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Florida Tennis Briefs: Gators Rank High; Destin 10-Under Grant; Tennis with a Heart

January 6, 2011 01:29 PM
Lauren Embree and Allie Will of the University of Florida
Florida Gators Near Top of 2011 College Tennis Rankings

The Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for teams and individuals were released this week for 2011, with Florida teams and individuals ranking near the top.

The University of Florida women rank No. 2 behind Stanford, which defeated them 4-3 in the 2010 NCAA team final. Florida home recruits Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Alex Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) and Belgian Sofie Oyen have bolstered the Florida line-up this year, while No. 1 singles player Lauren Embree reportedly remains a question mark with a wrist injury.

Also in the women's Top 25 are Miami at No. 12 and Florida State at No. 14.

The Florida men are at No. 9 on the team rankings, also behind Stanford at No. 8, while Virginia and USC occupy the top two spots.

In the Top 10 singles rankings, Florida's Alex Lacroix is No. 4, and on the women's rankings Florida's Allie Will is No. 7. Florida's Sofie Oyen and Allie Will, the 2010 Indoor champions, are the No. 1-ranked doubles team.

The University of Florida is one of 16 schools with their men's and women's programs both ranked in the Top 25.

The third annual ITA Men's and Women's Kick-Off Weekend will take place Jan. 28-31, 2011, at select campus host sites. This year's Kick-Off Weekend Draft took place June 2-3, 2010, as teams selected which route they would take to get to the 2011 ITA Men's and Women's National Team Indoor Championships. The ITA Kick-Off Weekend features 15 men's and 15 women's host sites with four teams at each site vying to advance to the Team Indoor Championships. The 15 men's teams to win both of their matches at these events will be invited to play in the Feb. 18-21 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship at the Seattle Tennis Club (hosted by the University of Washington), while the 15 women's teams to win both of their matches will be invited to play in the Feb. 18-21 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship at the Boar's Head Sports Club (hosted by the University of Virginia).

Palms-Destin-STL-webPalms of Destin Resort Receives 10-Under USTA Florida Tennis Grant

Tennis teaching pro Patrick Morris and the Palms of Destin Resort were in January announced as the recipient of a $1,000 grant for 10-and-Under Tennis equipment from the United States Tennis Association-Florida's (USTA Florida) "Share the Love" grant initiative.

The 10-and-Under Tennis program (formerly known as QuickStart Tennis) at "The Palms" will kick off in March 2011.

"We are excited to be launching a junior tennis program at 'The Palms' beginning March 1, 2011," Morris said. "By using the very popular and successful USTA 10-and-Under Tennis training method we hope to reach many of the Destin youth. It is Sandestin Tennis' goal to help grow the game of a lifetime, tennis."

The 10-and-under Tennis play format is designed for children featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes. To see a video of the 10-and-under Tennis play format in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

"I am so pleased that the Palms of Destin Resort is yet another facility in the Emerald Coast that has adopted the 10-and-under play format," said George English, tennis program coordinator for the Panhandle. "This equipment grant will allow more children in the area to have fun while being introduced to the great game of tennis."

USTA Florida annually directs 90% of member dollars back into the community to support tennis programs and projects throughout Florida. USTA Florida's Share the Love grant program helps fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities include 10-and-under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to permanent 10-and-under play format courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"It is with USTA membership dollars that we are able to offer program grants to communities like these," said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "We look forward to hearing of the future success of this program."
Share the Love grant applications are still being accepted by USTA Florida at www.USTASharetheLove.com, or questions can be e-mailed to grants@florida.usta.com. For more information on the 10-and-Under Tennis play format in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.

For more info on the Palms of Destin 10-and-Under Tennis program, e-mail PatrickMorris@sandestin.com.

tennis-with-a-heart-logo-8t8th annual Tennis with a Heart Tournament, Feb. 2011 in Punta Gorda, Fla.

The 8th annual Tennis with a Heart Tournament, benefiting the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, will be held on two weekends in February 2011 -- the mixed doubles on Feb. 12-13, and the men's and women's doubles on Feb. 19-20, at the Punta Gorda Club in Punta Gorda, Fla.

The day before the first weekend on Feb. 11 will feature a kick-off party and tennis exhibitions. An awards ceremony and happy hour will follow the Sunday finals on Feb. 20.

Since 1989, the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition's goal has been to prevent homelessness and hunger.

"We need your support more than ever, as the housing, food, and employment challenges facing our clients are overwhelming," said fundraising organizers. "The Coalition's Safe House Emergency Homeless Shelter is full of individuals and families with children whose lives have been affected by the recession. The Homeless Coalition is stepping up our homeless prevention and feeding programs to provide increased support to those in need through rental/utility assistance, food from the pantry, case management, hot meals
and more. Your contribution will help us continue to assist those who walk the fine line between survival and despair."

For more sponsor information, contact Beth Perkins at the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition at (941) 627-4313 ext. 105, and for tournament info go to www.PuntaGordaClub.com.






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