After rolling through the World TeamTennis regular-season schedule with a 12-2 record, the Philadelphia Freedoms will host the Springfield Lasers in the league championship match Sunday afternoon at Drexel's Daskalakis Athletic Center.
"I've never been with a team — I've coached like 15 years — that is this driven to succeed and wanting to get better," Freedoms coach Craig Kardon said. Springfield is "going to have to play very, very well to beat this team."
The Freedoms ended the three-week regular season with a loss in a meaningless match against last-place New York on Thursday, but had long since secured their spot as the championship-match host. Springfield (Mo.), with an 8-6 record, broke out of a three-way tie entering their final match to emerge as the Freedom's final opponent.
Taylor Townsend has been the team's MVP, Kardon said, and the stats back up that claim: Townsend is undefeated in her women's singles matches this season, winning more than 70 percent of games. But the Freedoms have won most games in every category, in fact: Kevin King in men's singles, King and Fabrice Martin in men's doubles, Townsend and Raquel Atawo in women's doubles, and Townsend and Martin in mixed doubles have proven to be a dominant lineup.
"It's such a great team and we've all been working really hard, and everyone's been getting better week after week," Townsend said.
Sunday's match (2 p.m.) will conclude the brief summer season with plenty of time to spare before the U.S. Open begins late this month. But Townsend said the TeamTennis experience can be invaluable for training for the individual season. Winning a championship in addition, she said, would be a special bonus.