Kastles Win Fifth WTT Championship In A Row August 2, 2015 Washington Kastles 24, Austin Aces 14
Washington Kastles Win Fourth WTT Championship In A Row!!!
I live in Herndon, VA and work in Reston, VA. Reston and Herndon are suburbs of Washington, DC and are in the heart of the High Technology Corridor on the border of Northwestern Fairfax County and Eastern Loudoun county. This Technology Corridor has a large number of technology companies headquarted in the Washington area and is also home to many sizable tech centers of companies headquartered in other cities.
In January 2012 I embarked on a new opportunity at The College Board as a Principal Configuration Management Engineer.
The College Board is best known for the SAT tests used for college admission.
The College Board has college readiness programs such as Advanced Placement (AP®), SpringBoard®, RediStep™, CollegeEd®, CLEP®, PSAT/NMSQT® and EXCELerator™.
The College Board has college connection and success programs and resources such as SAT, SAT Subject Tests™ and SAT Readiness Tools, Student Search Service, College Planning, College Search, CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, and Scholarship Search.
The College Board is headquarted in New York City and also has an office in Reston, VA. Most of the Information technology professionals at College Board work in Reston, VA.
I was born in George Washington Hospital on July 19, 1951 when my family lived in Arlington VA.
My parents also owned and ran the Shirlington Delicatessen and Restaurant in Shirlington Shopping Center until I was 17 years old.
My parents had moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 1944 and owned a "neighborhood" store at 14th and R Streets, N.W. They wanted to move out of the city into the Virginia "suburbs" and put the store up for sale with the intention of buying or opening another business in Virginia.
Their future partners in Shirlington Delicatessen and Restaurant looked at buying the Washington store and became friends with my parents very quickly. They decided they wanted to partner and be in business together in Virginia so my parents sold the store in D.C. to someone else and the two couples found a location for their new business together.
Shirlington "Del" was opened in 1946 and my parents partners ended up being my godparents when I was born 5 years later. My parents were partners with Mildred and George for 22 years and my mother and father finally sold their interest in Shirlington so my mother could take care of my ill father.
Several years ago a former customer of "Shirlington Del" gave my neice a menu from the 1960's from Shirlington. Click here to take a look at the 1960s era menu and the prices on items from 50 years ago.
Notice Hot Coffee or Tea 10 cents Bottleed Coke 10 cents Two kosher franks and side 85 cents Tenderloin steak, french fries and chef's salad $2.25 Small Draft Beer 15 cents Large Draft Beer 25 cents At the age of 2 1/2 my family moved into my childhood home in Alexandria VA.
For my freshman year of high school I attended T.C. Williams High School of "Return of the Titans" fame for the first quarter of the year. The day before Thanksgiving of my freshman year, I went into the hospital and was diagnosed with Infectious Hepatitis. I spent 37 days in the hospital and came home in time for New Years Eve.
I spent the rest of my freshman year at home and had three tutors that taught me Earth Science, Geometry, Spanish and English.
Fortunately I was able to go back to school for my sophomore year. We had sold our house and moved to an apartment in Alexandria, VA and I started my sophomore year at Francis C. Hammond High School. I was on the Dean's List every quarter throughout my high school career including the year I was homebound. I was a "geek" in school and was most comfortable in Math or Science class. I took five yars of high school math (starting in eighth grade) and four years of science. The only classes other than Math or Science that I was really "comfortable" in were Humanities (experimental at the time) and journalism. I was a reporter for the The Salvo, Hammond's newpaper and took journalism for two years in high school. I had a number of articles published in the Alexandria Gazette.
As a lark, I took Data Processing in my senior year of high school since my brother was a programmer at Washington Gas at the time. I wanted to "find out what it was all about". I guess I had an apptitude for computers and it was my summer job between high school and college and in the summers between college years. I went to work for a computer manufacturer in 1973 and have been in the computer industry ever since.
I have always lived in Northern Virginia so I am a "Washington native".
I am a Washington Redskins fan (even when they are not so good) and had season tickets for a number of years. I also constantly watch the Washington Nationals and sort of follow the Washington Wizards and the Washington Mystics. I actually pay more attention to the Washington Capitals than the basketball teams.
But other than football I am a big fan of the Washington Kastles, D.C.'s World Team Tennis franchise. They have completed six seasons in Washington DC and after attending several matches in 2008 I decided to buy season tickets for the Kastles in 2009 and renewed them in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Going to all of the tennis matches has been a blast and the Kastles did the unexpected in 2009.
The Washington Kastles managed to get into the Eastern Division playoffs by winning the last match of the regular 14 match season defeating the Springfield Lasers who came into that final match with a record of 12 and 1.
The Kastles played against the New York Sporttimes in the Eastern Division Championship match and advanced to the WTT Championship finals on July 26, 2009 against the Springfield Lasers.
It was even better than expected since the WTT Championship Finals were hosted by the Washington Kastles and the match was on our own home court.
The Kastles were leading the match 18 to 16 after the Men's Singles, Men's Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Women's Doubles matches. All that was left was the Women's Singles match.
The Kastles women's single specialist, Olga Puchkova was presented with a daunting task - playing against the World Team Tennis 2009 Female MVP, Vania King who was almost unbeatable all year and expected to dominate Olga.
With the score tied 20-20, Olga was down 4 games to 2 (5 games wins the event). Vania King went up 3-1 in the game and then had three championship points against Olga. Olga managed to fight off those championship points and break Vania's serve to bring the event score to 4-3 and the overall score to 21-20 Kastles. Olga then held serve to tie up the event 4-4 with the Kastles leading 22-20 for the match.
