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Welcome to USTA Rhode Island!

Posted by Sandra Sweet at May 4, 2019 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

USTA Rhode Island is one of seven state associations in the USTA New England section. The state association is a volunteer-run organization that provides tennis opportunities for kids and adults, and encourages people to play tennis - the sport for a lifetime.

The USTA and USTA New England are constantly striving to provide benefits for their members. New benefits are added to the section's web site as they become available.

This web site is for you, the local tennis player or fan. Please let us know what you want to see and we'll do our best to provide it.


For general information or questions email us at

For USTA Adult/Senior/Super Senior League information or questions email us at

For USTA RI Jr. Team Tennis: Summer (14&U 18&U), Winter League (14&U or 18&U), or Spring (G18U, 14U and 12&U beginner/intermediate) information or questions email us at

 USTA Rhode Island Board of Directors
2017 Meetings Schedule

February 17, at CLCF, 6:30 pm 

ANNUAL MEETING-- April 3 at CLCF 10:00 am
May 24, at CLCF 7:00 pm
June 20, at CLCF 6:30 pm
August 14, at Tennis Hall of Fame -  3:00 pm
  October 10, at CLCF - 7:00 pm
November 16, at CLCF - 6:30 pm




 Your tax-exempt Scholarship Donations for Rhode Island High School Players
are both Welcome and Appreciated!

Make Checks Payable to:
USTA Rhode Island NJTL/Judy Brucks Memorial Scholarship
Mailed to:  PO Box 462 Greenville, Rhode Island 02828




RIC senior Campanelli to receive USTA Rhode Island’s second Jill Craybas Award; Roger Williams senior Laboissonniere senior earns second Andy Chase/Gordie Ernst Award from the USTA state association.

NEWPORT, RI – Rhode Island College senior captain Sadie Campanella and Roger Williams University senior captain Eric Laboissonniere have been named USTA Rhode Island’s College Tennis Players of the Year, for the 2015-16 school year.  Campanella, from Chepachet, RI, is receiving the second Jill Craybas Award, as the Ocean State’s female college player of the year. Laboissonniere, from Cumberland, RI, is the second recipient of the Andy Chase/Gordie Ernst Award as the state’s top male college player.

The awards will be presented during USTA New England's on-court awards ceremony at the Tennis Hall of Fame Championships, Tuesday, July 12 in Newport.  The awards are presented by USTA Rhode Island to the male and the female college players of the year who are from the Ocean State, but not necessarily playing at a Rhode Island school.

These two awards are in line with our mission statement of promoting the growth and development of tennis in the state, including college tennis,” said Douglas Chapman, USTA Rhode Island’s president and CEO. “We named the awards after Rhode Island’s most successful college players of the past, and we are pleased that Jill Craybas, Andy Chase and Gordie Ernst agreed to put their names to what is a prestigious honor.  And we have two outstanding recipients again this year.”  

JILL CRAYBAS AWARD – Sadie Campanelli captained RIC to an unbeaten Little East Conference regular season title. She was named First Team All-Little East in both singles and doubles for the second consecutive year. She was unbeaten in league play (8-0) at No.2 singles and was 7-1 at No. 1 doubles. Campanella was 12-3 in both singles and doubles, finishing with a 24-6 overall record.

Campanella wrapped up her Anchorwomen career with a 41-19 career singles record and a 41-20 career doubles record, placing seventh all-time in school history in singles and tied for eighth in doubles. She played No. 1 singles during her first three college seasons and was the LEC Rookie of the Year in 2012.

She was an All-State and All-Division selection while playing at Ponaganset High School. A LEC Academic All-Star for tennis, she is an English major with a minor in communications. Sadie is the daughter of Bethany and Robert Campanella of Chepachet.

ANDY CHASE/GORDIE ERNST AWARD – RWU's Eric Laboissonniere was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference's Player of the Year and he captained the Hawks to TCCC regular season title and a berth in the playoff final. He was 7-1 at No. 1 singles in league play and 11-6 overall, plus 12-5 in doubles.

Laboissonniere was a CCC First Team all-star in singles and Second Team in all-star in doubles during his sophomore and junior years. As a freshman,he was unbeaten in CCC play and led the team with 18 wins in doubles.

At Cumberland High School, he was twice selected to the All-State First Team and three times to the All-Division team. A CCC Academic All-Star for tennis and a communications major, he is the son of Arlene and the late Jerry Laboissonniere of Cumberland.


