San Diego County Tennis – Southern California Tennis News Tennis News, Events, Community Activities, Tournaments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 19:28:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 UCLA Takes TOC Section Championship Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:53:48 +0000 Read more »]]> At USTA Southern California, Assistant Director of Adult Tennis Madeline Segura is the face of Tennis On Campus. After a raucous weekend in San Diego for this year’s Sectionals, Madeline found time to decompress after a wild weekend and provide a glimpse at the ToC experience that led to UCLA and CalPoly SLO in a battle for Sectional bragging rights…

I could not have asked for a better weekend for the Tennis On Campus Section Championships. A small contingent of SCTA staff and volunteers arrived midday Friday at San Diego’s Balboa Tennis Club to prep the site. The sun was shining and the courts were busy as we started setting up. Dozens of players drilled and rallied throughout the 25-court facility. Members relaxed and watched Tennis Channel in the Club Lounge. Facility staff chatted with passersby near the reservation desk. It was the typical Friday afternoon at Balboa. Despite the activity, there was a casual and routine calmness in the air. I knew, however, that in less than 24 hours, Balboa would feel like a completely different place. The grounds would be filled with more than 250 club tennis players, friends, and family. The place would be buzzing with excitement and fiery competition.

Saturday morning came and so did the hordes of Tennis On Campus enthusiasts. 14 schools and 24 different teams took to their courts. The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego – deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster. As adoring fans settled into their viewing areas, off we went into pool play. With three teams in each pool, their finish in pool play decided their respective placement into bracket play Saturday afternoon.

The schools to watch out for were UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Irvine, and UC San Diego. Those teams were deemed the event’s “top seeds” based on 2017-2018 tournament results and their 2018 Sectional roster.

For most of Saturday, the energy around the grounds was high-spirited and busy. When the teams weren’t battling on court, they found themselves in a haven of activity – posing for crazy team photos, snapping selfies for tournament contests, purchases TOC swag from the NetKnacks booth, and playing intense games of giant Jenga or water pong.

Once pool play ended, teams advanced into brackets: Gold for each pool’s first place finisher. Silver for each pool’s second place finisher. And Ruby for each pool’s third place finisher.

Heading into Gold were UCLA, Cal Poly SLO, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, USC, University of San Diego, and San Diego State.

Into Silver went UCSD-B, UCI-B, UCLA-B, UCLA-C, Pepperdine, USC-B, UCSB-B

UCR, Claremont Colleges, Cal Poly SLO, Cal State Fullerton, USD-B, LMU, Pepperdine-B headed to Ruby.

The sun began to set as the first matches of bracket play went to court. The atmosphere had an edge to it that was absent during the day. In the Gold Bracket, three bids to the National Championships were at stake and all eight teams wanted them.

After the first round of play, the tournament’s four seeds remained. UCLA would play UCSD and Cal Poly would play UCI. All four teams competed at the 2017 National Championship, which at this point, seemed like a distant memory. It was there that UCI and UCLA finished 2nd and 3rd in the nation respectively. So, as our final four Gold Bracket teams headed into the semi-finals, all four knew that just one more win would ensure their spot back at the National Championship.

It was UCLA and Cal Poly SLO that came out victorious. They were slated to face each other in the Southern California final for the third straight year. In the past two contests, Cal Poly came out on top. However, it was UCLA that was better prepared for battle this year. The Bruins took the Gold Bracket trophy, dropping only one set and finishing 25-16.

UCI and UCSD dueled for the third and final Nationals bid. In the end, the Tritons claimed the W beating UCSD 30-8.
In the Silver Draw, UCLA-B took down UCSD-B in the final. That win earned them paid entry to the 2018 Spring Invitational, which will take place in March in Surprise, Az.

Cal Poly-B won the Ruby Bracket, which earned them a case of balls and a gift card for the team.

Though competition ended Sunday afternoon, it did not mark the end of the Tennis On Campus season. There were still several events for students to look forward to as they left the courts at Balboa Tennis Club. USD will host their first section tournament at the end of February. A handful of schools will compete at the Spring Invitational in Surprise, AZ in March. And of course, for UCLA, Cal Poly, UCSD, and SDSU (who earned their own bid to Nationals from their 2nd place finish at the 2017 Spring Invite) are heading into a busy training season before Nationals.

The 2018 Tennis On Campus National Championship will run April 12-14 at the USTA’s National Campus in Orlando, FL. Follow our teams on Twitter (@ustasocal) as they represent Southern California on the grandest scale this spring!

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Fun and Fierce Competition at the TOC 2018 Sectionals Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:12:05 +0000 Read more »]]> Fun and Fierce Competition at the Tennis on Campus So Cal Sectionals in San Diego

After a successful junior tennis career, Carissa Bernhardt of San Diego decided to focus on academics when she attended San Diego State University.

Now a sophomore, she’s back on the court competing for SDSU in its Tennis on Campus program recently at the TOC Southern California Sectional Championships at Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego.

Bernhardt, a two-time CIF San Diego Section Doubles Champion, is in her second TOC season. She helped her team qualify for USTA TOC Nationals on April 12-14 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

“I like TOC because it’s competitive but it doesn’t have the same time requirements as a Division I team,” Berhnardt said. “It’s a good balance.”

For Bernhard, however, Tennis on Campus is a family affair. Her brother, Christopher, will be representing the University of Arizona at the upcoming TOC Nationals. Christopher, architecture major, is the captain of his team.

“You make a lot of friends from all of the other schools,” Bernhardt said. “The tournaments are great because you get to see them all at the same time. I am super excited to go to nationals with my family.”

A total of 13 different schools sent 24 teams to compete in the recent Southern California Sectional Championships. The top 3 finishers qualified for Nationals. UCLA beat Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the final, and UC San Diego clinched third over UC Irvine. San Diego State University qualified at the 2017 Spring Invitational. Other participating schools included the University of San Diego, USC, Pepperdine, Claremont College, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara.

SDSU qualified for TOC Nationals in April.

Off the court social activities were plentiful with fun photo props, water pong and a giant game of Jenga. While waiting to play teams mingled and enjoyed lunch on a beautiful San Diego weekend.

“The competition was as fierce as always in So Cal,” said TOC Tournament Director Madeline Segura. “There was a different kind of buzz throughout the grounds this year.

Whether the teams were on the court or battling in an intense game of water pong, there was great energy the entire weekend.”

Special thanks go to Balboa Tennis Club for hosting the event. Great appreciation to Balboa Tennis Club Director Colleen Ferrell, whose kindness and hospitality made it a fantastic experience for all. For more event photos, please go to  Good luck to the four teams who will represent So Cal in April.

