Rising Stars

by Matt McConnell

 Jun 20, 2018 at 4:48 PM

Christina Bricker

Fourteen-year-old Christina Bricker is a young, powerful player at Wakefield Plantation. A right-handed hitter, Christina started playing tennis when she was just eight and quickly advanced through clinics, lessons, and practice time on the courts.

During her short, impressive tennis career, Christina has placed first or second in a total of 12 USTA tournaments at 12u and 14u. She’s also contributed on three Wakefield JTT championship teams.

One of her most memorable matches occurred during a 14u USTA tournament. She lost the first set 1-6 and was behind in the second set 1-4 against a tough player. But she defied the odds. Christina came back and won the second set before pulling out a win in the third set tie breaker.

Christina plays a big part at Wakefield in the high-performance group. Four days a week, this group works for two hours a day pushing players physically and mentally in all aspects of competitive tennis. It’s a great program to be a part of now as Christina enters high school tennis this fall at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh.

Besides the competitive side of tennis, one of her favorite things about the sport is playing doubles with her family. No doubt, the future is bright for Christina in the years to come as she continues to grow her game.

Read More

Holding Court!

by Matt McConnell

 Mar 09, 2018 at 12:35 AM

Game, set, dinner!

Exhibition matches have long been a celebrated occasion across the tennis facilities of McConnell Golf; however starting last year, a new twist was added — members can enjoy great food, service, and entertainment right on the court.

“What can be better than dining under the stars while watching local collegiate and professional tennis players compete?” asks Kyle Thortsen, director of tennis operations. “These Dining on the Courts events are a night for the entire family to enjoy.”

Wakefield Plantation launched the Dining on the Courts event in Fall 2016. At the most recent event, Wakefield members enjoyed a raffle for door prizes, and the Wakefield Juniors were cheered on during their matches before local tennis pros, including Pierce Hoover, Brian Rosenthal, Ben Hunter, and Matt Nicholson, competed in the main event. 


Read More

Title Time

by Brad King

 Apr 25, 2017 at 4:55 PM

A pair of USTA tennis teams out of Wakefield Plantation gets over the hump and captures fall state championships.

McConnell Golf Director of Tennis Kyle Thortsen said several of his United States Tennis Association (USTA) teams playing out of Wakefield Plantation have been “knocking on the door” at the state tournament in recent years. This past fall, two of the Wakefield teams finally knocked down the proverbial door, bringing back fall NC State Combo Championships from Wilmington in November.

Captained by Eric Moritz, the Wakefield Men’s 6.5 18-and-over squad enjoyed a near-perfect regular season, winning nine out of 10 matches to advance to the local league playoff, where the top four teams play in a round robin. 

In the playoffs, Wakefield’s first match was against Seven Oaks Tennis Club. Wakefield captured the necessary two out of three courts. Next, they played North Hills Club, which had won the other local league bracket. In that battle of the titans, Wakefield won all three courts to win the Local League Championship.

 Then it was off to Wilmington for the NC State Combo Championships, where Wakefield played four other teams in a round robin, winning all four matches and the bracket winner. This put Wakefield into the final against Town of Cary Public Tennis Courts, where Wakefield won all three courts to become state champions.

‘’It was a great weekend with good friends, beautiful weather, and of course, fun tennis,” says Moritz. Wakefield’s 3.5 players are John C. Rabby, Harry Gill, Mickey Lee Plowden, Keith Wood, Brett Ashley Brackett, Mark E. Moore, and Scott Squires. The 3.0 players are Moritz, Graham Wright, Darian Spell, Shawn Lav, Jason Liner, and Christopher Allan Bricker.

A number of Wakefield’s 6.5 18-and-over players returned to Wilmington the following weekend for the 5.5 40-and- over NC State Combo Championships, led by Shawn Lav, who served as team captain, and Moritz, along with Bricker and Wright. The other 3.0 players on Wakefield’s 5.5 40-and-over team are Jamie Barwick, Scott Stutts, and Eric Wold. The 2.5 players are Mike Blalock, AJ Critelli, Rick Bowers, Tim Driscoll, Chris LaPlante, Patrick Mabunga, and Tuan Nguyen. 

Wakefield’s 5.5 40-and-over team finished the regular season undefeated. Due to the number of teams that competed in Wilmington, Wakefield only needed to defeat one team to capture the state title, another strong squad from Lake Norman. Wakefield Plantation had to beat them three times — and they did just that, winning 2-1 the first match, 3-0 in the second match, and 2-1 in the third and deciding match.

“Kyle Thortsen and his team have done a great job training us,” says Lav. “Their clinics have really been helpful.” Later this spring, both Wakefield Plantation teams will travel to Mobile, Alabama, for the USTA Southern Sectionals. “We wish them the best of luck at the Sectional tournament,” says Thortsen.


Read More