» Juniors

Previous Years Junior Davis Cup Information


Things did not look good for the Northern Michigan Junior Davis Cup team when they drew the top three seeds in their first three matches- first Chicago, then NE Ohio, and topped off by Northern Indiana. The boys were blanked 9-0 in each of these three matches but were showing better results each round. Patrick Maloney, Brett Girard, and Mycael McDowell each stretched their matches to three setters against Northern Indiana, but could not complete the victory.

That was all about to change in NMTA's fourth round match, however. Joseph Van Deinse and Lance Kelly recorded an 8-6 doubles win over Southern Illinois, and that really started the ball rolling. Joseph Van Deinse then won his #3 singles match 7-5,6-3, while Joel Halperin fell just short in a tough #2 singles three setter. Brett Girard recorded an extremely tight 7-5,7-6(4) win at #5 singles, and James Van Deinse fought off seven match points and vomiting in the high humidity with a gutsy 4-6,6-2,7-6(7) victory. When Patrick Maloney and Joel Halperin could not get the #1 doubles win, and Mycael McDowell and Phil Mayes similarly fell short at #3 doubles, it all came down to Lance Kelly's #4 singles match.

Kelly dropped the first set in a heartbreaking tie-breaker, 6-7(5). Down a break in the second and fighting a summer cold, he approched coach Tom Van Deinse. "I don't know if I can go on." said Kelly, "I may have to default." But with NMTA's best chance for a team victory in years, and at the urging of the coaches and other players, Kelly did go on, eventually winning the second set 7-5 and the third 7-6(3) in heroic fashion. That night the team celebrated the 4-3 with over Southern Illinois.

Each of the 14 Midwest Tennis Association districts sends teams of 6-10 top representatives to Indianapolis for this annual mid-June team competition. As one of the largest sections in the United States, MTA Junior Davis Cup is a great forum for players to test their skills against some of the next year's top college players. Some players have even used Junior Davis Cup as a springboard to professional careers.

Junior Davis Cup Competition
June 19 – 21, Michigan State University

“Will to Win” by Junior Davis Cup Coach Tom Van Deinse

Fourteen districts comprise the Midwest Section – the largest section in the United States Tennis Association.  So when nearly 150 of the top Midwest players get together each year for a three day team competition in a collegiate meet atmosphere, the level of play is awe-inspiring.  The Chicago District once again came in as the heavy favorite, but our district, NMI, had a win last year to defend, and our goal was to match that result.  We were focused, and despite the odds, we had a “will to win”!

With three nationally ranked players each, Northeast Ohio and Southeastern Michigan presented insurmountable early round challenges.  Joseph Van Deinse was able to give Michigan State High School champion Howie Migdal a scare in a 6-4, 6-1 loss, and Mycael McDowell simply ran out of time in a 6-0, 6-3 loss to Guillaume Schils, but the whole team was rising to the level of their competition each match.

It’s no surprise, then, that on day two Joseph Van Deinse pulled out the team’s first victory with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Northwest Ohio, while Andy Mokszycke and James Van Deinse each lost in tough-fought tie-breakers.

Northern Indiana presented a similar challenge, with Joseph Van Deinse again recording the only victory, but “B-Train” Brett Michel Girard, Rick Halverson, and Phil Mayes each improved their scores and were priming themselves to win the final match against Southern Illinois.

But in that final match of the tournament, Halverson and McDowell lost an early lead and eventually the match, and Mayes and Mokszycke similarly fell short, making the doubles win by Van Deinse and Girard a moral victory only.  (In college rules, whichever team wins the best of three doubles matches gets one point, and each singles match is worth one point.)  Mycael McDowell, Joseph Van Deinse, and Brett Girard each had the will to win their singles matches, putting the team up 3-1.  However, when Halverson dropped his match, it was up to Dan Watson or James Van Deinse to grab the final point to seal the team victory.

Watson, who thrives on close matches, uncharacteristically fell short at 7-5, 7-5, so the fate of Northern Michigan rested squarely on the shoulders of the youngest and shortest player in the entire tournament, James Van Deinse.  And the battle was a classic—a real David and Goliath tale as Van Deinse faced Josh Rockett, whose 125 mph serve matched his name.  Rockett rolled over Van Deinse 6-1 in the first set, but James fought back to win the second set 6-4.  With the rest of the team cheering him on in the third, Van Deinse then held off 7 game points on the Rockett serve, finally breaking through with a down the line passing shot.  One game later the team was celebrating a 4-3 victory over Southern Illinois.

The will to win demonstrated by this year’s Junior Davis Cup team of Brett Girard, Rick Halverson, Phil Mayes, Mycael McDowell, Andy Mokszycke, Joseph and James Van Deinse, and Dan Watson represented the Northern Michigan district very well.  All the boys thank the district for the opportunity.