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San Diego Junior Team Tennis Realizes Huge Growth and Participation in 2017 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 19:38:15 +0000 Read more »]]>  

14 Advanced National Champions Team Top Gun 2013 RPTC with Conan Lorenzo

The fantastic growth of the USTA’s Junior Team Tennis (JTT) program is a source of pride for many in the San Diego area. Looking back in 2017, the numbers indicate that players and parents are catching on to the benefits of this great program. The statistics tell the story and they say something is going very right in San  Diego JTT.

Leading at the JTT helm is UPSTA Coach Conan Lorenzo, the San Diego Area Coordinator for the Southern California Tennis Association. He stepped in 5 years ago, and that has made all of the difference. There are currently over 80 teams competing in with approximately 1,500 players in the various divisions, levels and age groups.

“The reason I asked to jump in to help with USTA San Diego Junior Team Tennis was mainly due to seeing other areas flourish in Southern California while we were in the back seat,” Lorenzo said. “I felt our division could do a better job with participation while also giving our other sections more competition at sectionals for team tennis.”

One remarkable change  change in the JTT offerings is the use of junior ratings at all levels and expanding Red, Orange and Green divisions. There has been 100 percent growth in Orange Ball and Green Dot JTT participation. Also, the numbers of teams have doubled from the previous year.

“I think we are seeing more coaches get on board with the Red, Orange and Green Dot tennis,” Lorenzo said of the JTT boom in San Diego. “Specifically, the Green Dot players are adapting to this level. As a result, this trickles down to coaching. I believe more pros are using Red, Orange and Green Dot balls in training, matches and tournaments. I think this is terrific for San Diego.”

“Just like any startup program with organizing player levels, there is an adjustment period,” Lorenzo says of the learning curve around player ratings. “We had a few bumps and bruises and it took time to figure things out. Now that the computer has a lot of results to help rate the players more accurately, we are seeing our matches much closer in scores which makes each competition even better!”

Congratulations to all of the San Diego teams for winning their respective divisions below. They advance to the So Cal Sectionals in Palm Springs next month.

Division: 10-and-under Orange Ball and Green Dot Teams

  • Barnes 10U Orange Ball Teams
  • La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club 10U Green Dot Team
  • CTA 10U Green Dot Team
  • RPTC 10U Green Dot Team

Division: 12U Teams of 2.9 Intermediate to 3.5 Advanced

  • Westwood
  • La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
  • Barnes Tennis Center
  • On Point Academy

14U Teams of 2.9 Intermediate to 3.5 Advanced

  • Omni La Costa
  • La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
  • RPTC

Division: 18U Teams of 2.9 Intermediate to 3.5 Advanced

  • RPTC Teams
  • On Point Academy
  • Coronado


U10 Greet Dot Champs La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club

18 Advanced NexGen and 10 Sat Flying Aces



Omni La Costa 14U Aces



La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club Aces




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Pete Brown First Serve Tournament a Success for San Diego High School Players and Coaches Tue, 26 Dec 2017 18:08:17 +0000 Read more »]]> Hundreds of high school players enjoyed the boys’ and girls’ Pete Brown First Serve Tournaments in San Diego. The two events were held in the spring and fall respectively, and they were designed to jumpstart high school tennis by offering positive competitive experiences to players ranked below No. 150 in the USTA Southern California final tennis rankings in the previous year.

“The First Serve Tournament allows players to get to know each other better before the season starts,” said tournament organizer Coach Don Ackerly of Valhalla High School. “It also gives coaches to a chance to get a feel for potential lineups.”

Patrick Henry High

In the girls’ First Serve Varsity Division, congratulations went to first-place San Dieguito High, and the finalist was Our Lady of Peace Academy. The Junior Varsity Division was won by Rancho Bernardo High, and finalist was Patrick Henry High. Kudos to the boys’ Varsity Division champion La Jolla Country Day, and the Junior Varsity Division was won by Rancho Bernardo High.

Rancho Bernardo High

In total, over two dozen teams competed in the First Serve Tournaments. The fun dual match format hosted with three singles players and three doubles teams listed in order of strength. Each team member plays the corresponding athlete from the other, for example player No. 1 vs. No. 1 and No. 2 vs. No. 2 etc. Each match consists of a six-game proset, with a set tiebreak at 5-5, using no-ad scoring. The winner is the team with the most matches won. In the event of a tie, the team with the most sets won gets the nod. If there is still a tie, the victory goes to the team with the most games won. Players may compete in singles or doubles throughout the day, but only singles or doubles in a given match.

Special thanks to Coach Don Ackerly, Varsity Coach Ron Marquez of Cathedral Catholic High, and Head Junior Varsity Coach Shannon Ackerly of El Camino High for their efforts to make the Pete Brown First Serve Tournaments a huge success in San Diego.

The next Pete Brown First Serve Boys Tournament will be held on February 24, 2018 at Valhalla High School, and possibly Granite Hills or Grossmont High Schools in San Diego. For more information, contact Coach Don Ackerly at

El Camino High competed in the First Serve Tournament

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CIF San Diego Section City Conference Fall Sports Wrap Up Brings Good News for High School Tennis Thu, 21 Dec 2017 03:11:08 +0000 Read more »]]> The California Interscholastic Federation San Diego Section fall wrap-up sports meeting offered updates and changes for next year. Over 100 coaches attended event recently held at Madison High School. It was mandated for all fall sports coaches, including girls’ tennis. The meeting was led by CIF-San Diego Section City Conference President Scott Guisti and supported by various league representatives. 

Cathedral Catholic High Head Tennis Coach Ron Marquez led the group of San Diego area tennis coaches and shared information on all aspects of high school girls’ tennis. He highlighted the process behind tennis Power Rankings and how they affect league and team groupings as well as placement in CIF Division competition.

“Power Rankings are basically a points system that takes into account a lot of things such as wins and losses, the strength of schedule, and matches won in post-season play,” Marques said. “It will change every year based on the previous season’s results.”

Changes in place for girls high school tennis in the fall 2018 include limiting the Power Rankings based on the previous three years of play versus four or five years. Other upcoming changes in the City Conference include:

  • All San Diego City Conference coaches and teams will be using Google Docs for future communication.
  • Match times for team duel competition may change based on new start times for various high schools. For example, a delayed first period from 7:30am to 8:30 or 9am, will change when athletic practices and matches can begin.
  • Additional playoff matches will be offered for 3rd and 4th place in league championships.

