USTA Rhode Island: RI News

Eric Laboissonniere
Eric Laboissonniere
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Saturday, July 9

Sadie Campanella
Sadie Campanella
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RIC senior Campanelli to receive USTA Rhode Island’s second Jill Craybas Award; Roger Williams senior Laboissonniere senior earns second Andy Chase/Gordie Ernst Award from the USTA state association.

NEWPORT, RI – Rhode Island College senior captain Sadie Campanella and Roger Williams University senior captain Eric Laboissonniere have been named USTA Rhode Island’s College Tennis Players of the Year, for the 2015-16 school year.  Campanella, from Chepachet, RI, is receiving the second Jill Craybas Award, as the Ocean State’s female college player of the year. Laboissonniere, from Cumberland, RI, is the second recipient of the Andy Chase/Gordie Ernst Award as the state’s top male college player.

The awards will be presented during USTA New England's on-court awards ceremony at the Tennis Hall of Fame Championships, Tuesday, July 12 in Newport.  The awards are presented by USTA Rhode Island to the male and the female college players of the year who are from the Ocean State, but not necessarily playing at a Rhode Island school.

These two awards are in line with our mission statement of promoting the growth and development of tennis in the state, including college tennis,” said Douglas Chapman, USTA Rhode Island’s president and CEO. “We named the awards after Rhode Island’s most successful college players of the past, and we are pleased that Jill Craybas, Andy Chase and Gordie Ernst agreed to put their names to what is a prestigious honor.  And we have two outstanding recipients again this year.”  

JILL CRAYBAS AWARD – Sadie Campanelli captained RIC to an unbeaten Little East Conference regular season title. She was named First Team All-Little East in both singles and doubles for the second consecutive year. She was unbeaten in league play (8-0) at No.2 singles and was 7-1 at No. 1 doubles. Campanella was 12-3 in both singles and doubles, finishing with a 24-6 overall record.

Campanella wrapped up her Anchorwomen career with a 41-19 career singles record and a 41-20 career doubles record, placing seventh all-time in school history in singles and tied for eighth in doubles. She played No. 1 singles during her first three college seasons and was the LEC Rookie of the Year in 2012.

She was an All-State and All-Division selection while playing at Ponaganset High School. A LEC Academic All-Star for tennis, she is an English major with a minor in communications. Sadie is the daughter of Bethany and Robert Campanella of Chepachet.

ANDY CHASE/GORDIE ERNST AWARD – RWU's Eric Laboissonniere was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference's Player of the Year and he captained the Hawks to TCCC regular season title and a berth in the playoff final. He was 7-1 at No. 1 singles in league play and 11-6 overall, plus 12-5 in doubles.

Laboissonniere was a CCC First Team all-star in singles and Second Team in all-star in doubles during his sophomore and junior years. As a freshman,he was unbeaten in CCC play and led the team with 18 wins in doubles.

At Cumberland High School, he was twice selected to the All-State First Team and three times to the All-Division team. A CCC Academic All-Star for tennis and a communications major, he is the son of Arlene and the late Jerry Laboissonniere of Cumberland.


JILL CRAYBAS – A native of East Greenwich, Craybas is the most successful tennis player in Rhode Island history. She was a RIISL high school state singles champion for the Lincoln School and captured the 1996 NCAA singles championship for the University of Florida, when she was the National College Player of the Year. She is the only player in NCAA history to be a member of Division I championship teams at two different schools (Texas and Florida). A two-time SEC Player of the Year, she finished her college career with a 124-18 record.  A Florida Gator Hall of Famer, she played nearly 20 years on the WTA Tour. She won the 2002 Japan Open and five doubles titles on the main tour. She was ranked as high as #3 in the US and #41 in the world.  A regular for the US Fed Cup team. Her most notable result came at Wimbledon in 2005, where she defeated Serena Williams and Marion Bartoli. 

ANDY CHASE – A native of Cumberland, Chase was the US National 16 & Under Hardcourt Singles Champion and a two-time national junior doubles champion. He won two RIILS state singles championships and team championship for Cumberland.  He went on to play at Stanford University, where he was a teammate of John McEnroe. The Cardinal won three NCAA Division I team championships during his four years in Palo Alto.

GORDIE ERNST – A native of Cranston, Ernst won four RIISL state singles championship and four doubles championships (three at Cranston East and one at Hendricken), including three with his brother, Bobby Ernst. He was 97-0 in his high school singles career. Ernst was a two-sport athlete at Brown University, was a NHL draft choice and briefly played on the pro tennis tour. Ernst is the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Georgetown University, having previously coached at Penn and Northwestern. Among his current pupils are President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia.


2015-16 – Sadie Campanelli (Chepachet), Rhode Island College

2014-15 – Rebecca Curran (Rumford), Williams College


2015-16 – Eric Laboissonniere (Cumberland), Roger Williams University

2014-15 – Matt Kuhar (Smithfield), Bryant University

Sunday, March 6
2nd annual USTA RI High School Coaches Clinic presented by Brown University

Wednesday, January 27
Board of Director applications

USTA Rhode Island applications for Board of Directors

The ...

Thursday, January 28
John Austin Named PTR Rhode Island Member of the Year
John Austin Named PTR Rhode Island Member of the Year

Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) will present its annual awards during the 2016 PTR International Tennis Symposium.  The event, which includes more than 40 educational presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, will be held February 17-20 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

John Austin, of Newport, Rhode Island, has been named PTR Member of the Year for the State.  This award is presented to a PTR member who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR.

A Professional in four of the PTR Education Pathways, Austin is busily developing junior development pathways as Director of Tennis on the 13 manicured grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  A former pro player, in 1980, Austin and his sister Tracy won the Mixed Doubles Title at Wimbledon.  He retired from playing on the tour in 1984, and began his career as a teaching professional.  He has worked with Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Alexandra Stevenson and others as a tour coach, before joining the staff at the Hall of Fame.

Austin is a member of the USTA Rhode Island Board of Directors and wasnamed the 2015 New England PTR Pro of the Year.

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 15,000 members in 125 countries.  It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization.  PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.

Wednesday, January 27
Free Winter Wheelchair Tennis Clinics

Free Winter Wheelchair Tennis Clinics Scheduled 

Wheelchair tennis is one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports and played all over the world.  Wheelchair tennis clinics are geared toward people 
with mobility disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, amputees, spinal cord diseases, etc. Attend all clinics or just one! All player levels are 

If you are an able-bodied person interested in volunteering at clinic, please join us at the clinics or contact me for more details.

Wheelchair Tennis Clinics 
DATE: Friday nights 7:30-9:30pm  scheduled as noted: 

1/15 Friday 7:30-9:30pm 
1/29 Friday 7:30-9:30pm 

2/7 Sunday 3:30 - 5:30pm***** 
2/26 Friday 7:30-9:30pm

3/11 Friday 7:30-9:30pm 
3/25 Friday 7:30-9:30pm

4/8 Friday 7:30-9:30pm
4/22 Friday 7:30-9:30pm

5/6 Friday 7:30-9:30pm
5/20 Friday 7:30-9:30pm

COST:  $0
All levels of players are welcome to attend. Rackets can be provided if need be.

Dartmouth Indoor Tennis
757 State Rd, Dartmouth, MA 02747

Instructions to be provided by Jim Buck - Teaching tennis for 35 years and teaching wheelchair tennis for 20 years; Helped create and operate wheelchair tennis program in Southern California for 10 years.
For more information please contact me. Clinic space is limited so please contact me asap to reserve your spot.
Thomas Dodd

Thursday, January 28
USTA New England Celebrates 2015 Awards Winners at Luncheon