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Safety Harbor 55-plus tennis team wins state title

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Published:   |   Updated: July 2, 2013 at 03:58 PM

SAFETY HARBOR - A team of 10 local female tennis players earned the opportunity to compete at the national level taking the state title late last month.

Based at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, the team represented Pinellas County well during the United States Tennis Association Florida Adult 55-and-Over 3.0/4.0 League Section Championships held in Daytona Beach.

The Safety Harbor team carries a 4.0 rating, which is designates skill level based on the National Tennis Rating Program. According to the USTA website, player-rating designations go up from 1.5, for beginner, to 7.0, or world-class.

After taking out South Miami-Dade 2-1 in the semifinals, the Safety Harbor squad went on to beat a team from St. Johns County in the finals by the same 2-1 score. According to a USTA press release, two of the three championship matches went into third-set tie-breaks to eventually best St. Johns.

Earning the state title now qualifies the team to play in the USTA League Adult 55-and-Over National Championships next April in Surprise, Arizona.

The Safety Harbor team had already won local and district competitions prior to the state sectional tournament in Daytona Beach.

Making up the 10-woman roster were Emily Signoracci, the captain, and Frances Strazzulla, Diana Helsing, Kathy Casteel, Patricia Bohenberger, Gail Pierce, Kay Caldwell, Ann White, Gail Shapiro and Susan Hobbs.

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