Friday, September 11, 2009
California Girls Rock Long Beach (NY)
We are treated to one more from guest Zach Smart today.
Long Beach, N.Y. – It didn’t take long for Lee Whitwell and Joslynn Burkett to register their savvy on the Beach Tennis USA circuit.
Together, the fundamentally sound tandem created the perfect storm, catapulting to national championship victories in both the paddle battle and racket version of the Ladies Pro Division.
On paper, the Whitwell-Burkett team contains all the indispensable ingredients and immeasurable intangibles. One is a southpaw, the other a grenade-launching right-hander. This throws teams off balance and spreads the court.
Burkett is rangy and long, the build of a power forward. This proves problematic at net.
Whitwell, on the other hand, is short but strapped. Her bulldozing, bruising build is supplemented by athleticism and years of playing with a racket.
Whitwell shoulders a long tennis pedigree. The San Diego, CA native was recently tapped into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Francis Marion University. At FMU, Whitwell dominated the NCAA Division-II circuit to the tune of two national championships.
Burkett also has a tennis background. She was a four-year player at Arizona State, where she posted 16 singles wins her senior campaign, registering a 9-5 record in conference play.
The California-bred women have made a seamless transition to the world of beach tennis. Playing a commanding, strategic, high-octane and cerebral brand of ball Sunday, Burkett-Whitwell managed to send the previously unstoppable Nadia Johnson (a highly-decorated local player) and Nicole Melch home with naked fingers.
Whitwell-Burkett, who captured the Long Beach open in Long Beach, CA in July, stymied the blink-quick Johnson and Melch, gutting out a 9-8 (5) win in the tiebreaker. This catapulted Whitwell-Burkett to their second national championship victory in as many days.
After cruising to the first place victory in the paddle battle, Burkett was asked how she felt.
"I’m ready to go again,” the jacked up Burkett responded.
Check out Beach Tennis USA’s hottest new team on the video atop today's post and visit the Beach Tennis USA website!