Chattanooga to Host World Deaf Team Tennis Championships, July 14-19

Emily and Daniel Hangstefer on USA Squad

Friday, July 11, 2014

From July 14-19, Chattanooga will host the #1 world-ranked doubles combo of Emily Hangstefer and Laura Chapman who will lead the USA Deaf Tennis delegation into the 2014 Dresse and Maere Cups (DMC).

Competing in a Davis Cup-Fed/Wightman Cup format of country vs. country at the Champions Club, each match will consist of two singles and one doubles.There are an expected 91 of the best deaf and hard of hearing athletes from 13 countries. The draw for pool play will be announced Sunday night.

Opening ceremonies are set for 9 a.m. Monday with the first matches to be played at noon.

12 Men's Countries: There will be four pools of three men's teams each with the semifinals Friday and the finals Saturday.

8 Women's Countries: There will be two pools of four with the top two teams advancing to the semis Friday and finals Saturday.

Local Players: Signal Mountain natives Emily Hangstefer and her brother John Hangstefer are on the USA team.

Emily and Chapman (Columbus, Ga,) won the 2013 Deaf Olympics women's doubles gold medal. John is the head tennis coach at Metro State (Colo.)

Katie Hangstefer is the USA women's coach while former U. of Toledo player Brad Mimms is the American men's coach.

The DMC is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, but unlike the Paralympics and Special Olympics, there are no rule modifications or special classifications in the Deaflympics.

Athletes with a hearing loss of 55 decibels or greater in their better ear are eligible to participate in international competition for the deaf. All athletes must remove any hearing apparatus prior to entering the court for any match play.

USA Men's Team

Name: Howard Gorrell

Hometown: Yakima, Wash           

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Organizing Committee Tennis Leader      

Athletic Background: 1969 & 1973 USA Deaflympian (Track & Field), USA Deaf Tennis director since 1978

Name: Chuck Bridges

Hometown: Georgetown, Texas

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Reserve player & Organizing Committee member

Athletic Background: College basketball player at University of Redlands; Redlands MBA; USPTR Certified Instructor since 1998 (inactive); former high school coach. Thirty years competitive tennis experience.

Name: Brad Minns

Hometown: Orlando, Fla

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Team Captain (Dresse Cup) & Player

Athletic Background: Played #1 at University of Toledo from 83-87. Gold medalist at World Games for the Deaf in 1985 & 1997, Member of 1995 Dresse Cup (Davis Cup equivalent) Championship team. 25 year member PTR. 1995 PTR Player of the year. Current Resident Tennis Professional & Personal Trainer (Orlando, FL), accomplished author & motivational speaker

Name: Katie Mancebo

Hometown: Spartanburg, S.C.

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Team Captain (Maere Cup)

Athletic Background: Played tennis at UTC, coached at Covenant College & Wofford College, currently head tennis coach at Converse College, USPTR member

Name: Daniel Hangstefer

Hometown: Signal Mountain, Tenn.

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Player

Athletic Background: Played #1 for Lipscomb University, Head Coach – Metro State University (men & women); Silver Medalist at 2013 Deaflympic Games – Mixed Doubles (with Emily Hangstefer)

Name: Javier Molinar

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Player

Athletic Background: Former Sul Ross University tennis player, won conference Doubles Championship. 2013 USA Deaflympics (tennis)

Name: Emily Hangstefer

Hometown: Signal Mountain, Tenn.

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Player

Athletic Background: Current #1 world ranking in Women’s Doubles; Gold Medalist at 2013 Sofia Deaflympics; played #1 for UTC .... was nationally ranked in USTA Juniors

Name: Laura Chapman

Hometown: Columbus, Ga.

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Player

Athletic Background: Current #1 world ranking in Women’s Doubles ... Gold Medalist at 2013 Sofia Deaflympics; completed career at Columbus State University where team advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2014 NCAA D-II national tournament

Name: Marie Benson

Hometown: Lexington, Ky.

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Player

Athletic Background: Former USA Tennis Deaflympics in 2001; elected to RIT Sports Hall of Fame in 2008; Captain of USTA teams in 2011 and 2012; #1 USTA ranked (KY) in Women's 4.0 Doubles -  2012

Name: Jennifer Woyahn

Hometown: Palatine, Ill.

USA Deaf Tennis Function: Player

Athletic Background: All-Conference player at University of Wisconsin –Whitewater, 2009 & 2013 USA Deaflympics (Tennis)

Additional members of the USA delegation include Melissa Locklear, Lee Cook and Jeffrey Nardozza. David Reynolds is a member of the Dresse and Maere Cups Organizing Committee.

Dresse Cup: In 1960 the Dresse Cup was started by Antoine Dresse of Belgium in Como, Italy. The Dresse Cup is for all male deaf tennis players from different nations.

Maere Cup: team competiton for the ladies began in 1968 in honor of Germaine Hamy Maere of Belgium. The event is called the Maere Cup and is for female deaf tennis players from different nations. The Dresse and Maere Cups were held every two years after they were started, until 1987 when the two Cups were held every four years.

Unlike Olympians, Paralympians and deaf tennis players from other countries, USA Tennis athletes are without financial aid from sporting organizations or sponsors. Lack of formal financial aid for these USA Deaf Tennis athletes represents significant challenges in performing their own fundraising to help defray costs for uniforms, traveling expenses, training camp, meals and lodging while training for the upcoming Games.



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