Edge Players Take Home Championship Hardware from Local Tournaments
By Richard Finn
Players from the Saw Mill Club elite junior tennis development program the Edge walked away with the lions’ share of championship hardware at a USTA boys’ tournament at the Armonk Sports Center in mid-February.
Singles play was contested in three age divisions — 12-and-under, 14-and-under, and 16-and-under and EDGE players were in all three final matches.
“These results reflect the hard work our Edge team put in each and every day,” said Bob Bull, Director of Tennis at the Saw Mill Club. “Zuka (Mukhuradze) and the Saw Mill Club pro staff run difficult practices that all the kids buy into, because they see the improvement on an almost daily basis. Now they are seeing the results against other top junior players from across the region.”
The 16-and-under championship match was an all-Edge showdown that Jack Fife won over Josh Spiro. The 14-and-under title went to Jacob Miller of the Edge program. His Edge teammate Mike Hart was a semifinalist. And the 12-and-under final match was another all-Edge contest than went to Noah Payes over Blake Quierroz.
In a USTA Girls 14-and-under tournament in New Rochelle, Edge player Vanessa Ciano took home the title.
“All of these athletes have worked extremely hard to get to this point and our Edge coaches have done a tremendous job bringing the players along, ” said Mukhuradze, founder of the program and Assistant Director of Tennis. “These kids believed in their training, trusted their coaches and preparation and I have no doubt such results will boost their confidence which should serve them well in the near future.”
The Edge coaching staff is a winning combination of some of the best young pros in the area and seasoned veterans with years of teaching and match experience and Mukhuradze saluted the efforts of the staff.
“All the results are the culmination of a huge team effort and we are extremely proud of our players, parents and coaches, ” said Mukhuradze. “We look forward to carrying on the same way.”
The championship level of play in all of the finals was matched by the graciousness and respect that the players showed each throughout the tightly contested matches which pleased Bull as much as the results.
“Even more important is the camaraderie the Edge kids develop while training and competing together. I’m particularly proud of the high level of sportsmanship all of our kids demonstrate day in and day out in practices and now in the heat of battle,” said Bull.