Adult League Info
in this issue
TREY HUELSKAMP WINS #1 5A SINGLES
The Oklahoman's All-City Boys Tennis Player of the Year
| ISSUE no 7
USTA OKLAHOMA TENNIS MAGAZINE
OK Executive Director
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Switzer Granddaughter Making Her Mark
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Junior Team Tennis
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USTA Oklahoma Foundation
Nominate for 2018 Awards
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Mary Jo Tasker
Tara Gidus Collingwood
Dr. Larry Lauer
USTA Player Development
2420 Westwport Dr.
Norman, OK 73069
High School STATE
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Love God, Make Friends, Play Tennis
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By: Steve Porter
"What started with 12-14 kids soon grew to 20, then 30, then 50...it was crazy fun."
First, a little information about the BCCTA. In 2011, Pastor Mike Hays, Steve Porter, Jessica Reineke, Rob Braver and Brad Lund had an idea...to introduce children in our church and in our neighborhood of Britton and Western in Oklahoma City the game of tennis through a faith based environment. We started first with Sunday Club Tennis where youth from the ages of 5-18 can attend. Volunteer coaches allow us to break up into age appropriate groups and we began by simply introducing kids to tennis, many of whom may have never had the opportunity to learn the game, and having fun. At each Sunday Club session we present “gold” balls to the kid from each group who was encouraging to others, who hustled and showed good sportsmanship. Before we leave the courts one of our church pastors briefly provides a lesson from the Bible and then we close with prayer. Jessica developed our theme...”Love God, Make Friends, Play Tennis”.
Club tennis began to grow. What started with 12-14 kids soon grew to 20, then 30, then 50...it was crazy fun. And a challenge. We could see that there were a number of kids who wanted more tennis and our leadership group prayed for answers on how to grow this faith based outreach. We introduced age specific small group lessons taught by Jessica, Brad, Rob and other volunteeers who were former college or high level tennis players. Our small group interest continued to grow, especially with 10 and under kids, so much so that we decided in 2013 to utilize our linoleum floor church Fellowship Hall/Gym to allow Brad Lund to teach younger kids. Brad’s program with our tiny nets and red balls blossomed and, after a few months he asked his group, “We need a name for our ‘team’...you kids give me some suggestions”. After a few minutes the name “Cheetahs” was approved by the kids and that was the early beginning of BCCTA team tennis.
By early 2016 it was apparent that the program truly “had legs” and we had dedicated coaches/volunteers as well as a strong leadership group ready to reach for the next level. The request was made by Steve Porter to the church to consider resurfacing the 20 year old linoleum floor with an all purpose flooring, Mondo sports surface. Mondo was being installed in every Oklahoma City public school and Steve and Brad visited with several schools to check on durability, performance, etc. After reviewing the options, Mondo was chosen as the new floor surface for our church gym but one small obstacle remained. The church was open to the idea but requested that the tennis group raise the money privately. The fundraising effort began in February 2016 and by March approximately $45,000 had been raised. We were ready to move forward and thanks to the folks at Performance Surfaces in Oklahoma City the linoleum was stripped and the new Mondo surface was installed in May of 2016. Even better, a 10 and under court was lined and standards were placed in the floor to allow for a actual tennis net to be set up for each practice. Mondo surfaces allow for color coordination so blue was chosen for the court color with gray as a border. And, the surface has proven to be very durable. The Life Change Ballroom Dancers practice each Saturday, church dinners take place regularly as well kids’ festivals around Easter, Christmas, Vacation Bible school, etc. Truly, the new floor has changed the whole complexion of the gym and brought renewed energy to the facility.
But, no group is more appreciative than the BCCTA. On Monday afternoons 10-14 Hispanic kids from Britton Elementary school come for Los Gatos tennis from 3-4:30. One of our Los Gatos kids is now one of the top 10 and under players in the state. On Tuesday afternoons we host Los Gatos II, a smaller group of the older LG kids who have shown a real interest in tennis. Following LGII on Tuesday is Brad’s Cheetahs group, BCCTA’s USTA team tennis squad. The 10 and under Cheetahs team won the Summer team tennis crown for Oklahoma City in 2017. On Friday afternoon’s we host 10 and under small group practice and on days in between or during school breaks we offer tennis lessons for the kids in the neighborhood who want more. In addition, as part of our BCCTA outreach, we worked with Coach Q at Britton Elementary School during the Fall 2017 to provide him equipment and allow for tennis to be introduced to some 400 kids.
The BCCTA 10 and under indoor facility has truly had an amazing impact in the development of our younger players. BCCTA is a USTA NJTL program and our players are now involved in the top high school programs and middle school programs across the Oklahoma City metro with one 10 year girl in the Champs division, seven playing or eligible for the Challenger division and a number of kids in the Smashers. Most importantly, the BCCTA program and facility are providing kids in our urban neighborhood a safe and quality environment to learn and develop their tennis skills. Love God, Make Friends, Play Tennis.
Britton Christian Church Tennis Academy Making a Difference in Their Community
Click here for Oklahoma Award Criteria
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USTA Oklahoma 2018 Award Nominations Open
COMMUNITY SERVICE EXCELLENCE NOMINATE HERE
FACILITY OF THE YEAR NOMINATE HERE
MEMBER ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR* NOMINATE HERE
TENNIS FAMILY OF THE YEAR* NOMINATE HERE
JUNIOR PLAYER (S) OF THE YEAR (1 female and 1 male) NOMINATE HERE-Female / NOMINATE HERE-Male
ADULT PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINATE HERE
ADULT RECREATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINATE HERE
JUNIOR RECREATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR (1 male and 1 female) NOMINATE HERE-Female / NOMINATE HERE-Male
OUTSTANDING JUNIOR TOURNAMENT NOMINATE HERE
OUTSTANDING ADULT/SENIOR TOURNAMENT NOMINATE HERE
OUTSTANDING OFFICIAL* NOMINATE HERE
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTOR TO YOUTH HIGH PERFORMANCE PROGRAM NOMINATE HERE
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTOR TO THE USTA LEAGUE TENNIS PROGRAM NOMINATE HERE
EVENT OF THE YEAR NOMINATE HERE
OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY TENNIS ASSOCIATION* NOMINATE HERE
USTA JUNIOR TEAM TENNIS ORGANIZER* NOMINATE HERE
MEDIA EXCELLENCE NOMINATE HERE
HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR NOMINATE HERE
OUTSTANDING DIVERSITY ACHIEVEMENT NOMINATE HERE
JUNIOR SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD* NOMINATE HERE
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE NOMINATE HERE
By: Tara Gidus Collingwood
What to eat before exercise
Eating before exercise is similar to filling up your gas tank—this fuel will give you energy and help prevent injury.
Eat: meal = high carbs + moderate protein + low fat (three to four hours prior) snack = moderate carbs (15-60 minutes prior)
Drink: adequate fluids and electrolytes to produce clear/light yellow urine
Avoid: high fat (cream, excessive oil, fried foods); high fiber (beans, corn); gas-producing vegetables (cabbage, brussel sprouts); spicy foods; foods that are unfamiliar to digestive system; any known food sensitivities
What to eat during exercise
Depletion of muscle "energy" stores can impair athletic performance. If exercising for more than 60 minutes, supply your body with regular fuel and fluid to maintain performance.
