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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): Rinaldi to FSU; Ly Multicultural Grant; More

November 15, 2011 12:40 PM
Florida State Tennis Signs Palm City's Rinaldi
 
rinaldi.jpegFlorida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist and the Florida State administration announced that Michael Rinaldi signed a National Letter of Intent to play tennis for the Seminoles next season. Rinaldi, a native of Palm City, Fla., is a five-star, blue chip recruit according to Tennisrecruiting.net.
 
"Michael is an outstanding player," Hultquist said. "He's grown up in Florida and trained with the USTA. He's played internationally and very experienced. Anytime we get a top player from Florida we're excited about it. His dad was a college tennis player and his aunt was a professional tennis player so tennis runs in his blood. We think he's going to be a tremendous asset to us."
 
Rinaldi is the nephew of Kathy Rinaldi, the former No. 7-ranked WTA player who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1985.
 
In junior singles play he won this year's 2011 Birmingham USTA Regional Tournament and Jaimes Tennis Super Series while reaching the finals of the Copa Gatorade Internacional in Spain. In 2010 he won the Copa Merengue Boys 18 G4 in the Dominican Republic and the Tennis Plaza Cup Boys 18 in Coral Gables, Fla. He reached the finals of the 2010 Copa Cariari 18 G5 in Costa Rica and the ITF El Salvador Junior Open. In 2008, he claimed the title in the 2008 Easter Bowl ITF Boys 14 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
 
In doubles play he won the 47th Copa de Cafe in Costa Rica this year and the 33rd ITF International Casablanca Junior Cup in Mexico, and reached the finals of this year's Costa Rica Bowl.
 
"I picked Florida State because I liked to stay in Florida," Rinaldi said. "The coaches and the players are all really nice. They do a lot of stuff together like a real team. I expect to win a lot of matches and compete for the national title."
 
 
10 and Under Tennis Exhibition Featured at USTA Pensacola Futures Tournament
 
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The Roger Scott Tennis Center hosted a USTA 10 and Under Tennis round robin and clinic in conjunction with the $10,000 Futures professional tennis tournament at the claycourt facility on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, providing fans with an up-close look at the format for young players.
 
"This was a great event and fun was had by all that attended, I can start to see how the under-10 junior tennis program is growing throughout the Emerald Coast," said Joe D’Aleo, organizer and USPTA Florida District 1 president for the Panhandle Division. "The kids could not wait to play in front of the crowd, with me commentating and adding some color to get everyone cheering for them. We used this as an opportunity to show everyone that has not seen the 36-foot court and 60-foot court on how the game is changing in 2012, and how much fun the kids are having with the right size ball and racquet for their age group."
 
The morning format included an 8-and-under and 10-and-under compass draws for round robin play, using the 36-foot and 60-foot courts, and held between the singles semifinals of the pro event. More than 100 children participated in the event, with 30 volunteers helping out.
 
"We also had some fun courts set up for any kids that have never played before," D’Aleo said. "A big hit was a surprise visit from the Chick-Fil-A ‘eat more chicken’ cow who was great with the kids, running around with a tennis racquet in hand.  You can guess that lunch was awesome, provided by Chick-Fil-A."
 
Children also participated in a "Hit for Prizes" donated by USTA Florida.
 
"I would like to thank Michael Edge, tennis professional at Roger Scott Tennis Center, for his phenomenal job in organizing this event and getting all the volunteers from the local high school tennis teams, Pensacola junior college students and the University of West Florida," D’Aleo said. "Also a big thanks for the USPTA and PTR professionals that donated their time: Bruce Caton, Robert Isosaari, Erik Stenberg, Cameron Jones, Brian Sakey, Rita Dotson and Ingrid Hewette, Jessica D’Aleo and USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis coordinators for helping make this a truly great event."  
 
 
Palm Beach Atlantic’s Ly Among Multicultural Grant Recipients
 
Palm Beach Atlantic’s Chi Ly was among 10 college tennis coaches receiving $1,000 USTA Multicultural Grants, presented by the USTA and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to cover the cost of attendance at the ITA Coaches Convention, held at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Southwest Florida on Dec. 13-16, 2011.
 
