Franklin’s Raulston, teammates play in national tennis tourney

Published 9:49 am Saturday, October 22, 2011

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.—Franklin’s Sheryl Raulston played on a Virginia Beach-based tennis team that competed in the U.S. Tennis Association National Tournament last weekend.

The Virginia Beach Hurricanes 4.5 Women’s Senior Doubles Team advanced to the national event by winning its local league in Virginia Beach, the State of Virginia title and the Mid-Atlantic Sectional tournament in September.

“It was an amazing experience to be one of the top 16 teams in the nation at the National Tournament,” said Raulston, an International Paper Co. employee and president of the Western Tidewater Tennis Association.

Teams competed in four flights, with four winners advancing to the semifinals. The Virginia Beach Hurricanes played three matches in their flight but did not advance.

Raulston teamed with Janis Prock to win their first-round match against a team from the Hawaii Section 6-3, 3-6 and 10-5, prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker.

In the second round, Raulston teamed again with Prock to play the No. 1 team from the Southern California Section and lost 6-1, 6-1.

Raulston teamed with Angela Woldmore to win the third-round match against a team from Pacific Northwest Section 7-5, 7-5. Raulston and Woldmore battled back from a 5-1 deficit in the first set.

Accompanying Raulston to the National Tournament was her “No. 1 fan,” daughter Lindsay Raulston, a former Southampton Academy standout who plays tennis for the University of Mary Washington.

Sheryl Raulston credited local teaching pro Ken Cussick of Cypress Cove Country Club and the James L. Camp Jr. YMCA for helping her to improve her game over the past year-and-a-half so she could play competitive tennis again.