Eat: 30-60 grams of carbs per hour of activity
Drink: water + sports drink
What to eat after exercise
Demanding practices and matches deplete glycogen, fluids and electrolytes. Begin replenishing these nutrients within 30 minutes of completing exercise; liquid protein shakes are a convenient snack to help hold you over until a full meal can be consumed.
Eat: snack = high carbs + moderate protein (≤ 30 minutes after) meal = high carbs + moderate protein + moderate fat (≤ two hours after)
Drink: adequate fluids to replace sweat loss
Low fat and fiber
High salt (if hot/humid weather)
Moderate to high protein
Moderate fat and fiber
High salt (if heavy sweater)
Suggested snack combos
Chocolate milk + fresh fruit
Tortilla chips + salsa or guacamole
Peanut butter + jelly sandwich
Tortilla wrap + deli meat + cheese
English muffin + scrambled eggs + cheese + veggies
Hummus + pita chips + veggie sticks
Greek yogurt + granola + fruit
Cottage cheese + fruit
Bean- or broth-based soup
Apple + almond or peanut butter
Hard boiled egg + pretzels
Beef or turkey jerky + grapes
Air-popped popcorn + cheese stick
When you eat is just as important as what you eat. Paying attention to what you eat before, during and after practices and matches can help you maintain energy levels, decrease injury risk and promote recovery.
Stay true to you. Depending on activity level and body composition goals, athletes should eat every two to four hours to maintain proper energy balance. Low energy and nutrient intake over time can contribute to fatigue, poor recovery, and increase injury risk.
Allow time for digestion. Consuming food too close to exercise can result in improperlyfueled muscles and an upset stomach. On the other hand, allowing too much digestion time doesn’t supply muscles with adequate energy and can lead to early fatigue.
Don’t neglect hydration. It can take up to 90 minutes for fluid to clear the kidneys. As little as a 2 percent loss of body weight due to dehydration can adversely affect the body’s ability to cope with physical demands and impair performance, concentration, and precision.
Does Timing Matter
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Kickingbird Tennis Center
New Court Cabanas and shade structures over all the outdoor bleachers.
North American Indian Tennis Association (NAITA)
National Championships @ Westood Tennis Center in Norman, OK
Oklahoma City Tennis Center
RH-91 in Tulsa as completed several renovations and is in the process of building Clay courts!
The City of Norman has hired Flint Co. to construct two new indoor courts at Westwood. Anticipated completion date is Fall 2018.
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Women’s Intermediate Doubles
Geri Wisner, Tulsa, OK
Jennifer Wilson, Norman, OK
Ian Sioux, Oklahoma City, OK
Men’s Open Doubles
Bruce Maytubby, Jr., Oklahoma City, OK
Bruce Maytubby Sr., Mt Juliet, TN
Men’s Intermediate Doubles
Kyle Bales, Sand Springs, OK
Wyatt Bales, Skiatook , OK
Men’s Intermediate Singles
Jasen Baker, Ft. Tawson, OK
Men’s 60+ Singles
Lee Maytubby, Norman, OK
Men’s 60+ Doubles
Lee Maytubby, Norman, OK
Bruce Maytubby, Sr. , Mt Juliet, TN
Mixed Open Doubles
Bruce Maytubby, Jr., Oklahoma City, OK
Lexie Maytubby, Lebanon, TN
Mixed Intermediate Doubles
Geri Wisner, Tulsa, OK
Kyle Bales, Sand Springs, OK
Women 50 Doubles
Diane Cline, Norman, OK
Lisa Bajema, Norman, OK
Lexie Maytubby, Lebanon, TN
Women’s Intermediate Singles
Jennifer Camp, Moore, OK
Women’s 60+ Singles
Margaret Knight, Edmond, OK
Boys 18 Under Singles
Xavier Toehay, Anadarko, OK
Consolation 18 Under Singles
Maverick Bales, Skiatook
Girls 18 Under Singles
Ahdae Stephens, Mustang, OK
Girls 14 Under Singles
Selyn Duke, Muskogee, OK
Girls 18 Under Doubles
Grace Coleman, Collinsville, OK
Tylie Griffith, Collinsville, OK
Boys 18 Doubles
Xavier Toehay, Anadarko, OK
Jonathan Perez, Anadarko, OK
Westwood Tennis Center
Budgeting, support, and making important improvements is a great way to increase tennis participation within the local community and facility.
Kickingbird installed new windscreens and scheduled to repair three outdoor courts this June along with resurface their three indoor courts sometime late summer.
usta ok foundation
Oklahoma women's tennis:
Barry Switzer's granddaughter, Skyler Miller,
hopes to write own story as a Sooner
By Chandler Wilson, OU Daily
Oklahoma freshman Skyler Miller can be found at the Headington Family Tennis Center, slamming lobs, diving for smashes and perfecting her serve. Only 30 years ago, Miller’s grandfather, Barry Switzer, one of the greatest legacies in Sooner history, spent his days in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Now just two miles down the road from Owen Field, Miller is making a legacy of her own.
From the time she was born and through her teenage years, Miller got to experience the University of Oklahoma in a way most never do. While she walked around campus and cheered on the football team like many others, Miller did so alongside one of the most esteemed coaches in the history of Oklahoma football. Inspired by her grandfather and all his accomplishments, a desire for greatness was instilled in Miller from a young age. That desire transformed into a goal of one day becoming a Sooner herself.
“I’ve walked around campus a million times,” Miller said. “I grew up here, football games, everything. I knew I wanted to come to OU. This was definitely my dream.”
Known as the king in Norman, Switzer has become a familiar face around the city and campus he once ruled. Now, Miller has begun her own reign in Sooner Nation, striving to carry on the legacy of her royal Sooner blood.
“Skyler is my unique little granddaughter,” Switzer said. “She’s my first. I call her the leader of the pack. She is really highly motivated and driven.”
Chasing a dream
Not only did Miller know she wanted to attend Oklahoma, but she also knew she wanted to do so as an athlete. After realizing she lacked height as a young pre-teen, Miller decided to set the basketball down and pick up a tennis racket instead.
At the age of 12, Miller began playing tennis at the OU Tennis Club.
“Originally, it was a little bit hard because I was 12 when I started,” said Miller, who is currently 5-4 in doubles from the two and three spots and 2-3 in singles from the four and six spots.“ That’s really late for a tennis player. It was like a catch-up game and really discouraging at times and hard in the beginning.”
After eighth grade, Miller opted out of attending traditional high school and instead relied on homeschooling in order to focus on tennis. In doing so, she was able to play nationally and internationally before eventually graduating a semester early to begin college play.
When head coach Audra Cohen was hired at Oklahoma, Miller had long been a part of the OU Tennis Club and was already comfortable playing on the courts she would eventually call home.
Cohen said she knew they had a great opportunity of signing Miller because she was born and raised in Oklahoma athletics, but Miller’s connections to the university carried no weight in Cohen’s decision of adding her to the team’s roster.