While in Naples, the honorees will participate in a series of clinics and events to assist them in their profession, including the Multicultural Coaching Education Symposium presented by USTA Player Development. New to the ITA Coaches Convention, this training session will provide college coaches with insight into the teaching and coaching philosophy of USTA National Coaches, while also serving as a forum for strategies to increase the number of multicultural tennis coaches and players.
 
"The ITA Convention has been a great opportunity for me to learn ways of getting others within our community and campus more involved in tennis," Ly said. "Over last few years, I was able to apply things that I have learned from the workshops, not only helping our players, but the kids who participate in the First Serve program."
 
Chi_Ly-webIn addition to Ly the 2011 USTA Multicultural Grant recipients were Terry Alexander (Morehouse College), Louis Bolling (Haverford College), James Oscar Cuthbertson, Jr. (Johnson C. Smith University), Jennifer Keiner (Converse College), Ximena Moore (Huntingdon College), Rodrigo Puebla (Iowa State University), Larry Strickland (Howard University), Patrick Sullivan (Stephen F. Austin University), and Autumn Williams (Clark Atlanta University).
 
Among the honorees are African American, Hispanic American and Asian American coaches of teams competing in NCAA Division I, II and III. First-year and veteran head coaches, as well as two assistant coaches, were selected as recipients.
 
An annual event since 1985, the ITA Coaches Convention is one of the top professional development opportunities for collegiate tennis coaches today. Nearly 300 men's and women's college tennis coaches at all levels gather each year for the four-day convention, highlighted by some of the most influential people in the sport of tennis. In addition to offering clinics, panel discussions, an awards banquet, a trade show and a chance to exchange ideas, the ITA Coaches Convention serves as the venue for the association's annual meetings.
 
 
Jacksonville Wraps Free Beginner Ladies Tennis Event Series at Deerwood

The last of a series of three introductory beginning ladies tennis events, the USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blasts, was held on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville where 25 ladies received free clinics and more.

jax fun league blast deerwoodDeerwood teaching professionals Rodney Harmon and Reggie Exum, and Raudel Barba from The Woods introduced ladies to the basics of the game and coached them through fun round robin play, which led to a "Hit for Prizes" and a free lunch, including information on local league opportunities for beginning players.

"This year we had a total of three Fun League Tennis Blasts in Jacksonville, with others hosted at Jacksonville Golf & Country Club and Eagle Harbor Country Club," said USTA Florida Jacksonville-area Tennis Program Coordinator Amanda Becker. "The total number of players for all the event was 89, introducing beginning players to other players of the same ability and league and play opportunities."
 
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Participants also received USTA Florida league towels and t-shirts. Becker is currently soliciting sites for USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast events in 2012.

"Jacksonville pros involved in helping the initiative this year also included Bill Gist, Gus Treyz, Zack Ganger, William Kitchens, Randy Jenks, Bill Champan, Jamie Booras and Heather Leister, thanks to all the participating pros," Becker said.

USTA League is the country's largest recreational tennis league, helping more than 325,000 players nationwide get on the court, have a good time, and step up their game. The League is organized as competitive team match play, with teams made up of a minimum of 5-8 players depending upon division. Teams and matches are set up according to NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) ratings, so teammates and opponents are at the same skill level, with leagues ranging from the 2.5 beginner level up to 5.0 advanced and Open divisions. The competition is exciting, the atmosphere is social, and since players compete on teams, they have a built-in cheering section.

"There is nothing more important in life than being able to share your gift with others, and that's just what Jacksonville local tennis professionals did by volunteering their time and services for up-and-coming beginner tennis players to develop their game," said USTA Florida Director of Leagues Sandy Marshall. "Focus was placed on fun, friendships, exercise, and good health. USTA Florida thanks everybody involved for their inspiration, motivation, and providing this opportunity in Jacksonville to help tennis flourish and touch so many lives."

For more info contact Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com.
 
 
 

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