“The bottom line  is the City Conference is striving to stay current with changing school systems, academic requirements, and sport and scheduling issues,” Marquez said. “All suggestions are considered by the Athletic Council, and if approved, they are posted in the Blue Book.”

For more information about the San Diego City Conference contact However, all rules are covered in the City Conference Blue Book for all sports including tennis at:




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SCTA’s Community Tennis Development Workshop Creates New Traditions in Orange County Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:24:10 +0000 Read more »]]> The Community Tennis Development Workshop was a smashing success held recently at Bill Barber Community Park in Orange County. The one-day event was sponsored by the Southern California Tennis Association and it offered coaching education, resources and tennis support to approximately 40 participants.

Melanie Bischoff, the Director of Community Tennis, said the Community Tennis Development Workshop has been offered for about a decade in Southern California. The conference was previously located at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden but was moved due to construction at that site. When the SCTA was searching for a new venue, City of Irvine Tennis Director Steve Riggs immediately offered accommodations at City’s offices and Bill Barber Community Park. Also, the seminar was restructured from a two-day to a one-day seminar.

“It was a pleasure for the City of Irvine to host the CTDW,” said Riggs, also incoming member of the SCTA Board of Directors in 2018. “We feel it’s important to give back to the tennis community and one great way to do this is by hosting tennis education seminars. We look forward to helping out again in the future.”

The CTDW morning kicked off with a comprehensive On Court Net Generation Training led by USTA National Coach Karl Davies. The three-hour session offered an in-depth look at the USTA’s Net Generation Red Ball program for beginners focusing on tennis progressions, easy games, and activities with a fun flair.

After lunch, the SCTA staff led a “Welcome to Net Generation” program headlined by USTA SoCal Director of Marketing Cari Buck, and Tennis Service Representatives Karen Ronney and Aisling Bowyer. They informed of Net Generation resources, programs, teaching support and a vast array of coaching guidance for 10-and-Under Tennis. The workshop was designed to assist teaching pros, coaches, teachers, park and recreation leaders, and those associated with Community Tennis Associations.

Additional sessions included a historical look at the development of tennis in the African American communities led by representatives of the American Tennis Association. Other offerings were breakout focus sessions led by local experts.

In addition to the tennis education workshop, lunch and dinner, the CTDW had its first awards presentation. The First Serve of Santa Ana was named the “Community Program of the Year”, and the group received a plaque and recognition for its efforts. They said the fundamental concept of First Serve was to teach tennis to kids, and encourage older players to mentor younger ones. This program develops responsibility, community spirit and leadership skills in youth. First Serve said it credits their successful model to tennis legend Vic Braden, who provided assistance in their earlier years of operation. Other award winners were Beth Kuney for Volunteer of the Year, Mark McCampbell received an award for Coaching Excellence of the Year, and Braemar Country Club was named Community Partner of the Year.

“The workshop is an opportunity for Community Tennis Association (CTA) members, park and recreation professionals, teaching pros, facility personnel and community tennis advocates to get together to learn and to continue to find ways to grow the game,” said Evan Smith, USTA SoCal Manager of NJTL, Diversity & Inclusion. “This is also a great way to network, meet new people and build friendships. It’s one of the highlights of the year in Community Tennis at the USTA.”



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Advocacy Support Determines the Fate of Pacific Beach Tennis Club in San Diego Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:16:08 +0000 Read more »]]> The future of Pacific Beach Tennis Club and Mission Bay Park in San Diego is at stake and hundreds of concerned local citizens showed up recently at a city planning meeting to hear the update. The Pacific Beach Tennis Club (PBTC) is slated to be demolished and rebuilt in a nearby location. Other affected sport venues include the Mission Bay Golf Course, baseball and soccer fields, a natural reserve, water sports, and many other park and recreation offerings.

These community recreational jewels are at the center of the great debate, which are defined by the Mission Bay’s De Anza Revitalization Project. The city’s decision will change the existing footprint of the tennis club and many other community interests. Phil Tan, a director on the PBTC board, has been informing the city planners of the tennis club’s preferences since 2016.

“We are seeking an increase in the number of tennis courts as well as the addition of pickleball courts,” Tan said. “We also need adequate parking to host tournaments, leagues, camps, and other events.  We are also requesting that the new facility is built prior to removing the existing facility so that there is no disruption of activities.”

The almost three-hour community event was held recently at Mission Bay High School and it ended with the city’s vote to support of a plan that will move the current club to the northeast corner of Mission Bay. The footprint appears to provide nine lighted tennis courts with two parking spaces allotted per court. However, missing elements include a club, an entertainment area, and possibly a storage area for tennis.

The Pacific Beach Tennis Club is currently an eight-court facility with lights for evening play. It hosts a small clubhouse with racket stringing services, a community tennis club that offers leagues, mixers, lessons, junior programs and clinics. Three outstanding teaching professionals call PBTC home – USPTA Pros Steve Adamson and Tom Svajda, and Uros Petrojenivic, who all provide lessons, clinics, camps and tournament play for all ages and levels.

The confusing part of the city’s proposal is representatives said nothing in the plan is fixed. All elements are subject to change depending on future environmental and water studies. Also, all other plans might be investigated despite the vote. Several concerned citizens suggested a vote was premature pending the results of these studies. After a long discussion, however, the city voted and the meeting was closed with little public agreement.

Bottom line? The fate of Pacific Beach Tennis Club is a story to be continued through 2018 and 2019. Since there are many other stakeholders and interests competing for the club’s space, it is important for tennis advocates to have their voices heard whenever possible in the future.

“This is a great opportunity to help the planners envision a tennis facility that serves a wide community,” Tan said. “Pacific Beach Tennis Club and all tennis enthusiasts need to let the city know how we feel. That’s our only chance.”

For more information, go to http://www.deanzarevitalizationplan.

To get involved or provide suggestions for promoting a great public tennis facility in the heart of San Diego, please contact Phil Tan at







Special thanks go to Phil Tan and Bruce Hunt for contributing to this report.

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Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club Wins USTA’s Outstanding Facility Award Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:10:30 +0000 Read more »]]> Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club (RPTC) was one of twelve nationwide tennis facilities recently awarded USTA’s  Outstanding Facility Award. RPTC club members were present recently to accept the honor at the USTA’s National Campus in Orlando including Board President Patsy (PJ) Greenwald and Executive Director Michael Donahue. This is the second USTA recognition for RPTC, which earned Honorable Distinction in 2009.