“She’s one of the nicest people, I think, I’ve ever met in my life, and she always does the right thing,” Cohen said. “Her character is incredibly strong, and you would never in a million years guess that she was Barry Switzer’s grandchild. She doesn’t ever have a chip of her shoulder. She is exactly who she is, and she’s very secure with who she is.”
While her coach thinks her genuine character and self-confidence are worthy of praise, her potential for greatness is what sets her apart. Cohen said she could not be happier about having someone like Miller, almost like a sleeping giant, on her roster.
“She’s a lot like a Baker Mayfield who maybe comes in and isn’t as much of the profile per say as a top 50 (International Tennis Federation) pro or a professionally ranked player,” Cohen said. “But she has a huge amount of room to grow. Already, she’s grown so much so quickly.”
Switzer always encouraged Miller to take advantage of the opportunities she was given and to be aware of the importance of earning things for herself. He knows she achieved her dreams of playing for Oklahoma on her own accord and is proud of how she has capitalized on the chances placed in front of her.
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“A lot of kids born on third base go through life thinking they hit a triple,” Switzer said. “But (my grandchildren) approached it the same way as being at bat, not being born on third base. They’ve done it the right way, and I’m proud of them that way.”
Inspired by family
Recognized as one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football, Switzer worries his grandchildren may experience the pressure of his name and the expectations that come with it.
“I think (Skyler) feels pressure,” Switzer said. “I look at her and think the fact that who her Grumpy was and what we did and all that … She kind of thinks it’s expected of her.”
Regardless of the weight of Switzer’s name across his kingdom in Norman, Miller just sees him as her grandfather, or more specifically, as her Grumpy.
Inspired by “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Switzer’s daughter and Miller’s mother, Kathy Miller, decided to start calling her seemingly always-grumpy dad by his favorite dwarf. The name stuck before his grandchildren knew any better, and before long, they were buying him Walt Disney t-shirts with Grumpy on them for every holiday.
Family is everything to the Switzer and Miller clan, and Miller has always been close to her Grumpy. As the oldest of 10 grandchildren, Switzer views Miller as the leader and believes that is right where she belongs. He hopes her legacy goes far beyond the tennis court because she is capable of accomplishing whatever she wants.
“She knows more than some of the books she’s reading right now,” Switzer said. “Skyler has the capability to be a CEO of a company. She is that smart and driven.”
Creating a legacy
While Miller praises her family for supporting her goals and credits them for much of who she is, her expectations for herself on the tennis court and in the classroom come from a personal desire to create her own legacy. She has every intention of excelling in tennis and school and hopes to be known for her faith.
“I would like to pursue professional tennis after (college),” Miller said. “I definitely want to use this as a stepping stool to get to that place in my game ... I would like to go through these four years showing Christ’s love. Making other people feel loved and how little acts of kindness can make a difference in people’s lives. I’d like to be a light to people here.”
Switzer joked Miller’s goodness and drive have led her to be far more gifted than he is, both academically and athletically, making him confident Miller will thrive in every aspect of her life.
With nearly four years left at the University of Oklahoma, Miller’s journey has just begun. With the encouragement of her parents and Switzer, along with her natural-born leadership and drive, Switzer believes she will blaze her own trail as Skyler Miller.
“It makes me smile when I see her. She does well,” Switzer said. “I think she can be a great role model for little girls. She has great Christian values. She is genuine and sincere. There’s nothing (malicious) there. It’s all honest and true … I’m proud of her."
Courtesy of www.oudaily.com
UCO landed at No. 9 in the final ITA rankings with three Bronchos nationally ranked.
UCO Women's Tennis finish the season ranked at No.9. No.1 doubles team, Laetitia Charbonnet and Kirtana Bhat finish the season ranked at No.23. In singles, Laetitia Charbonnet achieves the All-American honor with a ranking at No.18, Alli Hodges is ranked at No.32 and Kirtana at No.66.
Men's Seminole State College got 5th place at the 2018 NJCAA National Men's Tennis Championship! Congrats!
Joshua Goodger was named Freshman of the Year by the American Athletic Conference after he put forth a stellar first season. Goodger is currently ranked #94 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Lily Miyazaki was selected for the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship as an individual, the NCAA announced. She competed in the 64-player draw at Wake Forest Tennis Complex on May 23-28. but knocked out in the first round. This was Miyaki's second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance!
Women's Seminole State College went 5-4 against NJCAA competition and were ranked as high as #4 in NJCAA this spring. The Trojans placed 7th at NJCAA National Women's Tennis Championship!
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NSU Women's tennis won MIAA D2 conference tournament. This is two in a row. Amazing finish to the regular season. Way to go RiverHawks! Northeastern State women's tennis finished its season at No. 7 in the nation with the release of the final ITA Division II poll. The ranking is the program's best as a Division II member and the eighth straight week that NSU has been among the top-10 in the nation.
After finishing in the Elite 8 for the first time since 2004, the RiverHawks have been among the top-20 programs for the last 160 weeks.Tatjana Stoll completed her sophomore season as the No. 6 ranked singles player in the nation with a 31-4 record. Stoll went 10-2 against nationally ranked players, and won her final 18 contests. Additionally, she finished the season tied for the highest singles ranking at Northeastern State matching Zorana Stefanovic (2003).
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Oklahoma State Tandem Runner Up at Nationals
Courtesy of okstate.com
WINSTON SALEM, N.C. – The Oklahoma State women's tennis tandem of senior Vladica Babic and junior Sofia Blanco came up short in the NCAA doubles finals on Monday afternoon, falling to LSU's Jessica Golovin and Eden Richardson.
The Cowgirl duo battled, but couldn't overcome early breaks in the first and second sets, and dropped the match, 6-3, 6-2.
The loss marks the end of an impressive season for Babic and Blanco, who finished at 31-9 overall with a 16-3 dual record. The two Cowgirls knocked off 16 ranked opponents over the course of the season, including wins over No. 7 Berg/Cline (South Carolina), No. 1 Fahey/Najarian (Michigan), No. 9 Pairone/Jeanjean (Arkansas), No. 18 Aney/Graham (North Carolina) and No. 21 Federici/Dvorak (Texas Tech).
Babic and Blanco became the first OSU doubles All-Americans since 1991 on Friday with a victory No. 8 Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirezon of Syracuse. The two Pokes also knocked off No. 17 Anna Danilina and Victoria Emma (Florida), No. 23 Lauren Proctor and Megan Kauffman (Winthrop), and No. 9 Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy (Duke) during their run to the finals.
"This week has been amazing," Babic said. "On Friday, we did something that hasn't been done for our school in a while. We were just very happy and very excited. From there, we were happy to be in the tournament and we were playing really well. We've been working really hard all year, so the hard work paid off. The coaches dedicated a lot of time to us. We played great and were confident. It was a great end to the season."
"I think our relationship off the court is very important," Blanco said. "That shows on the court because we know each other so well. We have a lot of fun and we enjoy every moment we spend together on the court. That was the key for us to be successful this week."
