• 10 and Under Tennis is Here to Stay

    Click on the following link to learn more about the Quick Start Tennis format in 1o and Under Tennis.
    Be sure to check out the video


  • 2010 Sun All-Area Girls Tennis Team and Coach of the Year

    By Cliff Olsen


    First team

    Lindsey Cable, P.K. Yonge, senior: The Sun’s three-time player of the year finished with a 14-1 mark, claimed the District 4-1A title at No. 1 singles and led the Blue Wave back to the Class 1A state tourney for the first time since 1994.

    Jazz Whittaker, P.K. Yonge, freshman: Posted a 13-4 record, claimed the District 4-1A crown at No. 2 singles; captured the Class 1A state title at No. 2 doubles with Kiah Turner, was Class 1A state runner up at No. 2 singles.

    Leandra Neal, Columbia, senior: Was 13-2 at No. 1 singles and won the District 4-3A title while leading the Tigers to the team title and to the Class 3A state tourney for the first time since 1992.

    Sierra Solaun, Buchholz, senior: Ended with a 5-4 record at No. 1 and No. 2 singles; won District 1-4A title at No. 1 singles to qualify for the Class 4A state tournament.

    Sydnie Sine, Suwannee, senior: The Hillsborough CC signee posted a 14-3 mark at No. 1 singles, won the District 2-2A title and advanced to the semifinals at the Class 2A state tourney.

    Kiah Turner, P.K. Yonge, eighth-grader: Finished 13-3 and won the District 4-1A title at No. 3 singles; captured the Class 1A state title at No. 2 doubles with Jazz Whittaker.

    Second team

    Keely Dahl, Buchholz, senior: Posted a 6-3 record to win the District 1-4A title at No. 3 singles and helped the Bobcats to the team title.

    Zhoe Solaun, Buchholz, junior: Finished with a 6-5 mark splitting time at No. 1 and No. 2 singles for the district champion Bobcats.

    Katherine Haney, Suwannee, senior: Was 12-2 at No. 2 singles for the District 2-2A champion Bulldogs; reached the Class 2A state tournament with Sine at No. 1 doubles.

    Chrissie Reichert, Columbia, sophomore: Turned in a 15-1 mark at No. 2 singles and won the District 4-3A title; helped the Tigers get back to the Class 3A state tournament.

    Zari Whittaker, P.K. Yonge, junior: Turned in a 13-2 record, won District 4-1A title at No. 4 singles and helped the Blue Wave back to the Class 1A state finals.

    Susy Romero, Columbia, junior: Won the District 4-3A crown at No. 3 singles, helped the Tigers return to the Class 3A state tourney since 1992, ended with a 16-1 record.

    Honorable mention: Grace Dennison, Bradford, senior; Karen Li, Eastside, junior; Toni Veltcheva, Eastside, freshman; Kelly Calder, Gainesville, senior; Callie Lajza, Gainesville, sophomore; Sarah Lima, Gainesville, freshman; Justine Myers, Gainesville, sophomore; Zahara Chowdhury, Oak Hall, freshman; Alexis Mast, Oak Hall, eighth-grader; Kristi Muldoon, Oak Hall, junior; Shelby Ptacek, P.K. Yonge, senior; Lindsey Garland, Suwannee, sophomore; Ashton Bracewell, Suwannee, junior.

    Coach of the Year: Robert Taylor, P.K. Yonge

    In his first season at P.K. Yonge, he guided the Blue Wave to a 10-1 record and to their third straight district championship and also steered P.K. Yonge back to the FHSAA Class 1A state tournament for the first time since 1994. At the state tournament held at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry, the Blue Wave finished fourth in the state out of the eight-team field. Highlighting P.K. Yonge’s trip to state was its No. 2 doubles team of Jazz Whittaker and Kiah Turner, who went onto capture a state championship. Jazz Whittaker also finished as state runner up at No. 2 singles. Columbia coach Tabatha McMahon, who guided the Tigers to their first district title and then to their first state tournament appearance since 1992 was a finalist for this award.

    Note: The Gainesville Sun all-area teams, player of the year and coach of the year were selected by Cliff Olsen with help from area coaches. If a team is not represented, it is because the coach did not respond to a fax sent to the school requesting information and numerous reminders in the newspaper.