The public facility in North County San Diego was nominated for this award for many reasons including the beautiful condition of the club, landscaping, maintenance and upkeep, quality of programming, excellent instructors, overall court use, adult and junior classes, leagues, tournament offerings and much more.

Last year, RPTC hosted over 15 USTA Junior Team Tennis (JTT) squads and has a junior membership that is very involved in USTA local and national competition. In 2014, RPTC’s 14s Advanced Junior Team Tennis group won the National Title.  In adult tennis, the 3.5 level 55-and-over team captained by Vicky Benito went to nationals and finished second in that division. Another component that USTA looks for in deciding winning tennis facilities is how staff and volunteers support and encourage the game of tennis.

“Thanks to members who volunteer to work with our juniors, I think we have one of the best junior facilities in not only San Diego, but in the country,” said PJ Greenwald. “We have the most giving, caring and nicest group of tennis players in San Diego.”

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USTA Adult Leagues Thrived in San Diego 2017 Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:07:42 +0000 Read more »]]> It was an incredible year for USTA Adult Leagues in San Diego. Top honors were earned by nine teams recently at the Southern California Sectionals, and they qualified to represent So Cal at USTA Nationals.

Congratulations to Rancho Bernardo Summit, who became the 6.0 Mixed Doubles National Champions. Big high fives go to the Tierrasanta Tennis Club Tri-level Ladies Team captained by Debbie Fitzgerald. They won the Southern California Section Championships in Claremont, CA. The team format combines players at the 4.5, 4.0 and 3.5 levels competing as a team against players at the same level. Tierrasanta’s win was the first season San Diego teams competed in this league.

Final four honors went to the 3.0 level ladies teams from StoneRidge Country Club, and the 9.0 level 55-and-over ladies team from Rancho Valencia. Great performances at the national event were logged by the 4.0 Coronado Men and 4.0 Coronado Ladies, as well as the Del Rayo Downs Ladies. In 55-and-over division, the North County ladies teams swept all levels including 6.0 Stone Ridge Country Club, 7.0 Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club, and the 8.0 Kit Carson Park.

Upcoming Events:

South Area Playoffs will be hosted at Barnes Tennis Center in January. Also the Winter Season will kick off in 2018 from January to March offering USTA Mixed Doubles 18-and-over division and the USTA Adult Men’s and Women’s 40-and-over category. For more information, please contact USTA San Diego League Coordinator Randie Lettington. at

 Special thanks to Ali Ordonez, the SCTA Adult League Coordinator, and SCTA San Diego Area League Coordinator Randie Lettington for contributing to this report.


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USTA Offers Multicultural Grants and Financial Assistance for Juniors in 2018 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:42:44 +0000 Read more »]]> The USTA is offering many financial assistance opportunities to assist players of minority and multicultural backgrounds next year. They will be in the form of Individual Player Grants, Excellence Player Grant and Essay Grants. All applications are available online.  If eligible, please apply.

Multicultural Individual Player Grant for National Competition & Training: These grants provide funding to competitive junior players aspiring to achieve national and/or international rankings. Funding will be based on participation in specific USTA sanctioned tournaments in 2016. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round and have a history of strong national tournament results. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully prior to submitting your application. The application due date is February 2, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For more information, please click here , and go to this link for Grant Application Instructions.

Okechi Womeodu Scholar Athlete Grant: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Okechi Womeodu, who otherwise would have had a very promising future, both on and off the court. Rewards players who work to excel as much in the classroom as in sports. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round, have a history of strong national tournaments results and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The number of grants available are : 1 grant (African-American male). The application due date is January 20, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For the application,  please click  here.

Althea Gibson Leadership Award: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Althea Gibson, the first African-American Grand Slam champion, who paved the way for millions who followed. Rewards players who work to excel in leading others both on and off the court. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (African-American female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Click here to download the application.

Pancho González Scholar Athlete Grant: In honor of Pancho Gonzalez, the Mexican-American icon who won two U.S. Championships men’s singles titles and whose dedication to the sport of tennis brought together fans from all walks of life. We look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click here to download the application.

Asian-American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant:  In honor of the achievements of Asian-American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click  here to download the application

Native American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant: In honor of the achievements of Native American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018.  Please click here to download the application.

Multicultural Excellence Program Grant: USTA Diversity & Inclusion would like to offer support to programs which are helping our best young players reach the highest level of national junior tennis. We will help offset expenses to any full-time program which offers travel to assist a team or two or more players to compete in the main draw of singles at any USTA sanctioned events. The application due date is through 2018. Please click here to download the Grant Report Form.



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San Diego Wounded Warrior Campaign Revving Up for its 2018 Program Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:32:05 +0000 Read more »]]>

Wounded Warrior Tennis is here to stay and working toward a successful 2018 campaign thanks to several San Diego Area clubs and organizations. The Wounded Warrior program, sponsored by the San Diego District Tennis Association, credits its success due to the collaborate help from Balboa Tennis Club, Coronado Tennis Club, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Morgan Run, and Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Club. These clubs have been critical to the program’s success by providing financial and in-kind support through donations and fundraisers.

The Wounded Warriors are currently in the process of raising $70,000 for the 7th Annual National Wounded Warrior Tennis Camp which will be held May 6-12, 2018 at Balboa Tennis Club.  Sixty Wounded Warriors of all ages and from over 20 states are expected to attend.

The program was established in 2009 and was designed to use tennis as a means of physical and emotional rehabilitation and community reintegration for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from across the country. This program is unique in the country and has received national recognition for its excellence and impact from the USTA and Department of Defense.  Over 1000 Wounded Warriors enjoy weekly tennis clinics at Balboa Tennis Club and Naval Medical Center San Diego, as well as annual week-long tennis camps for Wounded Warriors from across the country, which are run by volunteer tennis pros and enthusiasts from across San Diego.

A hallmark of this program is that all the tennis clinics and camps are free to the participants because most do not have the means to otherwise participate.   Per person costs associated with the camp can exceed $1,000. Through grants and donations from San Diego tennis clubs, businesses, and community support organizations, we have been able to cover all costs including airfares, lodging, meals, tennis equipment and instruction and social events at the camps.

“We invite you and your club members to become a part of this shining example of how the San Diego tennis community is taking care of our military families,” said Steve Kappas. “Please consider hosting a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Tennis Program at your club, taking up a collection of tennis supplies, or making individual financial or in-kind donations. Our Wounded Warrior tennis players will greatly appreciate your help!”

For more information on Wounded Warrior tennis or how to donate to this great program please go to, where there is a quick and easy online donation option.  You may also contact Steve Kappes, the District’s Director of Military Outreach, at  or call 619-948-4596.

