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Tennessee and Arkansas rose to the top of the 2018 USTA Southern Mixed Doubles Sectional Championships, played Oct. 12-14, in metro Little Rock, Ark.

Tennessee was well represented with four champions and two finalists while Arkansas had one champion and six finalists.

In a rarity in sectional championship play, Jay Huffman captained two Knoxville titlists while Joshua Woods headed a champion and a second-place team for Chattanooga, both from Tennessee. In what may be a first-time occurrence in USTA League and Adult team championships in USTA Southern, a team from outside our nine primary states – Texarkana, Texas – was a finalist. Part of the section runs into eastern Texas.

This year’s event drew the top teams from throughout the section’s nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Many of the teams – which represent various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations – have finished at the top of their local leagues or are noted as top teams in their respective states.

The tournament was played at two facilities in Arkansas: The Burns Park Tennis Center in North Little Rock (tournament headquarters) and Rebsamen Tennis Center in Little Rock.

There were 71 teams with approximately 630 players who competed in nine levels: 18 & Over – 2.5 (not combined), 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0 Combined and 40 & Over – 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0 Combined. The Southern champions will compete in the USTA League National Championships in November.

Champions and finalists were:

Hometown - Captain/s
Hometown – Captain/s
in final
18 & Over 2.5North Little Rock, Ark. (A)
Sonda Lloyd/Wendie Weare
Little Rock, Ark. (B)
Leslie Cloar
18 & Over 6.0Knoxville, Tenn.
Jay Huffman
North Little Rock, Ark. (A)
JoAnne Wooldridge/James Howell
18 & Over 7.0Jackson, Miss.
Jordan Merchant
Little Rock, Ark. (A)
Lee Mesaris/Michael Delozier
18 & Over 8.0Hattiesburg, Miss. (B)
Ed Assaf
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Joshua Woods
18 & Over 9.0Chattanooga, Tenn.
Joshua Woods
Asheville, N.C.
Molly Heyn/Laneal Vaughn
18 & Over 10.0Sandy Springs, Ga.
Jamie Dockter
Hattiesburg, Miss.
Michael Haddox
40 & Over 6.0Knoxville, Tenn. (A)
Jay Huffman
North Little Rock, Ark. (A)
Lori Brown
40 & Over 7.0Memphis, Tenn.
Jennifer Burch/Alvin Gilless
Texarkana, Texas
representing Arkansas (B)
Ronald Ryan
40 & Over 8.0Albany, Ga.
Cathy Durland
Benton, Ark. (A)
Melanie & Brandon Kiker
40 & Over 9.0Metairie, La.
Frank Natal
Memphis, Tenn.
Jeff Meek