The Marian Wood Baird Cup was held from June 17-19 at the University of Illinois Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. Congratulations to the Chicago team who captured this year’s Marian Wood Baird Cup for a the third consecutive year by defeating Central Indiana in the championship match by a very close 4-3 final score. Ohio Valley took home third place, and Northeastern Ohio finished in fourth place.
Players enjoyed dinner and socializing at the player banquet party on Friday evening. Team competition was held all day on both Saturday and Sunday using a round-robin format. Junior players are selected to represent their District based on their ranking, tournament play, and sportsmanship. Congratulations to Southeastern Michigan for capturing this year’s Team Sportsmanship Award. Sophia Spinazze from Northwestern Ohio received the Individual Sportsmanship Award. Alexa Abele from Ohio Valley was presented the Marian Wood Baird Achievement Award.
The top 18-and-under junior girls from 13 Districts enjoy participating in the Marian Wood Baird Cup each year for the team competition, camaraderie, team spirit, and fun. The Marian Wood Baird Cup is funded by the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation through a generous donation from Marian’s family. The USTA/Midwest Section Marian Wood Baird Cup (formerly know as Junior Wightman Cup) started in 1951. Many great USTA/Midwest Section champions have participated in this team competition over the years including Lilia Osterloh, Ann Grossman, Tami and Teri Whitlinger, Laura Granville and Brooke Austin.
Marian Wood Baird was a dedicated USTA volunteer with over 40 years of volunteer service at the district, section and national level. At the Section level, Marian served as the first female President of the Western Tennis Association from 1986-1987. Marian had been a star tennis player long before most women excelled in sport. She won the Girls’ 18 Indoor Doubles and the Women’s Intercollegiate Doubles Championships, and achieved a number one district and sectional ranking in women’s doubles. Marian won the National Indoor Championships and earned a ranking of number two in the USTA in Women’s 75 Doubles. Marian was a Charter Champion of the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation (formerly Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation) that was established in 1992, and was inducted into the USTA/Midwest Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994.