  • 2010 Sun All-Area Boys Tennis Teams and Coach of the Year

    From the Gainesville Sun, By Cliff Olsen Correspondent 6/10


    First team:

    Cole Fiegel, Gainesville, freshman: Finished 15-3 for district runner-up Hurricanes; won district title at No. 1 singles to qualify for the Class 3A state finals.

    Erik Vincek, Buchholz, sophomore: Posted an 8-4 record for district champion Bobcats; claimed district crown at No. 1 singles and won a first-round match at the Class 4A state finals.

    Jordan Goldberg, Eastside, senior: Was 14-3 at first singles at No. 1 singles for District 4-3A champion Rams, who reached the Class 3A state finals for the first time since 2003.

    Zach Goldberg, Eastside, freshman: Turned in 17-1 record at No. 2 singles as Rams captured their first district title since 2003.

    Casey Austgen, Buchholz, freshman: Was 8-3 and won the District 1-4A title at No. 2 singles for the Bobcats.

    Justin Garland, Suwannee, senior: Turned in a 9-4 record at No. 1 singles for the Bulldogs; won district tournament to qualify for the Class 2A state finals.

    Second team

    Frazier Springfield, Eastside, sophomore: Won the District 4-3A title at No. 3 singles; ended with a 11-3 record.

    Tyler Werbel, Oak Hall, junior: Was 3-6 at No. 1 singles for District 4-1A champion Eagles; finished as district runner-up.

    Alex Soucek, Buchholz, senior: Turned in a 9-2 record at No. 4 singles; played with Vincek at No. 1 doubles and reached the finals of the Class 4A state tournament.

    Justin Zambelli, Gainesville, sophomore: Posted a 9-2 record at No. 4 singles for the district runner-up Hurricanes.

    Jesse Gordon, Gainesville, junior: Ended with a 12-5 record at No. 2 single for the district runner-up Hurricanes.

    Tim Louthan, Eastside, junior: Finished 13-2 and captured the District 4-3A title at No. 4 singles for the Rams.

    Honorable mention: Alex Vlasak, Buchholz, sophomore; Matt Baranyk, Buchholz, senior; Anthony Broome, Columbia, junior; Shyam Patel, Columbia, junior; Tony Louthan, Eastside, junior; Wes Bryant, Gainesville, senior; Zach Thibault, Oak Hall, junior; Alvin Wang, Oak Hall, senior; Marshall Boggus, Suwannee, senior; T.J. Vickers, Suwannee, senior.

    Coach of the Year: Mike Scott, Eastside

    He guided the Rams to a perfect 13-0 mark in dual matches, which included the first undefeated regular season in his 11 years as coach at Eastside. Scott also steered the Rams to the District 4-3A title, in which they claimed six of the seven positions to easily win the tournament. Eastside also returned to the FHSAA Class 3A state tournament for the first time since 2003, where they placed fifth out of the eight-team field.

    Note: The Gainesville Sun all-area teams, player of the year and coach of the year were selected by Cliff Olsen with help from area coaches. If a team is not represented, it is because the coach did not respond to a fax sent to the school requesting information and numerous reminders in the newspaper.

  • GACTA Community Tennis Programming

    SE Boys and Girls Club Tennis (2008)

    In 2008, GACTA launched a new tennis program at the McPherson Recreation Center (1717 SE 15th Street) for members of the SE Boys & Girls Club. Sessions were held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., from February to end of April. We also expanded the program to the Woodlawn Unit of the Boys & Girls Club (located at 331 SE 20th Place, about one mile west of McPherson), with sessions on their outdoor basketball courts from 3 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the same days. We purchased some junior racquets for this program, and obtained some donated racquets and tennis balls. There were over 30 participants at McPherson, with an additional 20 participants at the Woodland Unit. Our volunteers had a wonderful time with this terrific bunch of kids. A big thank you goes to all our volunteers: John Bennett, Darla Chmiel, Ron Chmiel, Alice Criner, Sandy LeVeen, Marie Mayer, Bobbie Mehan, Bonnie O’Brien, Mike Oransky, Christine Shurtleff, Libby Smith, and Mike Weiss.

