Three Chopt Rallies for 3rd Autumn Cup

Three Chopt Rallies for 3rd Autumn Cup

RICHMOND–After the first day of the Autumn Cup, Three Chopt Recreation Association sat in sixth place out of eight teams.

That was certainly no way for the two-time defending champions to open play in the annual competition at Avalon Recreation Association.

Director of Tennis at Henrico Country Club and Team Captain Rob Johnston said the first day can be unpredictable.

The hard part about Friday is to negotiate their work schedule,” said Johnston. “So that’s the biggest puzzle.”

Three Chopt still trailed Ridgetop by three points heading into Sunday’s final. But the defending champions won 15 of 16 matches to become the first club to win three straight Autumn Cups.

Three Chopt finished with 83 points, four more than Ridgetop. The Metro Richmond Tennis Club earned third place with 78.

Kanawha Recreation Association finished fourth with 74 points, followed by Avalon (72), Bon Air (68), Richmond Country Club and Team RVA (each with 61).

Johnston and his girlfriend, Lynne Gibson, lost Three Chopt’s only match on Sunday. The 8.0 mixed doubles team fell to Wayne Motley and Tanisha Moseley of MRTC.

Johnston said he was okay with the loss.

“A beatdown,” said Johnston. “But that was our first loss of the entire year, so I feel pretty good.”

Johnston said the event is important to their team.

“It’s transpired through the years how much they love it,” said Johnston. “I had over 50 people sign up for the event.”

Johnston said the team’s passion helped them win third-set tiebreakers.

Lucy Stuckey, who played on one of the 8.0 women’s teams with Kristin Tetterton, said she believes there was a reason the team got better as the weekend progressed.

“It was a matter of getting the jitters out [after the first day],” said Stuckey. “After all the training and everything we do, it was just a matter of getting refocused.”

Terri Lancaster, a 7.0 doubles player, said Three Chopt has a lot of confidence.

“We always feel like we can win it,” said Lancaster, who clinched the match with partner Lara Green. “We walk out on the court every single time and we feel like we can win.”

Team member Colin Atkinson added that past victories contributed to the team’s positive attitude. 

“Everybody knew we had won it a couple of times and once you get on a roll like that, you don’t want to be responsible for the team losing it,” said Atkinson. “Everybody came in with a sense of purpose [on Sunday] and really made the most of it.”

The tournament includes men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles with combined USTA rated levels from 5.0 to 8.0. 

The 11th annual event is sponsored by the Richmond Tennis Association. The Autumn Cup is intended for the smaller clubs and recreation associations not big enough to compete in the Anthem Cup.