Special Thanks to Steve Kappes and the SDDTA for contributing this story.

  ]]> 0 The PTR Offers Coaching Education Opportunities in Southern California Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:11:17 +0000 Read more »]]> Registration is open for Professional Tennis Registry workshops in Southern California for coaches who wish to progress in coaching education.

On December 16 & 17, a 10 & Under Certification will be held at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion in Mission Viejo. The clinician is Julien Heine and fee is $202. The workshop covers the following:

  • Creating a coaching environment in which young children can learn to play quickly while having fun
  • Communication and organization skills for coaching 10 & Under players
  • Structure and content of tennis lessons for 10 & Under players: athletic skill, technical and tactical, game and competitive development on the RED, ORANGE and GREEN court
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 10 & Under players
  • Serve, rally and score as quickly as possible
  • Appropriate team and individual competition for different age groups
  • Information for working positively with parents

An 11 to 17 Certification is offered at El Camino Country Club on January 27 in Oceanside.  The  clinician is Marc Stingley and the fee is $227. The Elements of the Workshop are:

  • Communication and organization skills for coaches working with 11 to 17 year olds both in groups and as individuals
  • Lesson structure and content for different ages and gender: athletic skills to reinforce technical and tactical skills, game and competitive development
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 11-17 year olds
  • How to develop leadership qualities in young people
  • Conducting successful camps
  • Appropriate competition in singles, doubles and team formats
  • Information for working positively with parents

For information on all of these workshops, go to

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USTA’s College Knowledge Inspires Players and Parents Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:11:58 +0000 Read more »]]> What does it take to get a college tennis scholarship? Outstanding answers came from tennis professionals at the recent College Knowledge Workshop held at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. The event was sponsored by the USTA and organized by USPTA Pro Amanda Fink, a former tour player and ITA All-America pick. The goal was to hear from the professionals about many types of tennis opportunities at the collegiate level including NCAA Division I, II & III schools, USTA’s Tennis on Campus program, NAIA opportunities, the importance of fitness, and the benefits of Community College tennis.

Over 50 coaches, parents and players attended the free workshop. It was a great opportunity to ask key questions to expert panelists including USC Assistant Women’s Coach Chris Wootton, San Diego Christian College Women’s Coach Priscilla Jensen, USD Assistant Men’s Coach Rich Bonfiglio,  San Diego City Men’s and Women’s Coaches Brandon Lupian and Jami Jones, Andrea Tyndall of Athletic Evolution, and Madeline Segura of USTA’s Tennis on Campus (TOC).

Fink opened the workshop by sharing her personal story of how tennis helped her in college and beyond, as she now holds a prestigious teaching position at the Santaluz Club in San Diego. She works with high school athletes on and off the court.

“Parents this is your chance to get real answers from some of the best,” Fink said. “You can ask the coaches questions in general but can’t specifically ask about your child.” General information that was shared includes the following:

  • Women’s NCAA Division I and NAIA programs offer full scholarships where Division II schools typically offers partial rides to female athletes. Men’s Division I and II colleges usually offer partial rides. Men’s and Women’s Division III schools can’t give athletic aid.
  • Community Colleges are great opportunities to get an almost free education and play college tennis while in pursuit of an Associate Degree or transfer to a four-year school.
  • USTA’s Tennis on Campus (TOC) is a USTA Program at 25 colleges across the country, and they offer great tennis at a high levels while not being a varsity sport. Perks include great competition and travel. Scholarships are not needed to play TOC.

“The level of commitment is the biggest difference between Division I, II and III schools,” Wootton said. “Tennis is a fulltime job in Divisions I and II. In Division III, academics come first. “

All coaches on the panel agreed high school athletes making the transition to college need to learn how to find balance in their lives. Organizational skills and learning to live away from home are big adjustments.

Questions included: What is the recruiting process to identify players? All agreed they look at a combination of USTA rankings, UTR ratings and TennisRecruiting ‘s star system.  However, there are additional factors.

Jensen said  her NAIA program in San Diego can offer scholarships and it is typically for those suited to those seeking a smaller private school. “We are looking for that unique individual who has tennis skills plus the right personality to make it a perfect fit,” Jensen said.

Jones, the San Diego City College Women’s Coach, suggested Community Colleges are great options for many student-athletes. “It’s the perfect time for recent graduates to grow as individuals and players in lower pressure atmosphere.”

Segura is the Assistant Director of Adult Tennis at the Southern California Tennis Association. She said TOC is a step down from NCAA varsity tennis yet a step up from recreational club tennis. They are student run programs that are lively and social. Practices are held during the week and players participate when it works into their schedules.

Another angle of preparing for college tennis includes fitness, which is an area of specialty for Andrea Tyndall, a strength and conditioning coach based in San Diego. She has worked with other high profile programs such as Tennis Australia.

“If tennis is your toolbox, fitness is a massive part of your program,” Tyndall said. “If you can’t get to a ball it doesn’t matter how good you are.”

Other tips came in the form of how to contact coaches, when players can expect responses, questions to ask coaches, and  the importance of creating players’ resumes. One reality changer included player behavior off the court.

“I’m looking for good character,” Bonfiglio said. “A tennis team is a culture. We are looking for players who really like tennis. I know that sounds silly but it’s not always the case. Some players have a long list of accomplishments but there are over the process by the time they get to college. We want players who will take it upon themselves to get better. That reveals a high level of character.”





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Level 7 Camp & Tournament Coming in December! REGISTER NOW! Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:24:58 +0000 Read more »]]>



USTA Early Development Camp (EDC) Hosted by TGA Premier Tennis & Braemar Country Club

Orange Ball for 10U Player Progression

Winter Break/ Friday, December 22, 12-4pm


Players earn Player Progression “Stars” to move into Junior Team Tennis competitive play

first with Orange Ball/60′ courts, then onto Green Dot full court play! 

Campers are required to attend the full session, which includes a

USTA sanctioned Level 7 Tournament on the final day.


Each day of camp includes:

  • Athletic/Technical Skills
  • Game Development
  • Teachable Moments
  • Practice Junior Team Tennis Match Play


 Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday – Friday

  • 12/19 – Day #1: Expert Rallyer

◦                       “Respect”

  • 12/20 – Day #2:  Net Dominator

◦                       “Match Preparation”

  • 12/21 – Day #3:  All Court Player

◦                       “Resilience”

  • 12/22 – Day #4: USTA Sanctioned Level 7 Tournament It’s fun! Play a round robin format with coach court monitors and earn up to 5 “Trophy” points!



