Glenn Jones has great tennis 'Experience' in national tournament

posted Fri, Jan 22, 2016 by Jon Buzby

When the top Special Olympics tennis players from around the country and other parts of the world gather in one place to compete against each other it's bound to be a great experience.

The Xperience Invitational Tennis Tournament was held Jan. 14-16 at the Boar's Head Inn & Sports Club in Charlottesville, Virginia. Athletes traveled from all over the United States and Switzerland to take part in the annual event, held since 2008. Glenn Jones of the Wilmington Wizards represented Delaware.

The 32 players were divided into four groups of eight with the top players placed in Group 1, etc. After three matches during Friday's divisioning rounds, Jones was placed in the second group where he drew the higher-seeded Michael Chau of Massachusetts. Afer splitting the first two sets (6-4, 4-6), Jones trailed Chau 5-0 in the third.

"I think I was giving up at that point," coach Mary Moore recalled.

"But Glenn did not," she added.

Jones rallied to a 10-8 win to advance to the gold-medal match.

"That win was my biggest thrill from the weekend," Moore proudly said. "I think everyone in the stands that day lost some hair but it was a thrill to watch."

Jones lost in two sets in the gold-medal match, but that didn't tarnish his accomplishments.

"Winning a silver medal at an event of this magnitude is something to be very, very proud of," Moore said.

Among the volunteers at the tournament were SODE athletes Erin Bailey and Phil Saxon, who served as ball people during several matches. Both were recognized with plaques at the awards ceremony.