    SE Boys and Girls Club Tennis

    Extended Day Tennis Program in Alachua County Elementary Schools (2009-2011)

    The Extended Day Enrichment Tennis Program was initially funded as a pilot project by GACTA, and was begun in three local elementary schools during the spring of 2009. It was designed to test the theory that if qualified tennis teachers are paid to actually teach the after-school programs, rather than rely on school personnel to do this, the program will be far more successful in introducing young children to tennis. The tennis teacher would be in a better position to recruit the most interested students into additional tennis activities, such as Junior Team Tennis. Three area schools participated in the program during the spring semester, and the students and after school personnel uniformly raved about its value.

    A USTA Recreational Tennis grant was awarded to GACTA during the summer of 2009, to expand the EDEP tennis program from three to ten elementary schools during the 2009-2010 school year.

    EDEP Tennis Program at Rawlings

    For the 2010-2011 school year, GACTA received a USTA Florida Share the Love grant to continue our EDEP tennis program. Also this year, the Alachua County Choices program signed on as a partner, to encourage children to participate in tennis as a healthy lifestyle choice. The county’s participation has allowed the after school tennis program to expand to almost all the elementary schools in the county, serving around 300 children.

    Sadly, CHOICES pulled their funding of the program at the last minute, so this program did not continue through the 2011-2012 school year.

    Junior Competitive Tennis Mentoring (2009-2010)

    This pilot program received initial funding from The GACTA, and was begun June, 2009. The program consisted of a “pay it back” system in which each junior player was assigned a mentee and a mentor. In return for weekly hitting sessions with his/her mentee, the player was entitled to a free session with his/her mentor, usually a college player or coach, who was reimbursed for their time by the program. The mentoring program received excellent reviews from the participants, parents, and coaches. As tennis tends to be an individual sport, we felt there was a need for junior competitive tennis players to be encouraged to become a part of the tennis community as a whole. Encouraging sportsmanship and good court behavior are important in the development of the junior player, and they can benefit greatly from being placed in the position of being responsible and a role model to younger, less-experienced kids. In addition, the mentee can benefit greatly by receiving affordable hitting time with a more experienced player.

    Adaptive Tennis (2010-2011)

    Free adaptive tennis open houses have been offered at Jonesville Tennis Center since spring, 2010. They are open to children of all ages and all abilities. A Share the Love grant from USTA Florida and volunteers from the tennis community (thank you Cribb family and Johnny Johnston!) and UF have allowed this valuable program to continue.

    Adaptive Tennis Open House at JTC

    Tennis and Tutoring

    With the opening of the Jonesville Tennis Center, we have an opportunity to reach out to the children of our community in great need of productive after-school activities. Although there is a common perception that the residents of Jonesville and the area west of I-75 in general are affluent and therefore not in need of subsidized after-school programming for their children, this is simply not true. There is a significant population of disadvantaged children who definitely need help. With this program, not only can we introduce tennis to a group of children who might not be familiar with it, we can provide an environment where they can receive help with their school work as well.

  • Gainesville 3.5 Senior Women Second at USTA League Nationals

    Exerpted from:


    The women’s 3.5 USTA League senior squad from Gainesville finished second at the 2010 USTA League 3.5 Senior National Champions, held Oct. 8-10, 2010 in Indian Wells, Calif.

    Representing USTA Florida as the section’s league champion, Gainesville defeated the USTA Midwest Section (the team from Naperville, Ill.) 3-0, but were edged 2-1 in the final by the USTA Northern California Section, represented by the squad from Lake Tahoe, Nev.

    Playing out of the D.B. Racquet Club in Gainesville, the team was comprised of captain Rebecca Bates, Lisette Staal, Dina Treloar, Ivette Ramos, Janet Ellard, Terry Lynn West, Patricia Chonin, Jacqueline Ferber, Shirley Clark, Lisa Clary, Jane Ryals, Kim Greer, Cindy Austgen, and Joyce Carter.