JILL CRAYBAS – A native of East Greenwich, Craybas is the most successful tennis player in Rhode Island history. She was a RIISL high school state singles champion for the Lincoln School and captured the 1996 NCAA singles championship for the University of Florida, when she was the National College Player of the Year. She is the only player in NCAA history to be a member of Division I championship teams at two different schools (Texas and Florida). A two-time SEC Player of the Year, she finished her college career with a 124-18 record.  A Florida Gator Hall of Famer, she played nearly 20 years on the WTA Tour. She won the 2002 Japan Open and five doubles titles on the main tour. She was ranked as high as #3 in the US and #41 in the world.  A regular for the US Fed Cup team. Her most notable result came at Wimbledon in 2005, where she defeated Serena Williams and Marion Bartoli. 

ANDY CHASE – A native of Cumberland, Chase was the US National 16 & Under Hardcourt Singles Champion and a two-time national junior doubles champion. He won two RIILS state singles championships and team championship for Cumberland.  He went on to play at Stanford University, where he was a teammate of John McEnroe. The Cardinal won three NCAA Division I team championships during his four years in Palo Alto.

GORDIE ERNST – A native of Cranston, Ernst won four RIISL state singles championship and four doubles championships (three at Cranston East and one at Hendricken), including three with his brother, Bobby Ernst. He was 97-0 in his high school singles career. Ernst was a two-sport athlete at Brown University, was a NHL draft choice and briefly played on the pro tennis tour. Ernst is the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Georgetown University, having previously coached at Penn and Northwestern. Among his current pupils are President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia.


2015-16 – Sadie Campanelli (Chepachet), Rhode Island College

2014-15 – Rebecca Curran (Rumford), Williams College


2015-16 – Eric Laboissonniere (Cumberland), Roger Williams University

2014-15 – Matt Kuhar (Smithfield), Bryant University




Presented by Brown University

Endorsed by Rhode Island Interscholastic League

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

  4:00-6:30 p.m., Brown University


3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Check-in - Coaches should be pre-registered by March 4 to be guaranteed a clinic shirt.

The clinic is FREE, and open to high school & middle school coaches, and anyone interested in coaching tennis.

Email name, shirt size, address, phone and school to John Jasionowski at

4:00 p.m. - Brown University tennis team practice will be a clinic geared towards the coaches, including warm ups and drills by the Bears' Head Women’s Coach Paul Wardlaw and Men's Head Coach Brian Koniecko.

The clinic will include a session on the “Wardlaw Directionals,” a method of High Percentage Tennis of when and where to hit the ball during rallies.

Clinic attendees to should watch an introduction to the Directionals before attending the clinic at

To Register, Contact John Jasionowski at

USTA New England Celebrates 2015 Awards Winners at Luncheon

2015 USTA New England award winners were celebrated on January 9 in Marlborough, MA.


By James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator

MARLBOROUGH, MA- USTA New England celebrated its 2015 award winners on Saturday, January 9 at a beautiful luncheon at the Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough, MA. Nearly 160 award winners, family members, friends, board members and staff enjoyed a three-course meal and raffle drawings that included a pair of US Open tickets.

WBZ-TV news anchor and guest emcee Chris McKinnon entertained the crowd with his charming personality and subtle tennis humor while USTA New England President and CEO Scott Steinberg was on hand to honor the winners.

“Our award winners exemplify the very best of tennis in New England, and we are so proud of each of their remarkable efforts on and of the court in 2015,” Steinberg said.

“It was our pleasure to celebrate these wonderful people at our annual Awards Ceremony. To have so many family members and friends supporting in attendance truly shows what tremendous people they are outside the tennis world as well. These are the people who continuously carry out our mission, ‘To Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis.’”

USTA New England presented 33 awards to junior and adult players, coaches, contributors and organizations and also recognized 74 volunteers for their outstanding long-term service, ranging from 5 to 50 years.

Peter Francesconi, editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine, also presented three of the magazine’s national “Champions of Tennis” awards to deserving New Englanders.

Among the award winners in attendance was Avis R. Murray, of Gloucester, MA, who was honored with the Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award. The award is given to an individual who has made outstanding lifetime contributions to tennis in New England and is the highest honor an individual can receive from USTA New England.

“Having looked over the list of individuals who’ve received this prestigious award from 1953 on, I feel honored and humbled, as so many of them are mentors and people I’ve looked up to and are wonderful role models, so to receive this prestigious award meant a lot to me and made me emotional,” Murray said following the ceremony.  

Murray has been teaching tennis for 44 years and has served on numerous USTA and USPTA boards and committees. She is a member of both the USTA New England Hall of Fame and the Gloucester High School Athletic Hall of Fame and had the courts at Manchester Athletic Club named after her for her years of service.

