Kastles Cheerleaders by Max Cook
The Washington Kastles lived up to their motto “Refuse to Lose” last night by destroying the Springfield Lasers, 21-14. With playoff hopes on the line, the Kastles (7-7) needed to bring their A game to beat the Lasers (12-2) who have already clinched the top seed in the Western Conference championship.
The first three sets looked like child’s play for the Kastles. In men’s doubles, Scott Oudsema and Leander Paes easily beat Martin Damm and Raven Klaasen 5-2 thanks to some powerful serves and amazing net work by Paes. The doubles duo has really found their rhythm and become a force to reckon with.
Next up in women’s singles, newly acquired Nadia Petrova showed the Lasers’ Vania King why she’s the #10 ranked women’s singles player in the world, not in World TeamTennis. King showed finesse and put up a good fight by tying Petrova at three games each, but the Russian put the smack down by serving three aces, winning some amazing vollies, and winning the set 5-3.
Scott “Boom Boom” Oudsema, whose performance has been unpredictable this season, put it all on the line in last night’s men’s singles event. Thanks to his powerful serve and boosted confidence, Oudsema beat Klaasen 5-2 giving the Kastles a comfortable halftime lead of 15-7.
Just when things were looking easy for the Kastles, the world’s #1 women’s doubles player, Liezel Huber, and partner Vania King out hustled Nadia Petrova and Renaae Stubbs for a decisive 5-1 win, bringing the overall score to 16-12. Luckily the Kastles had one more set to overcome the Lasers which they did thanks to the stellar play of Petrova and Paes in mixed doubles. With some monster smash moves at the net that only Paes can do, they beat Huber and Damm 5-2.
With last night’s win, the Kastles will face a rematch on Friday against the New York Sportimes in the Eastern Conference championship. Given that their previous meetup last Thursday was probably the best (and most controversial) match of the season, we’re in for some heated tennis on Friday. Out of appreciation for their fans, tickets for Friday’s match are only $25 (and $2 Pacificos!). The winner will go on to play in the WTT Championship Finals which will be held here in DC on Sunday.