  • QuickStart Tennis Notes: Bobbie Mehan

    After a successful summer season, Bobbie Mehan organized a QuickStart Tennis league for the fall. QuickStart Tennis is a form of tennis in which smaller rackets and nets are used on smaller courts. This format makes it easier for young kids to be successful at tennis and to start playing matches at an earlier age.

    Match play for 8 yrs and Under (boys and girls) began in late September. Matches are played SUNDAYS at 4:00. For more information on QuickStart Tennis, go to http://consumers.quickstarttennis.com or www.10andundertennis.com

    Quick Start Tournaments

    The first USTA-sanctioned Quick Start tournaments in the area were held at the Jonesville Tennis Center on May 20th , June 24th, and September 19th. Each tournament had approximately 20 participants and almost an equal number of volunteers, to insure that the matches ran smoothly. Players came from as far away as Tarpon Springs, St. Augustine, and Belleview.

    Players can register at Tennislink at www.usta.com.

    Please contact Bobbie Mehan if you have any questions or would like to sign your child up for a Quick Start league or clinic @ curlym1@nullaol.com.

  • Results from the Adult USTA Season (Spring 2010

    The 2010 USTA Florida Adult League North Central Region Championships were held on July 9-11, 2010 at Daytona Beach, Florida Tennis Center. Congratulations to all the teams that participated, as Gainesville was very well represented. Both the 4.5 Men and Women Gainesville teams, captained respectively by Roy Cribb and Debby Bowers, won their divisions, and went on to the Sectional event August 13th-15th, 2010. Finalist teams included Kathy Outman’s 3.5 Women’s team, Lynn Godwin’s 4.0 Women’s team, and Gabriel Ghita’s 3.5 Men’s team. Congratulations to all!

  • Adult USTA League Information

    Here in Alachua County, Florida, our USTA Leagues operate all twelve months as follows:  Senior (age 50+) and Super Senior (age 60+) in January/February,  Adult League (age 18+) March-May, Adult Mixed Doubles and Senior Mixed Doubles (age 50+) June-August, Adult and Senior Combo September-December.  In order to play USTA League Tennis, you must be a USTA member ($42 single; $68 family).  The fee for each league is $18.

    Most USTA matches are scheduled on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.  None of the facilities (except the new Jonesville public facility) will allow us to schedule evenings during the week as that is considered prime time for members and lessons.

    For information regarding USTA League Play, contact the following Local League Coordinators:

    Adult League:  Ben and Libby Smith 352-871-5886; benandlibby@nullcox.net

    Senior and Senior Mixed: Ed Austin 352-514-6733; eaustin@nullwindstream.net

    Super Seniors: Christine Shurtleff  352-336-7508; cs4tennis@nullaol.com

    Adult Mixed: Ed Austin: 352-514-6733: eaustin@nullwindstream.net

    Combo Adult and Combo Senior: Jeanette Parker 386-462-5112; joggparker@nullaol.com

    Facilities are as follows:

    DB Racquet Club: 352-377-9580; 8 clay and 2 hard courts; www.dbtennis.com.

    300 Club: 352-378-2989; 7 clay and 2 hard courts. http://www.300clubswimandtennis.org/

    Gainesville Golf & Country Club: 352-373-4806; 4 clay and 2 hard courts. www.gainesvillegolf.cc

    Haile Plantation: 331-5708; 5 clay courts (one location) and 4 hard courts (at golf club and pool). http://www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/Haile-Plantation-Golf-Country-Club

    Westside Recreation Center (public courts): 352-376-8250; 8 hard courts; www.gainesvilletennisacademy.com.

    Jonesville Tennis Center (public courts): 14 clay courts/one beach tennis court .  Telephone 331-9558 and  www.jonesvilletennis.com.

    All of the above facilities are in the NW area of Gainesville, except Gainesville Golf & Country Club and Haile Plantation, which are located in SW Gainesville, and Jonesville Tennis Center which is west of I-75, halfway between Gainesville and Newberry.

    There are three other city public court facilities, each with 4 hard courts, no court monitors.

    If you do not know your rating, and you do not plan to join one of the local clubs, I would suggest you contact Mike Oransky or Robert Taylor at Westside Park.  Both of them are normally there late afternoon and early evening.  They will be able to help you determine your level of play so that we can connect you with a team at your level.