The loss also marks the end of the illustrious career of senior Vladica Babic. The Montenegro product wraps up her time in Stillwater with 115 doubles wins and 95 singles wins, and is the seventh player in program history to reach those career marks. She has the most doubles wins and second most singles wins for a Cowgirl in the Big 12 era. Her doubles totals ranked third all-time.
Babic is no stranger to deep tournament runs either. Last fall, she swept the ITA Central Region Championships, claiming the singles and doubles titles to become the second player in program history to complete such a feat. She was also a member of the 2016 NCAA runner-up team.
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Cowgirls Tennis Highlights
-The Cowgirls are 62-4 at home since the opening of the Greenwood Tennis Center.
- The Cowgirls have won 20 or more matches in each of the last three seasons.
- Since 2012, OSU has made six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and will make it seven this year. That streak is the second-longest in program history behind a 10-year streak that saw the Cowgirls earn NCAA Tournament berths from 1982-91.
- The Cowgirls have arisen as a force in the Big 12 Conference over the last several seasons, finishing in the top two if the conference each of the last five years. Since 2013, OSU has won 44 conference matches, which is the most in that span.
- The Cowgirls have made four of the last five Big 12 Championship matches, finally breaking through to win their first since 2003 in 2016 with a 4-0 win over Texas Tech.
- OSU is one of only eight teams in the country to have won 20 matches in each of the last three seasons. In that span, the
- Cowgirls have won 32 matches. That total ranks third behind only North Carolina and Ohio State.
- The Cowgirls raised eyebrows around the country during their successful 2018 regular season campaign, racking up an 18-3 overall record and finishing second in a stacked Big 12 race despite only returning three letter winners from their Elite Eight run a year ago.
- Now ranked No. 7 in the nation, OSU recorded a number of historic wins over the course of the regular season, including the program's first victories over college tennis blue bloods Florida and UCLA. With additional resume wins over Miami, Kansas and Baylor, the Pokes have defeated five teams currently ranked inside the ITA top 25 and 10 in the top 50.
- A key reason for the Cowgirls' success in 2018 has been the stability at the top four singles positions. Vladica Babic, Megan McCray, Katarina Stresnakova and Marina Guinart have combined for a 49-8 overall record this spring holding down the top of the lineup.
- Senior Vladica Babic has rewritten much of the program record book during her four years in Stillwater. She has maintained that trend during her final year. Her 108 career doubles wins are the most by a Cowgirl in the Big 12 era and third-most in school history. She is only the seventh player in program history to record 100 doubles wins and 90 singles wins.
- Senior Megan McCray has been outstanding for the Cowgirls in the second singles spot this season, winning 15 of her 16 matches. McCray has gone 4-0 against ranked opponents so far this season and 2-0 against players in the top 50.
-Cowgirl juniors Katarina Stresnakova, Marina Guinart and Sofia Blanco have held down the three, four and five spots this season, and have been outstanding, racking up a combined 34-8 dual mark. Stresnakova has opened the 2018 dual season off hot, winning 15 of her first 17 matches--with 14 wins coming in straight sets. Additionally, she has won 30 of her last 34 dual matches dating back to January of last season. Guinart is 13-2 in dual play and has gone 23-8 overall this season. The Spanish native has been clutch, going 3-0 this spring in matches decided by a third set or tiebreaker. Blanco has gone 6-4 in dual action and has won four of her last six matches.
- Head coach Chris Young is in his ninth year at Oklahoma State, and is assisted by former North Carolina star and first-year assistant coach Hayley Carter.
1S: Brooke Thompson-Heritage Hall
2S: Annabelle Treadwell- Heritage Hall
1D: Powers/VanDoren-Cascia Hall
2D: Franks/Harvey- Heritage Hall
1S: Trey Huelskamp-Heritage Hall
2S: Karsten Knutsen-Riverfield
1D: Gawey/Vaughn-Bishop Kelley
2D: Abbott/Rutz- Heritage Hall
1S: Mary Streller-OK Christian
2S: Grace Whitten- Metro
1D: Evans/Pierce-Mount St. Mary
1S: Daniel Haley- Crossings
2S: Christian Single- Ada
1D: Siegle/Swopes- Ada
2D: McCortney/Taylor- Ada
1S: Andie Williams-Jenks
2S: Maggie Holcomb- Bixby
1D: Golightly/Hochstatter- Ed. North
1S: Graydon Lair-Jenks
2S: Gabriel Wilburn-Jenks
1D: Owens/Trapp-Edmond North
2D: McGlaughlin/Riffell- Ed. North
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The high school OSSAA State Championship recently took place at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
6A Champions Edmond North
6A Champions BIXBY
5A Champions HERITAGE HALL
2018 Team OSSAA State Champions Crowned
4A Champions ADA
4A Champions METRO CHRISTIAN
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#2 6A Doubles State Champs
#1 6A Singles State Champs
#2 6A Doubles State Champs
Trey Huelskamp-Heritage Hall
#1 5A Singles State Champs
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#1 6A Doubles State Champs
#1 6A Singles State Champ
#1 4A Doubles State Champ
Brooke Thompson=Heritage Hall
#1 5A Singles State Champ
Annabelle Treadwell-Heritage Hall
#2 5A Singles State Champ
#1 4A Singles State Champ
#2 5A Doubles State Champs
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#2 6A Singles State Champ
Daniel Haley-Crossings Christian
#1 4A Single State Champ
Graydon Lair- Jenks
#1 6A Singles State Champ
Ada Boys Celebrating
6A Runner Up
#2 4A Doubles State Champ
#2 6A Singles State Champ
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SIGN UP NOW!
At the end of each season a player is player from EACH team is selected to receive a Sportsmanship tag
A 10 & Under Orange ball and
Green ball player
Wins a Sportsmanship
Bag Tag every tournament
Anytime there is a USTA Oklahoma competition, there is always a Champion but there is also at least two Sportsmanship winners. Good sportsmanship is an essential element of all junior sports and junior development.
At the end of the year, USTA Oklahoma has an Annual Awards & Hall of Fame Banquet. In every age division a boy and girl will be nominated and win the yearly USTA Oklahoma Junior Sportsmanship Award.
Winning isn't everything...
USTA Oklahoma emphasis on
Junior Team Tennis
A Boy & Girl Win Sportsmanship
Bag Tags every tournament
Every Champs and Challengers tournament a boy and a girl is selected by the Tournament Director as the Sportsmanship winners. They each receive a Sportsmanship bag tag for exemplifying the finest qualities of sportsmanship throughout the competition.
10U Orange & Green:
ConGRATS to the Winners From
Jan, feb, march, April & May 2018
Larson Van Horn
Champs & Challengers
Millennial Tennis Nights
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Held every first Saturday of the month from 6-9pm at Lafortune Tennis Center
LaFortune Park Tennis Center held the first Millennial Tennis Night in Tulsa this April to attract the younger generation. They had 37 young adults! They served pizza and other snack foods, gave out 30 $10 or above gift cards as door prizes, and played loud music on a speaker system. It was a super fun night and they were all so thankful and excited for the next one in May. Melissa McCorkle anticipates doubling the crowd each time!
Liz Burch vs. Michelle Bryan Women's 6.0
Ready to Compete!
