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Tennis Briefs(2): ROGY, DII Award Winners

May 15, 2014 01:36 PM
Kids Learn Tennis Basics at TOPS'L ROGY in Miramar Beach, Fla.

Tennis etiquette, scoring, basic rules and fun were the take-aways when the TOPS'L Beach & Racquet Resort in Miramar Beach, Fla., hosted a USTA Florida ROGY Tennis "Tourn-event" for kids on May 10, 2014.

USTA Florida ROGY (for the Red, Orange, Green, and Yellow ball progressions) "Tourn-events" are three-hour play periods where children age 8-18 hone their tennis skills in a fun, no-pressure format using modified equipment. Depending on a child's age and experience, they play with the correct racquet size (smaller for kid's hands) and court size (36-foot for beginners or very young children, up to 60-foot and regulation 78-foot courts), and with lower-compression balls that bounce in a child's hitting zone rather than over their head.

"Despite a little morning rain the event went great for the kids, as well as the parents attending," said TOPS'L Director of Tennis Joe D'Aleo. "For most of the participants and the parents this was their first tournament experience in there pathway of junior tennis, which made it a very educational day on all aspects of the game."

The non-elimination "tourn-event" format saw timed rotations of match play, snacks and drinks, and music played throughout.

"With plenty of court monitors and volunteers it was great to be able to teach the kids and assist them in keeping track of the score, when to change sides, good sportsmanship and etiquette, as well as the many rules of the game," D'Aleo said. "Even the simple things such as what pocket to put the tennis ball in when serving, and where to stand on the court when receiving serve.

"In running a successful ROGY there are many basic things about tennis that most professionals might assume the kids and parents already know about the game, the most important one to have fun. With the music playing and plenty of snacks and drinks, everyone was a winner today using a non-elimination format of up the river down the river with timed rotations."

ROGY events are designed for rookie-level players who can serve, volley and keep score. By removing the rankings, and focusing on gaining experience playing against kids of the same level rather than winning, ROGY events provide a more fun way for youth players to participate.

"At the end of the tourn-event we had an awards ceremony with all the kids receiving a participation award, with some fun awards such as Rocket Serve, Fastest Feet, and my favorite, Best Sportsmanship as the last award to give out," D'Aleo said. "I would like to thank all the volunteers for making this such a great time for the kids and parents, as well as USTA Florida for giving me the resources to host such an event. The ROGY experience is definitely the right pathway for any child to gain the knowledge and confidence to develop their game until they are ready for the next level of competition." 

To learn more about ROGY Tennis for kids in the USTA Florida Section go to www.FloridaRogy.com.

UWF, Barry Win ITA Division II Tennis Awards

Derrick Racine
Bruno Savi
Avi Kigel

University of West Florida men's coach Derrick Racine, UWF player Bruno Savi, and Barry University women's coach Avi Kigel were announced as Division II tennis award winners for 2014 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Racine was named the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. He led his University of West Florida team to a perfect 24-0 record this season and a third consecutive Gulf South Conference championship.

The Argonauts have notched 13 wins over nationally-ranked opponents including five wins over Top 10 opponents. Racine is also a two-time national champion and a 10-time Wilson/ITA South Region Coach of the Year.

Savi was named the ITA Senior Player of the Year. He has been the top singles player in the country throughout the year for the top-ranked University of West Florida team. Savi won the Division II singles title at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships and is undefeated with a 22-0 record this spring.

He recorded his 150th career victory at the Gulf South Conference Championships, and was an ITA All-American in 2013 and 2012 in both singles and doubles.

Kigel was also named a Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year. He led his Barry University women's team to a 20-1 season following a 27-1 record in 2013. He is highly regarded for his easygoing nature and is great problem solver on the court.

Kigel's teams have qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships in all six years he's been head coach, winning the national title in 2011. The Buccaneers have also been ranked No. 1 in the nation during the past two seasons. Kegil was the ITA National Coach of the Year in 2011 and the ITA South Region Coach of the Year in 2013.

For a full list of NCAA Division II Regional award winners go to www.itatennis.com/AboutITA/News/ITA_Announces_2014_Division_II_Nationa​l_Award_Winners.htm.






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