time defending champions, New England.
After defeating Eastern (6-1) and Mid-Atlantic (4-3) on the first day, the championship match pitted Middle States against New England.
“The potential matchups kept me up all night,” Ehrenberg said. “I went back and forth on my decisions so many times.”
Finally, with Cremeans, Sarner, Hernandez and Kanetkar set as the singles players, Middle States was poised to stake its claim.
Middle States jumped out to an early lead when Kanetkar won his match 6-1, 6-2, but New England quickly tied it up with a doubles win. Cremeans then won at first singles, 6-4, (2-6), 10-8, to give Middle States the 2-1 lead. The doubles team of Fred Perrin and Jim Peterson extended the Middle States lead with their win, (2-6), 6-2, 10-8.
Finally, the team of Nerenberg and Hoffman won 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the title and end years of frustration for Middle States.
“It was a total team effort and our depth won out in the end,” Ehrenberg said.
The Atlantic Coast Cup will remain with Middle States for 2014, and will be housed at various clubs throughout the Section. Middle States will have the chance to defend the Cup in 2015 in New York.
For more information on Intersectional competition in USTA Middle States, click here.