Congratulations to our Oklahoman's that will Serve on the Executive Committee for the Missouri Valley Section!
Cuatro de Mayo Social, held at Kickingbird Tennis Center!
Started the season off with some tough ladies! "Felt like 33 degrees!"
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As a volunteer-driven organization, the USTA is comprised of a number of committees that work with the association’s staff members to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission to promote the growth and development of the game.
The fundamental role of each USTA committee is to advise the USTA board of directors. Committees of volunteers who are USTA members work with USTA staff to research suggested or board-directed proposals; propose, refine, review or evaluate programs, activities and budget allocations within the committee’s duties; and provide timely recommendations to the board.
The USTA president appoints all committee chairs and members, who serve a two-year term – the current term runs January 2017 through December 2018 – during which they work with their committees, generate recommendations and attend USTA meetings.
Below is the 2019 slate of nominations presented at the USTA Missouri Valley Semiannual Board meeting on Thursday, April 5, 2018:
President: Lisa Minihan, Edmond, OK
First Vice President: Jason Mathes
Vice President: Alex Lee
Vice President: Steve Henry, Oklahoma City, OK
Secretary: Gary Trost, Oklahoma City, OK
Treasurer: Chris Carey
The best part of Tri-Level is that you get to play with friends of all different NTRP levels. Also, you don’t need to recruit a whole lot of players to field a team. Its still really challenging, but a lot more relaxed than other USTA leagues.
Tri-Level league has 1 doubles court at each 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 in Men's & Women's
Play Starts: June for Tulsa & July for OKC
For Questions & or sign up:
Tulsa: Liz at 918-640-5348
OKC: Wink at 405-850-0091
Tri-level is a true team effort and great comraderie among all players involved.”
“Tri-Level is a fun league, that keeps us playing into the Summer. It prepares us for post-season play!”
Adult Tri-Level Coming Soon!
“Tri-Level is a great league! You have team members that you don’t normally play with or see. Another great part of trilevel is you don’t have to worry about a line-up!! It’s a lot of fun and you see good tennis regardless of the court. Everyone is cheering for one another!!”
“Tri-level is my favorite league. I get to play with my friends that were moved up to 4.5. Its played in late summer after the 18s and 40s are finished. It has a more relaxed feel and the national event is played in Indian Wells during the BNP Paribas Open pro-tournament!
I started playing tennis 16 years ago for all the typical reasons- I thought it looked fun, I wanted to get some exercise, get out of the house, and to meet new people. I never would have imagined how tennis would change my life! Quickly there were lessons, leagues, teams and matches! But the best and most pleasant surprise were the people I met and the friendships that were formed. All of a sudden there were all these nice people who were looking for and doing the same things that I was doing. It changed my life! Lifelong friends were made, and wonderful memories and experiences were had.
As time moved on though, some of the people I was spending time with and playing on competitive USTA teams with got moved up, or got moved down.
No big deal except now the time spent with my friends was divided. And as life moves on, the time thing becomes an issue. I missed my friends who played a different level than me and our tennis time together.
Enter USTA tri level!
A different kind of fun league that brings different levels together to play on a competitive team! My friends and I could be together again!
Three different levels ( 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5) are all on the same team -each level playing a line against another team at that level. In this 3 line league, There are the same opportunities to move on to Districts, Sectionals, and Nationals. A new and different twist on USTA tennis that opened a door to another kind of team experience.
Tri level is another way to play tennis and be with my friends– and that for me, is what tennis is all about!
By Mary Jo Tasker,
USTA Oklahoma Vice President, Adult Co-Chair
“Tri-level serves as an annual reunion with old friends that have moved up or down the NTRP scale and a unique way to make new connections across the adult tennis community.”
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Adults across Oklahoma, all ages, all levels, competing in USTA Leagues and loving it!
Spring League in Full Effect
Oklahoma City's Chris Haworth, gets his first Futures title of the year in Orange Park, Florida. Beating Garza Sepuldveda from Mexico (4-6,6-1,6-4).
Congratulations to a pair of USTA Oklahoma members who have brought another championship home to The Sooner State. Stacy Williams-Lilley and Laura Grooms are the new 50+ Women's Doubles National Champions for rating 4.5. The pair did not drop a set on their road to the finals in Naples, Florida, defeating teams from California, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, New Mexico and Texas. Grooms also competed in the 4.5 Women's 50+ Singles tournament, grinding through four matches per day to also bring home a 2nd place finish in that bracket.
Williams-Lilley and Grooms are both from Edmond, but did not start playing together until 2017. "We've always been on the same team", said Laura. "We finally got together and it's been so much fun!"
Laura has been playing competitive tennis since she was 19. Stacy Williams-Lilley is also a long-time competitor, having played collegiately at Oklahoma State.
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USTA Women's 50+ 4.5 Doubles National Champions
A Soldier's Wish
The mission of Soldier's Wish is to identify needs of both veteran's and active duty service members of the military, regardless of branch or rank. The goal is to identify those needs, and provide resources and support directly to the service members and/or their families, so they can lead more productive lives.
Take a great cause, 20 volunteers and one of the premier tennis facilities in Oklahoma. Add in a beautiful spring day and 110 enthusiastic players. The result was the first annual Soldier’s Wish Tennis Classic in Tulsa.
After an initial meeting between Al Moore, Tony Heineman (Soldier’s Wish) and Melissa McCorkle (Director, Lafortune Tennis), planning for the event started in the fall of 2016. Over the intervening months, a group of volunteers managed to put together the tournament, sponsors, donors and a silent auction.
Support for the event was overwhelming. Local companies provided catering for lunch and dinner. Many individuals and groups donated items for the silent auction. The tennis programs at Army (West Point) and Navy (Annapolis) donated gear from their varsity programs. Even the Navy SEAL Foundation provided materials to support the event.
The final result was a lot of happy players, $10,000 raised for Soldier’s Wish and a donation to the next phase of improvements for the Lafortune Tennis Center. Not bad for one great day in the sun.
(If your facility would like to host a Soldier’s Wish Tennis Classic, please contact Tony Heineman at email@example.com)
By: James Headrick
USTA Oklahoma's Adult coordinators: Liz Montegomery, Michelle O'quin, and Marc Claude went to Orlanda, Florida for Adult League Training!
Oklahoma City's Chris Haworth, gets his first Futures title of the year in Orange Park, Florida. Beating Garza Sepuldveda from Mexico (4-6,6-1,6-4). Congratulations Chris!
Dean Richardville, Bob Holland, & Becky Riggs are the first Oklahoma officials that will be working at Kalamazoo August 3-12 in Michigan!
Special Needs Academy, took place at LaFortune Park Tennis Center this May!
Congratulations to Gracie Epps in getting 5th place G14 Singles Easter Bowl.
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boys & girls ages 10 & under
The Baseliner in Print
June 9, 2018
June 16, 2018
July 7, 2018
July 21, 2018
August 4, 2018
August 18, 2018
September 8, 2018
September 22, 2018
October 6, 2018
October 20, 2018
November 4, 2018
December 9, 2018
for your own copy!
Players ages 7-10 that have NET experience and are ready to work through the progression from Orange to Green ball.