“It’s just refreshing to be here with all these wonderful people that contribute so much to the game and the growth of tennis in new England and all over the world,” Murray added.

The Panarese Family, from Milton, MA, was honored as the Edwin Goodman Family of the Year. The award is given to the USTA New England family that, as a group, has contributed the most to tennis in New England.

USTA New England recognized Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center as the Organization of the Year. Sportsmen’s is located in Dorchester, MA and is one of the most decorated clubs in New England for its tireless work in the Boston community. The club offers free and low-cost programs and access to its facilities on a regular basis, works thoroughly with the Boston Public Schools and their tennis programs, and most importantly, serves as a home for children to enjoy a safe, healthy and enjoyable environment.

Julia Nojeim, of Marion, MA, was one of eight Junior Sportsmanship Award winners. Nojeim took home the Girls 18 and Under award for her positive attitude on the court, constant respect for opponents and impeccable character.

“It was a huge honor and very humbling for sure, and it’s nice to celebrate with so many other great award winners and to see the many opportunities, from volunteering to setting up local programs, that USTA New England has to offer,” Nojeim said. “It came as a big surprise to me because I don’t really think about acting differently on the court, so it’s a true honor to be recognized for being yourself.”

Todd Martin, a former World No. 4 ranked player and current CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, handed out the Junior Sportsmanship Awards. Martin was also the winner of the 1993 and 1994 ATP World Tour Sportsmanship Awards.

Girls 18 and Under Sportsmanship Award winner Julia Nojeim is pictured with Todd Martin (left) and Scott Steinberg (right).

Other Junior Sportsmanship Award winners included: Prem Dave, Boys 12 and Under (Norwalk, CT); Ashleigh Parlman, Girls 12 and Under (Acton, MA); Derek Shen, Boys 14 and Under (Chestnut Hill, MA); Sarah Campbell, Girls 14 and Under (Sudbury, MA); Aaron Pezzullo, Boys 16 and Under (Woodbury, CT); Sydney Weinberg, Girls 16 and Under (Winchester, MA); and Benjamin Lebowitz, Boys 18 and Under (Boston, MA).

Art Goldblatt of Norwalk, CT, won the William Freedman Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of junior tennis throughout his career. Goldblatt created Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, an organization committed to providing children with opportunities to learn and play the game of tennis.

Michelle Brown, of Acton, MA and Bill Romond, of Colchester, VT, took home the League Captain of the Year awards for exemplary leadership, sportsmanship and enthusiasm to their teams and to the USTA League program.

John Austin was honored as the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) Pro of the Year, an award given to a professional who has given back to the PTR in a tremendous way. John is the Director of Tennis at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, a passionate tennis player and coach and a former No. 40 ranked player in the world.   

Seven outstanding individuals were also recognized as their State Association’s Volunteer of the Year for their constant dedication to growing the game of tennis in their local communities. The award recipients are: John Salemme, Eastern Massachusetts (Brant Rock); Melissa Baron, Western Massachusetts (Lenox); Steven Cutone, Maine (Kennebunkport); Bob Ronstadt, New Hampshire (Gilmanton); Vidith Huot, Rhode Island (Providence); Chris Hadjimichael, Connecticut (West Haven); and Kenneth Schoen, Vermont (Lincoln).

Peter Francesconi presented three worthy recipients with Tennis Industry magazine’s national awards. The winners included: David Colby, Manchester, MA (Youth Tennis Provider of the Year), Phil Parrish, Wayland, MA (Junior Tennis Champion of the Year) and Peter Igo Park, Marshfield MA (Public Park of the Year).

“We gave out 21 total awards nationally and three were from the New England section, so what a tremendous accomplishment for the section,” Francesconi said.

The award winners are as follows:

Connecticut Volunteer of the Year: Chris Hadjimichael (West Haven, CT)

Eastern Massachusetts Volunteer of the Year: John Salamme (Brant Rock, MA)

Maine Volunteer of the Year: Dr. Steven R. Cutone (Kennebunkport, ME)

New Hampshire Volunteer of the Year: Bob Ronstadt (Gilmanton, NH)

Rhode Island Volunteer of the Year: Vidith Huot (Providence, RI)

Vermont Volunteer of the Year: Kenneth Schoen (Lincoln, VT)

Western Massachusetts Volunteer of the Year: Melissa Baron (Lenox, MA)

Boys 12 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Prem Dave (Norwalk, CT)

Girls 12 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Ashleigh Parlman (Acton, MA)

Boys 14 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Derek Shen (Chestnut Hill, MA)

Girls 14 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Sarah Campbell (Sudbury, MA)

