Lawmakers, media team up for charity tennis event

Lawmakers, media and Washington celebs teamed up on Tuesday night for a charity tennis event hosted by the Washington Kastles.

Team Stripes, led by CNN political analyst David Gregory, took the trophy in the sixth annual Washington Kastles Charity Classic, defeating Team Stars.

Gregory was named the tournament MVP after leading the Stripes to an opening-round win with his doubles partner, Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’ MORE (R-Pa.), who was last year's MVP.

“It's just a great night of tennis,” Gregory told The Hill. “Ultimately, you know, it's about having the right partner.

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“It’s fun to be out here to be able to give people a hard time and forget about politics,” Gregory added.

Gregory’s teammates included Dent, Reps. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyEx-GOP lawmaker joins family firm  The Year Ahead: Tech braces for new scrutiny from Washington GOP struggles to win votes for Trump’s B wall demand MORE (R-Fla.), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanOvernight Energy: Court rules for Trump in environmental case over border wall | House bill would stop Alaska refuge drilling | Ads target Dems over Green New Deal Lawmakers introduce bill to ban drilling in Alaska wildlife refuge Overnight Energy: EPA enforcement numbers at historic low | Dems push resolution to back Paris climate agreement | Top lawmaker demands Interior nominee's schedules MORE (D-Calif.) and Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderMike Pompeo to speak at Missouri-Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation Yoder, Messer land on K Street Bold, bipartisan action on child care will win plenty of friends MORE (R-Kan.), as well as D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen, Washington Kastles coach Murphy Jensen, Bloomberg’s William Connor and Washington Kastles players Robert Lindstedt and Madison Brengle.

For Huffman, an avid tennis fan, the highlight was getting to match up against pro players from the six-time World Team Tennis champion Washington Kastles.

“Any chance to be around these pros and hit with them and play against them is just a thrill,” Huffman said.

Huffman, who played with doubles partner Rooney for Team Stripes, capped off a 7-5 tie-breaker win in the third round of the tournament with an ace.

“There were some good points. Overall, the quality reflected the amount of time members of Congress spend on the tennis court, which is not much," Huffman joked.

"But I think everybody had a great attitude and had a lot of fun. That’s what it’s about.”

Gregory and Dent beat NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander and Bob Cusack, The Hill’s editor in chief, 7-4, in the first round.

Cusack and Alexander were joined on Team Stars by Reps. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteIt’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling House GOP probe into FBI, DOJ comes to an end MORE (R-Va.) and Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaBipartisan House group introduces bills to stall Syria, South Korea troop withdrawals House passes bill expressing support for NATO This week: Congress heading in opposite directions on shutdown plans MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants GOP senator: Border deal is 'a very good compromise' Push to include contractor back pay in funding deal hits GOP roadblock MORE (R-W.Va.), former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), CNN senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski, Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein, and Kastles stars Tennys Sandgren and Nicole Melichar.

Tennis Channel broadcaster and former SportsCenter anchor Brett Haber emceed the event. He peppered the commentary with light-hearted political jokes.

“Can we get a subcommittee to examine whether that was up or down?” Haber asked after a racquet spin to decide which team would serve first. “How about a blue ribbon study panel to write a 500-page report?” he joked.

Haber also teased Panetta about his tennis skills.

“For a Democrat that was a pretty conservative second serve,” he said.

His other jokes included shouting “fake rules” and claiming Capito was “filibustering” during a match.

The Hill's Bob Cusack praised the annual event for bringing together lawmakers from across the aisle and for helping "get young people into tennis."

"They don't have Democrat versus Republican, they lump the media and everyone together,” he said.

The event raised money for four different Washington, D.C., charities and the United States Tennis Association Foundation. The Hill was a media sponsor for the event.