Springfield Lasers – 2013 Western Conference Champions

UnsungHero
Rik DeVoest – Selfless unsung hero

Without dropping a single event, the Springfield Lasers convincingly won the 2013 World Team Tennis Western Conference Championship on their home court over the Texas Wild, 25-9. Before the match, Jean-Julien Rojer was announced as the league’s Male MVP and Alisa Kleybanova was honored as the league’s Female Rookie of the Year. In Washington, Martina Hingis captured the league’s Female MVP honors for the second straight season, while Steve Johnson of the Orange County Breakers earned the Male Rookie of the Year title.

WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: In their one previous match this season, the Lasers won a close one over the Texas Wild (20-18), with lights-out play from Vania King and Alisa Kleybanova in the final Womens Doubles event. Springfield went into the set down 15-17, gave up only one game, and won the event 5-1. Last night, Coach JL de Jager stuck with Womens Doubles as his final event, but clutch play throughout the night gave Vania and Alisa a relaxing cushion to cap off the dominating Lasers win.

Rik de Voest delivered when it mattered most in the first Mens Singles set. In his previous set versus Texas, Alex Bogomolov, Jr. crushed him 1-5. Last night, Rik broke Alex early and took the event 5-3. Then in Mixed Doubles, easily the most electrifying event of the night, Jean-Julien Rojer and Alisa Kleybanova won some amazing key-points over Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi and Eugenie Bouchard, eventually taking the set 5-3. Deflated, the Texas Wild struggled the rest of the way with 5-1 Springfield wins in Mens Doubles, Womens Singles and Womens Doubles. (Final 25-9)

7/25 – WIN Western Conference Final over the Texas Wild 25-9
MS (W) 5-3 DeVoest vs. Bogomolov
MXD (W) 5-3 Rojer/Kleybanova vs. Qureshi/Bouchard
MD (W) 5-1 Rojer/DeVoest vs. Qureshi/Bogomolov
WS (W) 5-1 Kleybanova vs. Bouchard
WD (W) 5-1 King/Kleybanova vs. Bouchard/Snyder

EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: With Martina Hingis, Leander Paes, Bobby Reynolds and Anastasia Rodionova all back for the playoffs, the Washington Kastles appear unbeatable. The Boston Lobsters didn’t have any answers, losing to Washington (9-25) in the final match of the regular season, then losing (12-25) in the Eastern Conference Championship match. Amir Weintraub did manage to pull-off a tiebreak win over Bobby Reynolds in the final Mens Singles set, but would’ve had to win 12 consecutive overtime games to force the Supertiebreaker. That didn’t happen…Bobby Reynolds won the Championship for Washington in the first game of OT. (Final 25-12)

7/25 – WIN Eastern Conference Final over the Boston Lobsters 25-12
MXD (W) 5-2 Paes/Hingis vs. Butorac/Marosi
WD (W) 5-1 Hingis/Rodionova vs. Craybas/Marosi
MD (W) 5-2 Paes/Reynolds vs. Butorac/Weintraub
WS (W) 5-2 Hingis vs. Craybas
MS (L) 4-5 Reynolds vs. Weintraub
OT (W) 1-0

The Springfield Lasers now travel to Washington for the 2013 World Team Tennis Final on Sunday afternoon. Washington has won the King Trophy 3-times over the past four years. 2009 was the last time Springfield made it to the final, where they lost to the Kastles in D.C. (23-20). 3-time Coach of the Year JL de Jager is undoubtedly counting on a different outcome this year, but it’s a “big ask” against Hingis, Paes, Reynolds and Rodionova. The Final begins Sunday at 4:00p CDT. World Team Tennis will be live-streaming the match at wtt.com.

Springfield Lasers Season (9-5)

  • W (22-14) H - Boston
  • L (21-22) A - New York
  • W (23-20) A - Philadelphia
  • W (22-15) A - Washington
  • W (21-19) H - Orange County
  • L (19-20) A - Orange County
  • W (20-18) H - Texas
  • L (15-21) A - Washington
  • W (20-19) H - Sacramento
  • L (20-21) H - Philadelphia
  • W (22-16) H - New York
  • W (25-15) A - Boston
  • W (22-17) H - Sacramento
  • L (19-20) A - Orange County
  • W (25-9) H - Texas ** (WCC)

Washington Kastles Season (12-2)

  • W (25-15) H - New York
  • W (25-12) H - Boston
  • L (18-23) A - Texas
  • L (15-22) H - Springfield
  • W (23-14) A - Sacramento
  • W (23-18) A - Boston
  • W (22-18) A - Philadelphia
  • W (21-15) H - Springfield
  • W (23-16) A - Texas
  • W (21-20) H - New York
  • W (19-18) A - Boston
  • W (23-13) H - Philadelphia
  • W (23-15) A - New York
  • W (25-9) H - Boston
  • W (25-12) H - Boston **(ECC)