PLAYERS AGES 7-16 THAT HAve NET EXPERIENCE AND HAve GRADUATED from THE 10 & UNDER SMASHER CIRCUIT WILL START PLAYING THE CHALLENGER CIRCUIT. THESE PLAYERS ARE NORMALLY AT THE INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. THEIR GOAL IS TO EARN 375 POINTS WHICH WILL QUALIFY THEM FOR THE CHAMPS CIRCUIT.
boys & girls ages 7-18
June 1-3, 2018
June 8-10, 2018
June 15-17, 2018
June 22-24, 2018
June 29-July 1, 2018
July 6-8, 2018
July 13-15, 2018
July 20-22, 2018
July 27-29, 2018
August 3-5, 2018
August 10-12, 2018
August 17-19, 2018
August 24-26, 2018
August 31-Sept 2, 2018
September 7-9, 2018
September 14-16, 2018
September 21-23, 2018
September 28-30, 2018
October 5-7, 2018
October 12-14, 2018
October 19-21, 2018
Nov 30- Dec 2, 2018
Indian Springs BG12-14
Nov 30-Dec 2, 2018
THE CHAMP CIRCUIT IS FOR PLAYERS 7-18 AND QUALIFIED THROUGH THE CHALLENGER & SMASHER CIRCUIT. CHAMP PLAYERS ARE ELIGIBLE TO PLAY ANY CHAMP TOURNAMENT INCLUDING DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIPS AND FUTURE QUALIFIERS. ALL TOURNAMENT EARN MISSOURI VALLEY POINTS.
July 29-July 1, 2018
August 31-September 2
Former Oak Tree Director of Junior Development, Cristian Pensavalle has been named as the Director of Tennis at Tulsa University
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Tri-Level league has one doubles court for 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 in Men's & Women's . Play Starts June for Tulsa & July for OKC
OKC Adult Leagues
North American Indian
Jeret Johnson, USPTR has been hired as a Teaching Professional at Kickingbird Tennis Center. Jeret is also an assistant coach at UCO in Edmond.
Look for dates for the next EDC Orange Combine to be announced soon!
Shaddy Khalafallah started to think it may not happen. He wanted to play for a Big East Conference program, but wasn’t sure he was good enough to warrant a roster spot.
Despite repeated emails to coaches, the responses he received were minimal.
“There were times when I was really down and thought I was not going to be able to play college tennis,” Khalafallah said. “My parents were always trying to cheer me up and give me hope that I should trust the process and it would work out. They told me if I kept working hard eventually something good would happen.”
His parents were right.
After grinding to improve his game, Khalafallah began getting noticed by more college coaches. He arranged a visit to Marquette, and was eventually offered a chance to join the program.
The three-star senior from Moline, Illinois is making it official this week by signing his National Letter of Intent.
“Marquette is a school I always dreamed about going to since I was young because it’s an amazing school and it’s kind of close to home,” said Khalafallah, who is receiving a generous academic scholarship. “I was really hoping I would get the chance to go there.”
Following his freshman year of high school, Khalafallah knew he wasn’t good enough to play at the Division I level. He decided to leave home and spend a year at the Tucker Tennis Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Academy founder Trent Tucker took one look at the 6-foot-3 Khalafallah’s athletic frame and began building his serve and forehand into better weapons. Tucker wanted to give Khalafallah more structure in his game and help him find an identity as a player.
“Shaddy really had nobody to practice with or anybody guiding his developmental process where he was living. He was kind of in the dark in a lot of ways,” Tucker said. “To come here and really immerse in our ultra-competitive program was a good thing for Shaddy. He finally got to play games and sets every day with kids trying to play at a super high level.”
Tucker began corresponding with the college coaches Khalafallah had contacted, and selling them on the Khalafallah’s “massive upside and potential.”
“If he can be in a college environment with access to great training and a fitness program on a daily basis, he could thrive,” Tucker said. “Those kind of guys are important to our sport. The kids that play at academies all day for several years are fine, but Shaddy didn’t have that typical pathway. Those kids just need the opportunity.”
Khalafallah was born and raised in Moline. His parents are both from Egypt, and came to the United States to provide a better life for the family. Khalafallah’s sister is in grad school at Northwestern and his brother is doing his undergrad at Loyola-Chicago, this season’s NCAA basketball Cinderella story.
“My dad is a physician, and he moved us to America because he thought it would gives us more opportunity,” Khalafallah said. “We are kind of isolated from our family in Egypt, which is pretty tough. But my dad put in many hours and worked really hard while my mom managed us and our activities.”
Khalafallah wants to be like his father and pursue a career in medicine as a surgeon. He has a 4.2 GPA and is taking five Advanced Placement courses this year at Moline High.
“That is another reason I love Marquette. They have a really good pre-med program,” Khalafallah said. “My dad inspired me my whole life to become a doctor. I have always loved helping people out, and many of my dad’s close friends are also doctors and I have always looked up to them and really gotten into it.”
Khalafallah trains regularly at the Quad-City Tennis Club in Moline, where Rock Island, Illinois native Madison Keys first got her start in tennis. Keys’ professional success, including last year’s U.S. Open final run, has been a point of pride for the locals.
“She always comes back to our club and we get to hit with her. It means a lot to us,” Khalafallah said. “It’s pretty unique being able to play in Moline and say Madison Keys is from here.”
Once Khalafallah’s results in tournaments began improving, he started corresponding more with Marquette coach Steve Rodecap. They arranged for him to make the trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for an official visit, and Khalafallah felt at home.
“I just fell in love with the campus and the team was super nice and competitive. I could see myself right away being on the team and playing for the coach,” Khalafallah said. “He is such a great guy and he got along really well with my family, especially my brother.”
Throughout his college search, Khalafallah was his own advocate. He spent hours at his computer trying to find schools he wanted to attend and generate interest from coaches.
“He was really aggressive in working the process for himself. Shaddy, to his credit, emailed so many coaches. He knew what he wanted and didn’t take no for an answer,” Tucker said. “I had guys calling me saying, ‘This Shaddy guy is relentless.’ But I think so many kids don’t work the process for themselves at all. He went out there and gave himself a chance. He had the drive to get it done.”
Khalafallah realizes a lot of work remains for him to earn playing time at Marquette once he arrives. But after once thinking it may not be possible, he’s just grateful for the chance to join a Big East college tennis roster.
“I love team tennis and I love the aspect of playing individually but representing a team,” he said. “It’s been really fun for me to play high school tennis and form like a family bond, so I am excited to be a part of that in college. I really want to have that family aspect there to help get close to people and go through the tough times and good times together.”
Courtesy of www.tennisrecruiting.net
By Rhiannon Potkey
Persistence Pays Off For Khalafallah
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Universal Tennis Creates Major Partnership
with the United States Professional Tennis Association
Universal Tennis and the United States Professional Tennis Association today announced a partnership to grow and enhance professional development resources for tennis teaching professionals and coaches.
Under the agreement, Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) Powered by Oracle will become the official tennis rating of the USPTA, the largest organization of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches in the United States and the only teaching association in the U.S. that is provisionally accredited by the governing body. Universal Tennis will enable all USPTA teaching professionals to use its technology for free, providing the tools and products to fundamentally change the way tennis is played at clubs and municipalities in the United States and worldwide.