Winter Break/ Friday, December 22, 12-4pm

TGA Premier Tennis / Braemar Winter Novice Tournament (Level 7) (ID#650042117)

Orange Level 1

Boys/Girls 10U

60’ Court/Orange Ball


View tournament information here.

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Valley Center Celebrates with Court Resurfacing and Family Tennis Day Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:33:38 +0000 Read more »]]> The combined efforts of an enthusiastic tennis community and key support groups rallied to renovate the Valley Center Tennis Club, where a play day and ribbon-cutting ceremony were recently held to celebrate the six court facility in North San Diego. The community event featured a Family Tennis Day followed by the unveiling of the newly resurfaced facility.

“This was a huge community effort and that’s the only way it could have worked,” said Marla Helms, the Vice President of the Valley Center Tennis Club. “We are so lucky to receive this kind of support from so many people.”

The Valley Center Tennis Club was in dire shape and had not been resurfaced for over 15 years. This situation was brought to the attention to influential San Diego area tennis groups that pooled resources to make things happen for this tennis community. The project was funded by a partnership between the Valley Center Parks and Recreation District (VCP&RD), the Greater San Diego City Tennis Council (GSDCTC), The San Diego District Tennis Association (SDDTA), and the Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA.)

The courts were professionally renovated and resurfaced by CH Court Tech in beautiful two- toned blue and green colors. The courts were also lined for USTA 10-and-under-tennis to enhance the enjoyment and development of younger children. This site is home to a plethora of tennis activities including USTA adult leagues, community programs, local classes, summer camps, and high school and junior tennis competition.

“This project was a true team effort,” said David Gill, President of the GSDCTC. “This is a tight knit group of people and they really help each other out. We are pleased to support this community park tennis project .” The Valley Center Tennis Club and the SDDTA co-hosted a Family Tennis Day celebration to bring about 40 adults and children of all ages. Many local volunteers and teaching pros helped out including Valley Center’s Head Pro Seth Leichtfuss, SCTA’s San Diego Area League Coordinator Randie Lettington, USPTA Pro Andrew Cretella and Valley Center High Tennis Coach Tom Helms. The Family Tennis Day was designed to create a six-hour series of free adult beginner lessons at the site, sponsored by the SDDTA.

David Gill said this was one of the first projects the GSDCTC has undertaken since the 2016 passing of Ben Press, the President and Founder of the GSDCTC. The completion of Valley Center Tennis Club courts is, in part, an emotional tribute to Ben’s vision to help keep tennis alive and growing in San Diego by helping communities with court resurfacing. 

“I definitely thought about Ben when cutting the ribbon because this is something he really loved to do,” said David Gill. “Ben helped create the GSDCTC almost twenty years ago and his legacy continues to thrive through projects like Valley Center.”

The Valley Center Tennis Club has over 100 members who play at the site on a frequent basis in addition to players from surrounding areas. The club is now fundraising to build a shade structure its bleachers. Helms said temperatures can get over 100 degrees in the summer and shade is a necessity for children who attend their summer camps. The local Eagle Scouts have adopted the Valley Center Tennis Club shade structure as their troop project and will donate their time to build it. However, financial assistance is needed to purchase supplies.

“This little facility draws from all around from Temecula, Murrieta and many parts of North San Diego,” Helms said. “You would be surprised how far people come to play here. We have a very friendly environment.”

For more information about the Valley Center Tennis Club, its programs, or donations for the shade structure, please contact Marla Helms at












Special thanks to Marla Helms and David Gill for contributing to this story with information and photos.

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CIF SD Championships Wrap Up an Outstanding Tennis Season Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:21:55 +0000 Read more »]]>

Elizabeth Goldsmith

Congratulations to Elizabeth Goldsmith of Olympian High School for winning the CIF San Diego Individual Singles  Championship and becoming the 2017 CIFSDS Girls’ Tennis Player of the Year! Also congratulations to Congratulations to Karen Gao & Jane Wang (Westview) for winning the Doubles Title.

Winta Woldeab

The No. 2 seeded Goldsmith defeated No. 1 seed Britney Pellouchoud from Westfview High 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 in the final. Goldsmith, ranked No. 64 nationally in the USTA Girls’ 16’s Division, also beat defeated Helix High’s Winta Woldeab. In doubles action, Gao and Wang defeated the No. 2 seeded team of Anjni Agrawal and Kiana Nguyen of Rancho Bernardo High 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

In the CIF San Diego Section Team completion winners were Torrey Pines High in the Open Division, Cathedral Catholic High won Division 1, Helix High won Division 2 and Mission Hills High won Division 3.

Special thanks go to CIF San Diego tournament directors Ron Marquez, Kevin Brown and Evi Valles for all of their hard work.  Thank you to Coach Ron Marquez who contributed greatly to this report.



Cathedral Catholic wins the CIF San Diego Section Division 1 Team Title.



CIF San Diego Section Doubles participants.

CIF San Diego Section singles participants.

San Dieguito Academy High is a team finalist in the San Diego Section Division 1 tourney.

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San Diego Collegiate Coaches Make History in the District Championships Fri, 06 Oct 2017 01:43:35 +0000 Read more »]]> It was history in the making as age and experience reigned at the 89th Annual San Diego District Championships at Balboa Tennis Club.

Veteran players and coaches Ryan Keckley and Curt Wheeler were crowned the Men’s Open Doubles Champions in a tough 32-team draw.

Keckly and Wheeler are the head men’s tennis coaches respectively at the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. Keckly, 33, has been at USD since 2015 in the head position. He had a successful undergraduate career at Notre Dame University and earned three All-Big East Tournament Team Doubles honors. Wheeler, 29, is an alumni of Point Loma Nazarene and earned NAIA All-American honors in 2009. He then served as an assistant at the school, and was later named head coach in 2014.

The stage was set for a showdown of age vs. youth. The “old” veterans defeated top NCAA recruits and recent high school graduates Ivan Thamma and David Goulak, who will both play for UC Davis this year. It was an epic battle and in the final, and it appeared youth had the edge. After splitting sets, the veteran coaches were down 1-4 in the third. They staged a surprising comeback to win the set, 6-4, match and tournament.

“This was a high quality match and they (Thamma and Goulak) were as good as it gets in doubles,” said Wheeler. “I just kept my head down and kept running. I figure that I gotta do this while I still can.”

