| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

 

For the third straight year, the Centercourt Warriors have won the USTA’s New Jersey Region/Northern Jersey Championship.

The 12U team finished atop the league with a record of 19-1, including 109 individual victories and only 11 losses, in a season that ran from October to May.

“The three straight titles are meaningful because we were able to see the players grow in the game as they went through the ROGY (Red, Orange, Green, Yellow) progression,” said team captain Lopa Zielinski.

In 2016-2017, the team won the Orange Ball 10U title, and the following year, 2017-2018 they won the Green Ball 10U title.

And now this year, the Warriors captured the Yellow Ball 12U title.

“Most of the players have been on the team since 2016. It’s great to see these junior players take pride in their accomplishments, as they showed commitment to the team and worked really hard in each season,” Zielinski added.

The team is comprised of Chris Allen, Teo Bengston, Brayden Bonetti, Hudson Bonetti, Rajveer Dharkar, Isabelle DeLuccia, Adi Mahadev, Rafa Pawar, Aadit Shivastava, Sean Wang, Taylor Wong, Isabella Zidziunas and Andrew Zielinski.

At the heart of the team’s success is the camaraderie and chemistry the players have developed over the years.

“Our team has been successful because they are part of a top performance program where the coaches teach players sustainable tennis skills. Although it is not a requirement to be on the team, all the players are part of the Centercourt Performance Academy,” Zielinski added. “Most of these kids train together in some capacity…The players have genuine respect for one another, as some have grown up on the court together. They can play against one another in a very heated and competitive match, but the minute it is over they are good friends again. As a parent and team captain, this is so nice to see on and off the court.”