“Our mission is to elevate the standard of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches. As such, we want our members to have access to the best resources to develop professionally,” said John Embree, USPTA CEO. “The Universal Tennis product platform is proliferating and is increasingly valuable in helping professionals improve tennis quality, enjoyment and participation in their local communities.”
Starting this summer, USPTA members will be able to access UTR’s database, which has 6.5 million match results from more than 700,000 players from 200 countries. Members can use UTR’s platform to register and communicate with players, create profiles and groups, develop tournament draws, post and submit scores, and compare players from around the world. USPTA members will also be able to leverage UTR’s event management system to facilitate level-based play.
In efforts to support the important initiatives spearheaded by the USTA, Universal Tennis and the USPTA will collaborate to support essential measures and protections to safeguard kids participating in events. The organizations will also partner on strategic marketing initiatives to support the growth and development of tennis and teaching professionals around the world.
“We’re excited to partner with the USPTA to grow tennis here in the United States and abroad,” said Mark Leschly, Chairman & CEO of Universal Tennis. “We are pleased to offer our suite of tools and technology to support club pros and coaches to engage their communities with more opportunities to play tennis and to use technology to safeguard kids.”
To learn more about Universal Tennis, please visit MyUTR.com. For more information about the USPTA, visit USPTA.com.
About Universal Tennis
Universal Tennis is the Company behind UTR Powered by Oracle, a revolutionary system that provides a single, unifying language and standard for tennis players across ages, geographies and gender. The Company’s vision is to unify tennis for everyone by bringing cutting edge analytics and community-based technology to players worldwide independent of level. UTR Powered by Oracle is a unique, algorithm-based system for tennis that allows anyone to measure, identify and track their level relative to other players while also providing tools for coaches and organizers to run UTR Powered Events that are level based rather than age or gender driven. Today, the UTR Powered by Oracle system is gathering data from over 6.5 million match results, across 700,000+ players in over 200 countries. The Company has long term strategic partnerships with Tennis Channel, Oracle, Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), World TeamTennis (WTT), Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). Universal Tennis is owned by Iconica Partners and other seasoned investors, advisors and operators in tennis, sports, technology and media. To sign up for UTR Powered by Oracle, please visit www.MyUTR.com.
About the USPTA
Founded in 1927, the USPTA is the global leader in tennis-teacher certification and professional development. With more than 14,000 members worldwide, the association raises the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches and promotes a greater awareness of the sport. The USPTA is the first tennis-teaching certification organization to receive provisional accreditation from the United States Tennis Association (USTA). To learn more, please visit www.uspta.com.
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By Dr. Larry Lauer
The best tennis players separate themselves from the rest not solely because of talent, but because they have excellent habits that lead to their success. It seems that world-class tennis players have a number of habits that they do in their own individual ways, but that are similar to the 10 Habits for Tennis Success.
The eighth habit is that they practice like it is a match and integrate the mental training they are doing into matches.
Habit 8: Pressure test mental skills by practicing routines in training with pressure
The goal is to challenge the player’s mental and physical skills with demands similar to those experienced in competition. For example, pushing the player to the point of fatigue and then having him play a tiebreak with a reward on the line is a great way to practice under pressure. This gives the player the best simulation of actual match play. Many top players play practice matches most days of a training week and will also play points prior to tournaments on-site.
Pressure testing allows players to practice mental skills and routines and to become comfortable managing pressure. This enhances the transfer of mental training to matches, which in turn increases focus, confidence, motivation and resilience during matches. Most importantly, this increases “match toughness” or what I would call emotional toughness, the ability to respond in a positive and productive way to adverse and intense emotional experiences.
Think of it similar to lifting weights. Stress is increased until the muscle is broken down. Then recovery occurs, allowing growth in the muscle. It is the same with mental and emotional stress; place the player under stress to develop resilience and emotional toughness.
Testing mental skills under pressure should be the last progression prior to going to competition. Players should also be prepared for these “pressure tests” via the development of their mental skills, creating routines and practicing them in lower-stress environments. At that point, let the player know there will be pressure in some way and hold him/her accountable for using the established routines.
Pressure can be applied in many ways: through targets, creating fatigue mentally and physically, game situations and so forth. Be creative when applying pressure, while being mindful of what is too much and will create a bad outcome.
Creatively use pressure in practice and require the player to use the routine that involves his/her base mental skills. Work with a mental coach to set up on-court exercises that will test the player’s mental skills routines.
Courtesy of USTA Player Development
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Habits for Tennis Success: Pressure Test
A one hour tennis clinc for children with Down syndrome ages 10-17. Fundamentals of the game will be taught!
Kickingbird Tennis Center
June 29, 2018
Tennis Class 6:00pm-7:00pm; Dinner & Dessert 7:00-7:30pm
Kickingbird Tennis Center has partnered up with the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma (DSACO) to offer a FREE tennis clinic that will precede the USTA Girls' 18 National Tournament. DSACO's mission is To raise awareness and provide resources, as well as promote acceptance and inclusion for people with Down syndrome. After tennis, stick around! Hot dogs, drinks and dessert will be served!
Kickingbird Tennis Center has developed a foundation called Play it Foward Tennis Foundation. Using tennis to teaching life lessons, our mission is to offer an outreach program for those with special needs and those that might have the opportunity to play tennis. Click here to sign up are email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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PLAY IT FORWARD FOUNDATION
FREE TENNIS CLINIC
Diversity has been a buzzword for a few years. The University of Oklahoma is attempting to achieve it as well as organizations all over. But I never expected such an international flavor at Westwood Tennis Center. I’m American, but I play people from six different countries: Belarus, Bolivia, Bulgaria, China, Poland and Romania.
When I moved to Norman in 1995, I played on the courts just south of Robinson Street. The complex has expanded to include 14 courts and four 36-foot courts for young kids. In 2007, Westwood Tennis Center was recognized as the USTA National Outstanding Facility. The honor included a grant to add black vinyl to the fences of four courts, which helped with the wind sweeping down the courts.
In 2016, the City Council approved $1 million to convert courts 6 and 7 to indoor courts and add two outdoor courts east of court 1. There was an issue with the Max Westheimer Airport regarding the roof height of the indoor courts, but it will be regulation height. The plan is to have the indoor courts completed within a year.
The Director of Tennis and head pro is Marc Claude (claw-DAY), a native of Upland, California. He moved to Houston when he was 3 years old, and then to Norman when he was about 5. He has been at the tennis center for 16 years. He’s hopelessly humble and wears a perpetual smile. And his name is French, so we can add another country to the mix.
Marc started playing tennis at around 12 years old and is left-handed. He used two hands on both sides when he was young. He also played serve and volley.
“My height (he’s tall) … and I was slow for that level, so I needed to end the point quick,” he said. While attending Norman High, he won the 5A State Championships at No. 1 Doubles.
Marc is well suited for his job.
“I like being a teaching pro,” he said “I’m not big on titles. I enjoy staffing for the clinics and decide who’s going to teach. That’s really important.”