Keckly added it was a true test to follow his own coaching advice, as he has led the USD Toreros to win the West Coast Conference Championship in his second season at the helm.
“I always tell my players that there is never a good time to panic especially when you’re down,” Keckley said. “Just get back to executing your shots and stay mentally tough. You never know what can happen and this match was living proof. This was my opportunity to walk-the-walk as well as talk-the-talk. It was a great match and I don’t think we’ll be as lucky if we face (Thamma and Goulak) again. These two are already great players and they’ll only get better.”

An additional component that contributed to the coaches’ success was the ability to communicate. This was the first time the wily veterans teamed up but they knew how to work together. “It’s all about really good and clear communication,” Keckley said. “We’re coaches and that’s what we try to teach our players.”
Support from the sidelines for Thamma and Goulak came from friend and Men’s Open Singles Champion Keegan Smith, who received a NCAA scholarship to play for UCLA this fall. “I have to cheer for the young guys,” he said with a smile. “They’re my posse.”

The San Diego District tournament had a total of 570 players compete in the event, which is an all-time high. There were 36 divisions and the event took almost 6 days to finish. The increase in participation is due to the presence of college players from USD, UC San Diego, UC Davis and San Diego State University.
“This is the first time two head coaches played together in this tournament,” said director Tony Perez. “It’s also the first time collegiate players viewed it as a pre-season warm up. There was some great tennis played here.”

Said Thamma: “I entered this because I wanted to get in some good matches before I leave for college. It definitely worked. It was also fun to see some of my friends before I go.”
The Women’s Open Singles Championship was won by No. 3 seed Kristina Breisacher, who plays for UC Davis. She defeated San Diego’s Hiromi Sasano, a USPTA Teaching Pro at Balboa Tennis Club. Sasano held a former WTA ranking of 771. The Women’s Open Doubles title was won by No 1 seeds Sasano and Sabastiani Leon. Other collegiate players and coaches in the draw were Kelly Shaffer (UCLA), Gillian Parker (UC Irvine), Ashley Chao (UCSD), Women’s Coach Jami Jones of San Diego City College. The Open Mixed Doubles was won by Wheeler and Maika Adair.

For the full tournament results, go to

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San Diego Meets The ED in Town Hall Series Fri, 29 Sep 2017 07:34:34 +0000 Read more »]]> Friends of the San Diego tennis community visited La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in September for the first in a series of meet and greet forums with Lance Lee, the new Executive Director of the Southern California Tennis Association.

In a town hall format hosted by the club’s owner and SCTA Board member, William J. Kellogg, Lee fielded questions and listened to constructive concerns from those in attendance.

Much of the conversation touched on junior tennis, and the development of young players in the greater San Diego area.

“Junior Team Tennis has a strong voice in San Diego,” Lee remarked afterwards. “There’s a desire for opportunities where the highest level kids can learn and train together. Clearly, they are proud of their tennis history in San Diego, and in what they are producing now at the junior level.”

Other topics generated from the audience included cultivation of early development camps, promotion of sportsmanship, coordinated efforts with collegiate players, and implementing tennis programs in underserved communities throughout San Diego.

“Lance was not only capable of listening, but he asked the right kinds of questions,” said USPTA Pro Josh Jorgensen, the Vice President of the City of San Diego. “It’s clear he understands our perspective and I feel he is going to do the right thing for San Diego and So Cal.”

The “Meet The E.D.” forum will move to other parts of the USTA Southern California section throughout the remainder of the year. Announcements will be made on USTA SoCal online and social media platform.

“This was a good first step,” said Lee, the former President/CEO of Legacy Youth Tennis & Education in Philadelphia, now in his first few months of leadership with SCTA after the retirement of outgoing director Bruce Hunt early this summer. “Overall it was very positive, with a lot of good ideas. Now, it’s all about the follow-up.”

Lee anticipates meeting notes to be distributed among attendees with action steps to promote advancement of programs and concepts.

“There’s a desire in San Diego to be more involved not just locally, but throughout the section,” Lee said. “We want to help them do what they do, so they are able to do it even better.”

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San Diego Junior wins prestigious USTA sportsmanship award Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:15:34 +0000 Read more »]]>

NEW YORK, NY – September 4: Timothy Sah (l) with USTA President Katrina Adams, USTA Awards Breakfast at Grand Hyatt Ballroom, New York, NY. (Photo by Michael Le Brecht II)

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced Timothy Sah of San Diego as a recipient of this year’s Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award. The highly prestigious national honor was presented at a ceremony during this year’s U.S. Open in New York.

Sah, 17, is a senior at Torrey Pines High School with a commitment to Stanford University. He has compiled an impressive array of Sportsmanship Awards throughout his junior career, most recently at the 2017 Maze Cup competition between USTA’s Northern and Southern California sections, where Sah was voted the unanimous winner by the opposing NorCal team. He earned similar accolades at the 2014 Boys’ 16s National Clay Court Championships in Florida, the the Youth Tennis San Diego Outstanding Role Model Award in 2016, and the 2016 USTA Southern California Junior Sectionals Sportsmanship Award.

Timothy Sah is described as “a talented player who has been at the top of the junior tennis field for years. While excelling competitively, he is equally notable for his display of sportsmanship… It is exceedingly rare when a player of this caliber reflects this level of humility and respect for his peers, coaches, and those he meets both on and off the court.”

The Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award, named in honor of the highly regarded former Top 10 player and United States Davis Cup captain, is presented to two junior athletes by the USTA at a ceremony in New York City during the U.S Open Grand Slam event in September. Nominations were submitted from USTA sections nationwide.

We congratulate Timmy on his achievement and thank him for his outstanding representation of Southern California tennis!

Timothy Sah Sportsmanship Awards:

2017 USTA Multicultural Diversity and Inclusion Individual Player Grant for Sectional/National Competition & Training; 2016 Boys’18s National Hard Court Championships (Kalamazoo, MI) Player of the Day Award (Days 5&6); 2014 Boys’ 16s National Clay Court Championships (Delray Beach, FL) Player of the Day Award; 2014 Boys’ 16s National Clay Court Championships (Delray Beach, FL) Sportsmanship Award; 2014 USTA Multicultural Diversity and Inclusion Individual Player Grant for National Competition; 2013 USTA Zonal Championships 14s Sportsmanship Award; 2012 Boys’ 12s National Spring Championships (Delray Beach, FL) Player of the Day Award.

