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Tennis players qualify for national tournament

A group of local tennis players will be headed to Arizona next month to seek national honors thanks to their victory with the Western New York team in a regional qualifying tournament on Aug. 12 and 13.

In that regional, Western New York defeated Northern NY 5-0, Southern NY 5-0, Long Island 4-1, New Jersey 3-2 and topped New York City Metro by that same 3-2 margin in the championship match.

As a result, Western New York advances to the United States Tennis Association National Championship, to be held in Tuscon, Ariz., from Oct. 7 to 10.

The Cazenovia players on the team are Yvonne-Lenzen Roth and Gyata Stormon. Yvonne has been to the nationals twice before. In 2009 she ranked 24th in the country in women's 30 singles by the USTA. She played tennis at LeMoyne College and was the Northeast-10 Player of the Year and Senior Athlete of the Year in 2000.

Gyata Stormon recently won the Canadian Senior National Doubles title for the 45-year-old age group. Gyata is a three-time Canadian Senior Doubles National Champion, winning the woman's 45's in 2007, 2009 and 2010. She played tennis at the University of Iowa and is a former Big Ten Champion.

Other Central New York players on the Western team include Ann Marie Vick, Elaine Heekin and Anna Tozin. Vick lives in Manlius, where she is a part-time pro at Eastside Racquet Club, annual site of the state high school tennis champinoships.

Heekin lives in Clinton and is a dance professor at Hamilton College. Elaine has been to the nationals twice before at the 5.0/4.5 level. Tozin is a former player for Syracuse University's women's tennis team. She lives in Jamesville and is a teaching pro in Rochester.

The Western team captains are Buffalo natives Maria Lapetina and Cris Kessler.

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