Tuesday, October 21st
BURLINGTON, VT -- Meet the Hot Flashes. An over-50, Burlington-based female tennis team whose members flash a quick racquet and a competitive spirit.
"I surely like camaraderie, and I like the competition.", says team member Faith Hadden. "It's really good competition around here so we have a lot of fun."
"I think the women that we play with are passionate about tennis.", adds Allyson Bolduc. "They love the game, we all do, and it's wonderful to get together with women with that same passion - that share that passion, so we have a great time on the court."
And why shouldn't they? The squad, that comprises of three doubles tandems, has sailed through state, district, and sectional qualifying rounds of preliminary tournaments throughout New England to earn a berth in the United States Tennis Association's Senior National Championships in Tucson, Arizona beginning on Friday.
"We're guaranteed four matches,", says Jennifer Ranz. "And we have to, you know, come out strong because we probably have the least amount of matches experience of many of these teams because they've come from sections that have many players in it. They have many matches to get to this tournament."
"I can only say that I feel confident and I know these are great players so we have high hopes of maybe being top-four in the country.", adds Lee Delfausse.
A trip to Tucson during the throws of a Vermont October sounds pretty nice but these ladies are not going on vacation.
"What I'm hoping to accomplish is to be able to play at a level I'm happy with playing.", says team member Amy DeGroot. "Not being overwhelmed by the experience. Trying to get on the court and settle down and play with confidence and just focus on moving my feet and watching the ball and coming off with feeling good about how I played."
Like a great wine that gets better with age.
"We really improve every year I think you know? Even if we are over 50!", adds Melissa Lafayette.
Look for these women to uncork a longstanding tennis tradition that will keep Vermont on the national stage for years to come.
--- Tony Gugliotta
PO Box 4508