Posted by Doug Chapman on Jul 08 2016 at 05:00PM PDT


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



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