    There are also numerous tennis teaching pros at the new Jonesville facility who could help you determine your level of play.  The center is open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.

    To determine your level of play, it would be useful to sign up for a clinic at Westside Park or Jonesville Tennis Center, and mention to the pro in charge that you are trying to determine your playing level.

  • Local Award Winners at USTA Florida Annual Meeting

    Alachua County tennis was very well represented at the recent 2010 USTA Florida Annual Awards, which were presented during the 61st annual USTA Florida Annual Meeting and Volunteer Weekend, held on Dec. 3-5, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando. Jonesville Tennis Center received the prestigious Member Organization of the Year Award, and Linda Green won Jr. Team Tennis Local League Coordinator of the Year. The individuals and organizations were honored during the Saturday awards luncheon presentation, and the Sunday “Breakfast with the Stars”.

    REPRINTED FROM:http://www.florida.usta.com/usta_florida_61st_annual_awards_presentation_highlights_tennis_standouts111/

    USTA Florida 61st Annual Awards Presentation Highlights Tennis Standouts


    Jonesville Tennis Center in Gainesville
    (Accepting the award, David Porter)
    “Overnight Sensation”

    Much like an actor or singer who vaults from obscurity to superstardom in a relatively short period of time, the Jonesville Tennis Center (JTC) exceeded all expectations since opening in April 2009 as a result of a multi-year community effort that resulted in over $500,000 in donations and in-kind contributions.

    An American Sports Builder Association award winner for Outstanding Facility in the Outdoor Tennis category, the JTC was built to alleviate the overuse of other facilities as well as to grow the game of tennis in the Alachua County area. During its brief existence, the facility has already hosted numerous USTA league teams and multiple USTA junior tournaments as well as helped promote and facilitate USTA Jr. Team Tennis and the USTA QuickStart program.

    In terms of league play, the Jonesville Tennis Center has been a significant supporter, which is evidenced by the fact that in 2010 alone the facility hosted 17 adult league teams, 10 senior league teams, 5 super senior league teams, 12 adult mixed doubles teams, 5 senior mixed doubles teams, 16 combo adult teams, and 2 combo senior teams.


    Linda Green of Gainesville
    “High Hopes”

    According to those who know Linda Green, who serves as area league coordinator of the Gainesville USTA Jr. Team Tennis League, she has done an outstanding job of growing the program thanks to her singular dedication, heart, endurance, skills, and diplomacy. In addition to caring about each child, she works closely with the parents and coaches to ensure that each team has an enjoyably competitive experience at the local level.

    Since taking over the league in the summer of 2006, which was on a hiatus for several years, she has increased participation figures each year. In the fall of 2009, there were 175 players comprising 21 teams; in the spring of 2010, that number swelled to 230 players comprising 24 teams. Additionally, teams from the Gainesville league have attended numerous sectional tournaments over the past several years and experienced great success.

    As if her volunteer agenda wasn’t busy enough, Linda also serves as president of the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, which provided funding for a pilot program introducing the 10-and-under QuickStart play format at three local elementary schools during the fall of 2009. The program’s success was demonstrated this year (2010-2011) when Quick Start tennis was introduced in almost all the Alachua County elementary schools’ after-school programs. Regardless of the situation, Linda Green maintains decorum and a level-headedness that ensures a solid solution to each crisis, resulting in a boost for junior tennis in Gainesville and the 2010 USTA Jr. Team Tennis Local League Coordinator of the Year award.

  • Caleb’s Pitch Charity Tennis Tournament

    Caleb’s Pitch, Inc. is a 501c3 (non-profit) organization in Gainesville, Florida dedicated to providing support and enjoyable experiences for children receiving care for life-threatening medical conditions. The majority of these experiences involve patients and their families interacting with various athletic teams at the University of Florida. Other experiences include providing children with the opportunity to create paintings through syringe art. Caleb’s Pitch also provides meals and other services to the Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville.

    The next Caleb’s Pitch Tennis Tournament is scheduled for January 7-9, 2011 at the Jonesville Tennis Center. This date has been chosen to work around the FTL schedule as well as USTA sectionals for combo leagues.

    For more information on the tournament, and to register, see: