Eight local women recently returned from winning the United States Tennis Association 3.0 55-and-over National Championship in Surprise, Arizona.
Their journey began this past spring when Sue Castelli, captain of the team, put together a group of women who play tennis out of Richland Country Club and Maryland Farms YMCA.
In addition to Castelli, the national champions are co-captain Louise Davis, Vickie Ramsey, Dewanda Carbine, Donna Reed, Cheryl Byrd, and Beth Molteni.
Margaret Officer was part of the team as they advanced through Sectionals.
Under the coaching and guidance of Blain Smith (Brentwood Swim & Tennis Club) and Heidi Allsmiller (Maryland Farms YMCA), they won their local USTA championship.
The ladies continued training with their coaches all summer and fall, and went on to win State Championship in Knoxville, Sectionals in Asheville, N.C., then on to Nationals in October in Surprise, Arizona.
The ladies returned home with an 18-1 record, shiny new hardware, and some serious bragging rights.