Boys 16 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Aaron Pezzullo (Woodbury, CT)

Girls 16 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Sydney Weinberg (Winchester, MA)

Boys 18 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Benjamin Lebowitz (Boston, MA)

Girls 18 and Under Junior Sportsmanship Award: Julia Nojeim (Marion, MA)

William Freedman Award: Art Goldblatt (Norwalk, CT)

Junior Tournament of the Year: All Seasons-Concord Academy 16, 18 L7 (Marlborough, MA)

Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year: Jim Maitland (Ellington, CT)

Starfish Award (High School Coach): Douglas Chapman (Somerset, MA)

Community Tennis Association of the Year: Marshfield Tennis Club (Marshfield, MA)

NJTL Chapter of the Year: Springfield NJTL (Springfield, MA)

Edwin Goodman Family of the Year: Panarese Family (Milton, MA)

Organization of the Year: Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center (Dorchester, MA)

Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award: Avis R. Murray (Gloucester, MA)

Adult Sportsmanship Award: Shannon Vanderhooft (Lexington, MA)

USTA League Coordinator of the Year: Lynda Vankleeck (Colchester, VT)

USTA League Female Captain of the Year: Michelle Brown (Acton, MA)

USTA League Male Captain of the Year: Bill Romond (Colchester, VT)

Joseph Deitz Bowl (USPTA Award): Chris Stevens (Eliot, ME)

PTR New England Professional of the Year: John Austin (Newport, RI)

Official of the Year: Cynthia Borghesani (Gloucester, MA)

Special Recognition Awards:

Wheelchair Tennis Player of the Year: David Kelly (Bristol, CT)

Special Tennis Event of the Year: Boston Tennis Classic hosted by Tennis4All (Cambridge, MA)

Tennis Industry Magazine ‘Champions of Tennis’ Awards:

Youth Tennis Provider of the Year: David Colby (Manchester, MA)

Junior Tennis Champion of the Year: Phil Parrish (Wayland, MA)

Public Park of the Year: Peter Igo Park (Marshfield, MA)

Volunteer Service Awards:

5 years of volunteer service:

Kathy Barsczewski, Bara Blender, Richard Bramante, Nina Bramhall, Winnie Collins, Don Dalonzo, Bob Dean, Mike Flannery, Peter Francesconi, Celeste Frey, Miguel Garcia, Alan Jordan, Stephanie Jurgensen, David Kelly, Siva Kumar, Kimberly Kump, Mary Lafreniere, Jim Maitland, Hilary McCarthy, Tracy McEvoy, Beth Melina, Kim Mihan, Bev Oliver, Jon Parry, Jennifer Riley, Robb Schachter, Jim Solomon, Sylvia Swartz,  Marie Tai, Liz Veilleux, Marj White, Toni Wiley, Monica Wojcik, Glenn Wong.

10 years:

Rich Bisk, David Champoux, John DeFilippo, Anne Dentino, June Donovan, Kim Francis, Sally Glanz, Wayne Harrell, Nancy Hultgren, Anita Levine, Allen Levine, Pat Maeder, Ira Mayo, Carol Melargno, Dorcas Miller, Jay Orduz, Marvin Sears, Candy Weiner.

15 years:

Barbara Aichinger, Tracy Breton, Michael Gorman, Ken Miller, Karen O’Sullivan, Peter Parrotta, Jim Roberts, Maureen Schofield, Brenda Sharton

20 years:

Kenyon Clark, Alan Dyl, Gary Faltin, Melissa Salmon

25 years:                         

Bunnie Lahey

30 Years:

Paul Brower, Diane Cortese, Tom Larkin , Devi Maganti, Rick Sharton

35 years:

Wayne St. Peter

45 Years:

Leo Power

50 years:

Richard Ernst


John Austin Named PTR Rhode Island Member of the Year

Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) will present its annual awards during the 2016 PTR International Tennis Symposium.  The event, which includes more than 40 educational presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, will be held February 17-20 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

John Austin, of Newport, Rhode Island, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  This award is presented to a PTR member who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR.

A Professional in four of the PTR Education Pathways, Austin is busily developing junior development pathways as Director of Tennis on the 13 manicured grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  A former pro player, in 1980, Austin and his sister Tracy won the Mixed Doubles Title at Wimbledon.  He retired from playing on the tour in 1984, and began his career as a teaching professional.  He has worked with Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Alexandra Stevenson and others as a tour coach, before joining the staff at the Hall of Fame.

Austin is a member of the USTA Rhode Island Board of Directors and wasnamed the 2015 New England PTR Pro of the Year.

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 15,000 members in 125 countries.  It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization.  PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.