News and notes from across the New York Metro tennis community
  | By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

NYIT Bears clinch third straight ECC title
With a three-set thriller, sophomore Gabriela Siembab from Chrzanow, Poland clinched the match to give the NYIT women's team their third straight East Coast Conference (ECC) Championship. The Bears defeated the Knights of Queens (N.Y.) 5-3.

Siembab won the match for NYIT with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Angelika Sobiecka at third singles.

The Bears started the match down 2-0 due to an insufficient roster and defaulted at third doubles and sixth singles. Queens then won second doubles 8-0 to lead 3-0, but NYIT started its rally with an 8-2 win at first doubles.

Down 3-1 in singles play, NYIT knotted the score at 3-3, with Alessia Rossetti from Minusio, Switzerland’s 6-3, 6-1 win over Jenna Plevako.


Pierre and LoBosco receive all-conference honors
Junior Tathiana Pierre (pictured left), originally from Bishop Ford in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Senior Victoria LoBosco (pictured right), originally from Archbishop Molloy in Glendale, N.Y. of the St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn women’s tennis team, were both named to the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) All-Conference Team following the conclusion of the HVIAC Championships.

This is the first time Pierre has earned the accolade, and the second time LoBosco has received the honor, last receiving it as a sophomore in 2012. Both helped the Lady Bears produce finalists in eight of nine flights and took home a program-best runner-up finish in the championships.

The three-time HVIAC Player of the Week and two-time AD3I Player of the Week, Pierre tied for the most singles wins in a season with seven. She reached the finals at number one singles, following an 8-5 semifinal victory over Berkeley.

LoBosco finished the season with four wins, including a 3-3 record at the number three singles position. She teamed up with Pierre at number one doubles, where they would go 4-6, and finished 3-1 in the conference. It culminated when the duo would blank Nancy Varughese & Samantha Gomez of the College of New Rochelle to reach the finals in the HVIAC Championships.


Staten Island’s Aziz enjoys excellent winter season
Miriam Aziz of New Springville on Staten Island has racked up two tournament victories this winter. Aziz defeated Sonal Matta from Elk Grove Village, Ill. 6-4 6-2 in the semifinals and beat Allison Bach from Riva, Md. 6-0 6-3, in the finals to win the USTA National Open 12U Singles Championship at the Five Seasons Sports Club in late November. Aziz’s winter featured more victories as her and partner, Mia Kintiroglou of Livingston, N.J., defeated Erika Rems from South Plainfield, N.J. & Riya Ravi from Upper Saddle River, N.J. 6-3, 6-2, to win the USTA National Empire Doubles 12 and Under Tournament at Centercourt Tennis Club in early December. In the semifinals, Aziz and Kintiroglou topped Valencia Xu from Livingston, N.J. and Reimi Kosaka from Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 6-3, 6-2.

Aziz’s latest victory came at the USTA Grand Prix Sectional 12U Singles tournament, defeating Elyse Wagle of Niksayuna, N.Y. 6-2, 6-4 in the championship at Sportime Bethpage. Pictured above, Miriam Aziz (left) with runner-up Elyse Wagle (right) at Sportime Bethpage.


National Tennis Center renovations continue
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. has been under construction and renovation for months now, and the progress is going according to schedule. The whole project is expected to be completed by August of 2018.

The process began in the months prior to the U.S. Open, starting in August, and had to come to a halt for about 30 days as the 2014 edition of the U.S. Open played out. The first phase of the $550 million project included putting in a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, as well as two other stadiums in the complex. This phase is expected to be completed sometime in August of 2016.

The project also includes many infrastructure upgrades, which include putting together the eight foundations that will support the roof over Ashe.

“Most retractable roofs are built with the stadium from the get-go,” said Tom Jaske, Faithful & Gould senior vice president and project executive. The firm that was awarded a project management contract for the site. “But this is a separate structure poised over the existing stadium.”

The next phases of the renovation will include knocking down Louis Armstrong Stadium and the grandstands, and rebuilding it to add seats. The stadium and grandstands will be separate structures and the 11,000-seat Armstrong Stadium will be boosted to about 15,000 seats.


Centercourt’s Joshi honored with National Sportsmanship Award
Abhijeet Joshi from Millington, N.J., who trains at Centercourt, was awarded the Junior Team Tennis U18 National Sportsmanship Award at the 2014 USTA Junior Team Tennis 18 and Under Advanced National Championships, held at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center in Cayce, S.C.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he is being recognized, as he is a role model for other players,” Julie Bliss Beal, director of competition at USTA Eastern said.