Section Tournament Sportsmanship Awards:

2017 Maze Cup Team Competition, So Cal vs Nor Cal, Sportsmanship winner; 2016 USTA Southern California Junior Sectionals Sportsmanship Award/recognition; 2014 Boys’ 14s Southern California Tennis Association Sportsmanship Award; 2012 Boys’ 14s Pacific Zone Team Championships (Colorado Springs, CO) Sportsmanship Award; 2010 Boys’ 12s Southern California Tennis Association Sportsmanship Award; 2010 Boys’ 12s Pacific Zone Team Championships (Tucson, AZ) Sportsmanship Award.

District/Local Tournament Sportsmanship Awards:

San Diego Junior Player Council; 2016 Outstanding Role Model Award YTSD (Special Achievement); 2015 Youth Tennis San Diego Special Achievement Award; 2013 Youth Tennis San Diego Boys’ 14s Junior Player of the Year; 2010 Boys’ 12s Jean Kremm Youth Tennis San Diego Sportsmanship Award;

Other Awards:

2014 Varsity Tennis (Rookie of the Year, Sportsmanship Award, San Diego Individual CIF doubles Finalist, Scholar-Athlete Award, San Diego All-CIF 1st Team Selection); 2014 The National Society of High School Scholars; 2016 AP Scholar with Honor Award; 2013 President’s Award for Educational Excellence.

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Two Southern California Student-Athletes Receive USTA Foundation Scholarships Tue, 05 Sep 2017 19:10:02 +0000 Read more »]]> Two Southern California high school students were honored recently by the USTA Foundation for outstanding achievement in community service and junior tennis. The USTA Foundation, which is the national charitable division of the USTA, granted a total of 31 scholarship to deserving high school students totaling $300,000 in college scholarships. Congratulations go to Julia Ronney of Patrick Henry High and Eunice Lei of Scripps Ranch High.

Ronney, a recent Patrick Henry High graduate, received a $10,000 USTA Foundation College Education Scholarship for demonstrating excellence in community service, dedication to the sport and participation in USTA junior tennis. She was one of 20 recipients to receive this honor nationwide.

Eunice Lai is a recent graduate of Scripps Ranch High. She received the prestigious Eve Kraft Education & College Scholarship for $2,500 and will attend the UC Santa Barbara this fall.

Ronney’s accomplishments include participating in NJTL programs as a young beginner, and later, a volunteer coach at the NJTL site based out of the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego. She played USTA Junior Team Tennis for eight years, and was part of the 14s Advanced squad that won the 2014 JTT National Championship. Additionally, she was named to six USTA Zonals teams and competed in the USTA Girls’ 18s Hardcourt Championships. She received the SCTA’s Most Improved Award for 2017. Ronney will attend the University of Montana this fall .

Lai helped the Falcons reach the 2016 San Diego Section Division II Final. The Eve Kraft is honor is bestowed upon two high school seniors, one male and one female, who have excelled academically, meaningfully served their communities, played tennis in an organized program, and who reside in an economically disadvantaged community. This scholarship is named in memory of Eve Kraft of Princeton, N.J., a tennis pioneer who introduced thousands of young people to tennis, particularly in disadvantaged areas. The 2017 male recipient for this award was Julian Loera of Milwaukee, Wis.

To date, the USTA Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in college scholarships and player incentive awards to more than 1,000 middle school students and high school seniors. The 2018 scholarship application will be open in late December 2017.  For additional information about submitting a scholarship application, please email questions to More detailed information regarding USTA Foundation Scholarships can be found at

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San Diego Junior Team Tennis Kicks Off Its Season with Local Coaches Meeting Thu, 31 Aug 2017 18:53:04 +0000 Read more »]]> The San Diego Junior Team Tennis Season began with a blast of great information and support in the coaches meeting at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Conan Lorenzo, the San Diego JTT Area League Coordinator, hosted one of his twice annual meetings to keep all coaches informed on upcoming events, rules, deadlines and changes.

The JTT program has two seasons, Fall and Winter, with each lasting seven to nine weeks. Junior players ages 8 to 18 are placed in categories of 10U, 12U, 14U and 18U. Levels of play include beginner, novice, satellite, advanced and open tournament level divisions.

San Diego area offerings include teams from area clubs including but not limited to Carmel Valley, Rancho Penasquitos Tennis Center, Barnes Tennis Center, Coronado, East County, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Bay Club, Lake Murray, Surf and Turf and many more.

For more information on San Diego Junior Team Tennis, contact Conan Lorenzo, San Diego Junior Team Tennis Area League Coordinator at You may also reference our JTT website at

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Local Ballkids Support USTA Girls’ 16s and 18s Nationals in San Diego Thu, 31 Aug 2017 18:49:53 +0000 Read more »]]> Each August, the top junior players from across the country gather to compete in the USTA Girls’ 16s and 18s National Championships in San Diego.  For some local residents, however, the behind the scene action proved to be just as much fun.  A hard working and talented ballkid crew offered outstanding oncourt services for the final singles and doubles matches.  Junior volunteers ages 10 to 15 were invited to participate in the prestigious event at Barnes Tennis Center.

Ashley Kratzer of Newport Beach was the Girls’ 18s singles champion defeating Kelly Chen from Cerritos 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, in an exciting match. In the Girls’ 18s doubles final, fifth -seeded Taylor Johnson of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., captured the title with a hard-fought 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory over sixth-seeded Hailey Baptiste of Washington D.C., and Ellie Douglas of McKinney, Texas .

In Girls’ 16s action, ninth-seeded Angelica Blake of Boca Raton, Fla., used two late service breaks to win the singles title at the USTA Girls’ 16s National against friend and doubles partner Nikki Redelijk of Windermere, Fla., 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

The call for ballkid help went out to local San Diego junior programs in early summer. Many responded to the request and about two dozen made the team. The ballkid program was organized by USPTA San Diego Division President Conan Lorenzo hosted oncourt instruction at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. San Diego volunteer trainers were USPTA Elite Pro Tom O’Brien amd ballkid specialist Marcello Hernandez. Volunteer supervision was provided by ballkid parent, Stepanka Hastings, also an All-Conference standout from Grossmont College.

O’Brien and Hernandez had only five veteran ballkids in the group and the rest were first-time participants. Oncourt training included how to send and receive balls, when to rotate, where to stand, and how to  look like a “ballkid pro.”  Other key factors include understanding the ebb and flow of a tennis match as well as  providing towels to players between points.

“We were looking for junior players who could maintain their attention and focus for a good length of time,” said O’Brien, who teaches at both Balboa Tennis Club and the Lawrence Jewish Community Center. “That’s hard to do when you’re 12. It helps if the kids understood tennis. They did an outstanding job and their efforts added a professional flair to the tournament.”


Special thanks to J. Fred Sidhu, who contributed to this story.


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