Since the event was tied 4-4, there was a 9 point tiebreak for the 5th game. If Springfield won the tiebreak, the score would have been 22-21 and the match would have gone into overtime.
Olga dug deep and won the 9 point tiebreak giving the 2009 WTT Championship title to the Washington Kastles with a 23 to 20 victory.
2009 WTT Champion Washington Kastles
Leander Paes Rennae Stubbs Scott Oudsema Olga Puchkova Serena Williams Nadia Petrova Murphy Jensen, Coach Mark Ein, Owner
The Kastles just missed the playoffs in 2010 in spite of having the WTT Male Rookie of the year, Bobby Reynolds.
The Kastles came out of the gate as hot a habanero pepper in 2011 and ending up finishing the season 14-0 - an undefeated season that had only been done once before in the 36 years of the WTT.
The Kastles then went to Championship Weekend in Charleston, SC and won the Eastern Conference Championship against the Boston Lobsters to go 15-0.
They then went into the WTT Finals against the St. Louis Aces with a chance to do something no team had ever done in the 36 years that WTT had been in existence - have a 16-0 season being undefeated through the regular season and the playoffs.
The Mixed Doubles didn't go well for the Kastles - Leander and Rennae lost that event 5-3.
But Rennae and Arina came storming back in the Women's Doubles and shutout the Aces for a 5-0 win in that event.
Leander and Bobby kept the momentum going and won the Men's Doubles event 5-2.
Arina went into the Women's Singles as the underdog against Tamira Paszek, #42 in the world and a Wimbledon quarter finalist. Arina brought her "A" game and stunned the Aces by beating Paszek in an event tiebreak. That put the Kastles up 18-11 going into the Men's Singles.
Bobby lost the Men's Singles in a tiebreak 5-4. That sent the match into overtime.
The Aces won 3 games in overtime before Bobby finally won a game on a deciding point to take the Kastles home, winning 23-19.
The Kastles go 16-0 and win the 2011 World Team Tennis Championship.
2011 WTT Champion Undefeated Washington Kastles
Leander Paes (2011 Male MVP) Rennae Stubbs Bobby Reynolds Arina Rodionova (2011 Female Rookie of the Year) Serena Williams Venus Williams Murphy Jensen, Coach (2011 Coach of the Year) Mark Ein, Owner
The Kastles then did the unthinkable by posting the same record of 16-0 in 2012 winning the WTT Championship in back-to-back seasons. They defeated the New York Sporttimes in the Eastern Conference Championship and the Sacramento Capitals in the final. At that point the Kastles were 32-0 thanks to a stellar 2012 WTT Finals MVP performance by Venus Williams.
2012 WTT Champion Undefeated Washington Kastles
Leander Paes Anastasia Rodionova
(2012 Male MVP) Arina Rodionova
Edina Gallovits-Hall Venus Williams
(2012 WTT Finals MVP) Murphy Jensen, Coach (2012 Coach of the Year) Mark Ein, Owner
The Kastles then started out the 2013 season by winning their first match making their record 33-0. That tied the 1971-1972 LA Lakers for the most consecutive wins by a major sports team.
The Kastles then won their next match for a record of 34-0 to stand alone with the most number of consecutive wins by a major sports franchise.
The Kastles then lost two matches in a row but finished the remainder of the season without a loss. The Eastern Division playoffs were in Washington DC and the Kastles defeated the Boston Lobsters to advance to the 2014 WTT Championship match. Since the Championship match was to be held on the home court of the Eastern Conference Champions, Kastles Stadium at the Wharf hosted the Championship match.
Washington won in fine fashion by defeating the Springfield Lasers 25-12 for their third consecutive WTT Championship and their fourth championship in the six year existence of the franchise.
2013 WTT Champion Washington Kastles
Leander Paes Anastasia Rodionova
(2013 Finals MVP) Martina Hingis
(2013 Female MVP)
Murphy Jensen, Coach (2013 Coach of the Year) Mark Ein, Owner
The Kastles then started out the 2014 season by winning the first six matches of the season. After winning the first two matches on the road, the Kastles played in the Smith Center at George Washington University for the first time against the Boston Lobsters. The Kastles posted a regular season record of 10-4 losing to the San Diego Aviators, the Springfield Lasers and twice to the Philadelphia Freedoms.
That certainly made the Eastern Conference Championship at the Smith Center a nervous affair since Philadelphia was the opponent and the Kastles had lost to the Freedom in a supertiebreak in the last match of the regular season. The Kastles won the Eastern Conference Championship 21-16 and then traveled to Springfield, Missouri to play the Springfield Lasers for the WTT Championship yet again. The Kastles had faced Springfield twice for the WTT title and had been victorious both times.
The Kastles did not dissapoint and swept all five events and won the title by a match score of 25-13 marking the last match that Bobby Reynolds played as a professional tennis player. The Kastles had their Four-Peat and their fifth WTT title in six years.
2014 WTT Champion Washington Kastles
Leander Paes Anastasia Rodionova
Jarmila Gajdosova Shelby Rogers
Murphy Jensen, Coach Mark Ein, Owner
I have also been a fan of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers Basketball team for over 25 years. I think Pat Summitt was probably the best coach in college basketball (mens or womens) and was better than most of the NBA coaches. "We Back Pat" in her fight against early onset Alzheimers.