There are current and past teachers from nine countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Poland, Russia and South Africa. The tennis center is like the United Nations.
I asked him what he liked most about teaching lessons, and there was that word again.
“Just the diversity,” said Marc, who also strings about 1,000 tennis racquets a year. “I teach a 4-year-old girl and I teach a 76-year-old lady, back-to-back. Just the personalities.”
Marc juggles several events at the tennis center, which includes tournaments on some weekends.
“To be honest, the biggest challenge is the weather,” he said. “If the weather’s good, the tournament will run well. Really no major problems. Just rain.”
I love going to the tennis courts two to three times a week, even though I have a losing record with most of the people I play. It can be a frustrating sport at times, but my reward is playing at such a beautiful complex. And tennis gives me the exercise that golf didn’t.
I’m 62, so I get the senior rate on a one-year court pass, which is $65. You can’t beat that.
Everyone I play is unique. And the only American I play on a regular basis is Tohren Kibbey, a professor in the OU engineering school. We usually play at night under the lights. He’s a really good player, and I’ve only beaten him two or three times in the last two years.
He’s got a killer two-handed forehand and a one-handed forehand slice that gives me fits. I may scream, but I never swear.
I’ve played a lot of doubles with John Rimassa, who’s from New York. He’s the Yogi Berra of the courts. When he wins a point, he’ll say in his deadpan Brooklyn accent, “You can’t lose them all.”
I love playing Bei Sun, who’s Chinese. He doesn’t even need to warm up. We laugh a lot when we play matches. He’s very forgiving on line calls but not so much on his lethal forehand. And I’ve seen far too many of his drop shots bounce … twice.
I’ve played a lot of doubles with Poland’s Rafal Jabrzemski, another professor at the OU engineering school. All of his strokes are beautiful. His daughters, Nina and Natalia, played tennis at Norman North and won two straight 6A Doubles State Championships. I’ve never played either of them, thank goodness. Nina is a freshman at OU and plays on the tennis team.
Wade Ferguson is a bit like John McEnroe in that he wears his emotions on his short sleeves. I’ve only played doubles with him, and he’s never challenged line calls like McEnroe did. It’s always an adventure playing with him.
I also play a lot of doubles with Techi Rocha from Bolivia. She’s great at singles and doubles, and is superb at the net.
I probably play the most doubles with Haixiao Lu (China), Sasha Ivankov (Belarus) and Christian Ivanov (Bulgaria). Haixiao, who is attending OU, has powerful ground strokes on both sides, and Sasha, who has an MBA from OU, is quick. He’s like Michael Chang — he gets to everything.
Christian, who graduated from OU, is a former gymnast who competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He’s currently a coach at Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy. I’ve never taken a set from him, and my chances of doing so are thinner than a crepe.
“I developed my passion for tennis thanks to Westwood tennis, where I started playing as a beginner 18 years ago,” Christian said. “The complex is beautiful, the staff is awesome and it is a great place to play the sport we love.”
I’ve played Zhisheng Shi (China) once, and we split sets. But I see him all the time on the courts. We call him “Z,” and he’s yet another professor at the OU engineering school.
I’ve also played doubles with Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner. Nadia’s Romanian and is a talented tennis player in her own right. Bart’s not a bad player, either. After all, gymnastics is the piano scales of sports.
Our extended group plays 12 months a year. And no matter what day or night I go to the tennis center, I see a lot of the same people. It’s the amazing complex that keeps us coming back. Over and over again. And Marc Claude’s welcoming presence is a big part of that.
Courtesy of the Norman Transcript
By Dwight Normile
The Diversity of Westwood Tennis Center
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Heritage Hall's Thompson Caps off Perfect Tennis Season
Brooke Thompson, The Oklahoman's All-City Girls Tennis Player of the Year
By Ed Godfrey, Staff Writer, The Oklahoman
The first person to hug Heritage Hall freshman Brooke Thompson after winning the Class 5A girls tennis championship Saturday was her grandmother.
Sue Thompson, mother of the late Brooks Thompson, hurried onto the court and couldn't hold back the tears after her granddaughter's victory.
“Her daddy was here with her,” Sue said. “I could hear him when she missed a shot. ‘Just keep going.' That's what he would say.”
Brooke Thompson finished off a perfect 28-0 season Saturday at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center, winning the Class 5A No. 1 singles title with a 7-5, 6-2 win in the title match over Jessica Le of Bishop McGuinness.
Heritage Hall has produced a ton of state high school tennis champions over the years, but Thompson's victory as a freshman puts her in rare air. The last Heritage Hall freshman to win a No. 1 singles girls state championship was Kate Dunlevy in 1991.
Dunlevy would go on to win four state championships in her high school career. Thompson already is thinking about matching that feat.
“That's my goal,” she said.
Saturday marked the first time Heritage Hall has won both the No. 1 and No. 2 singles state titles since 1994 as the Chargers' Annabelle Treadwell captured the No. 2 singles crown.
The Chargers also won their 23rd team state championship in girls' tennis. Heritage Hall's No. 2 doubles team of Genesis Franks and Lauren Harvey won a state championship as well.
Brooke's older sister, Ryan, and her partner, Phoebe Shapard, finished second in No. 1 doubles after losing a three-set title match to Tulsa Cascia Hall.
Even though she was unbeaten, Brooke Thompson admitted feeling anxious entering Saturday's state championship match. She fell behind 5-4 in the first set before rallying to win.
“I couldn't really keep a ball in play,” she said of her start. “I was just a little nervous. My coach told me to just move your feet and believe in your shots and I did and I just felt more comfortable.”
What makes Brooke such a special player is her court intelligence, said Heritage Hall coach Jenny Ferguson.
“And her backhand is a killer,” Ferguson said.
The Thompson sisters have an athletic DNA. Their father was a basketball star at Oklahoma State and played in the NBA. Their mother, Michelle, played softball at OSU.
“They can't help be athletes,” their grandmother said.
Courtesy of The Oklahoman
OKLAHOMA TEAM WINS
Missouri Valley 12s & 14s
Team Event: May 26-28
This was a chance for a little district rivalry! Each district sent one team of eight girls and eight boys to the event to compete for district bragging rights. There was four players from each age division (four B12, four G12, four B14, four G14) selected by a process of the district’s choice.
June 9, 2018
Bixby High School
June 16, 2018
Westwood Tennis Center
June 15-17, 2018
Earlywine Tennis Center
June 8-10, 2018
OKLAHOMA LAWYERS FOR CHILDREN
June 29, 2018
PLAY IT FORWARD DOWN SYNDROME CLINIC
June 30-July 3, 2018
USTA NATIONAL SELECTION
Kickingbird Tennis Center G18
Oklahoma City Tennis Center B18
June 15-17, 2018
Oklahoma City Tennis Center
WITH YOUR TENNIS
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COMMUNITY THIS SUMMER!
Text USTAOKJUNIORS to 84483 to receive
USTA Oklahoma Juniors alerts
Text USTAOKADULT to 84483 to receive
USTA Oklahoma Adult League alerts
2420 Westport Drive
Norman, OK 73025