“He’s a great person and a great tennis player and has been recognized in the Section for both.” In the past, Joshi has won USTA Eastern’s Sportsmanship Award, and has been honored at the annual USTA Eastern Junior Awards Gala for his top performance on court in his age division.


JMTA players take part in invitation-only event at National Tennis Center
Dominick Mosejczuk (pictured here on the left) and Julia Werdiger (pictured here on the right), who train at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, recently competed in an invitation-only 10 & Under Match Play at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, coordinated by USTA National Junior Development Coach Erik Kortland. The event featured six players, two girls and four boys, split into two teams to compete in a Davis Cup/Fed Cup-style match.

"I was so proud of how both Dom and Julia represented JMTA with hard work during every point, and smiles after every point," said JMTA Associate Director Nate Emge, shown above in the center. "This was a great experience for the kids and also for me!"



USTA Metro welcomes the holiday season
Four past presidents of the USTA Eastern Metro Region joined with current USTA Eastern Metro Region President Jackie Clark at the Region’s recent Metro Holiday Party. Pictured here, Tim Heath, Carl Sommer, Mark McIntyre, Jackie Clark and Skip Hartman ring in the 2014 holiday season.




Stadium Tennis Center hosts Metro Junior Team Tennis Registration and Kick-Off Party
Stadium Tennis Center recently hosted the Metro Junior Team Tennis Registration and Kick-Off Party. The event marks the start of the USTA Metro Junior Team Tennis season, and on-site registration was available for all intermediate and advance junior players ages seven through 18.



Centercourt trainees sign Letters of Intent
Anna Ulyashchenko and Isaac Stolar, both who train at Centercourt, have signed national Letters of Intent for their prospective schools in 2015. Anna will be receiving a full tennis scholarship to Wake Forest University, while Isaac will play next fall for the Citadel Bulldogs. Pictured here, Anna Ulyashchenko with her supporters signing her Letter of Intent to attend Wake Forest in the fall of 2015.





Columbia men’s tennis matches program’s best ranking in 2015 ITA poll
Fresh off the program’s best ever finish at the NCAA Championships and a record-setting season, the Columbia men’s tennis team enters 2015 ranked 16th on the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Poll the ITA. The Lions match the top ranking in school history, which was reached earlier last season. Columbia, who competed at three premier fall tournaments and three championships this fall, ended last spring ranked at number 17.

Winston Lin headlines a pair of Lions on the singles poll as the senior comes in at 22 after capturing the Northeast Regional Championship and posting a 12-3 record this fall, including six victories over ranked opponents.



NYC’s Yee family named Tennis Family of the Year
Gary, Cathy and Kyle Yee of New York City were named as USTA Eastern’s Tennis Family of the Year for their substantial service to the game of tennis. The Yee family will receive the award at USTA Eastern’s Tennis Conference on Jan. 31 at the Renaissance Hotel in White Plains, N.Y.

“It’s quite an honor to receive this award,” Cathy Yee said. “It’s very unexpected. Tennis has always just been a part of our lives.”

Cathy made her mark in the New York City tennis community more than five years ago by creating the competitive junior program at Riverside Clay Tennis Association (RCTA). Cathy also hosted Junior Team Tennis (JTT) at RCTA, and was the JTT coordinator for the Metro region.

Gary, Cathy’s husband, grew up playing tennis, as his mother, Amy Yee, developed a strong tennis community in Seattle. In doing so, Amy was inducted into the USTA Pacific Northwest Hall of Fame. Amy, with help from her children, held free clinics for anyone interested in learning the game of tennis.

“Her children, much like her, have a very giving attitude and outlook toward helping others make the most of their tennis game,” Cathy said. “Through their continued participation in the sport, all four of her children earned tennis scholarships.”

Gary has taught tennis for more than 40 years, and is now a teaching professional at RCTA. He enjoys helping all athletes, competitive or not, improve their game by directly identifying problem areas.

Like his father, Kyle learned to play tennis at a young age. He competed in JTT, and now helps teach kids tennis at RCTA during the summer.

“It’s really great because tennis is a sport you can play when you’re older,” Cathy said. “As a mother, it’s nice to see that Kyle and his dad can go out and hit.”