• Roundup: GHS Girls Tennis Moving On

    By Cliff Olsen, Gainesville Sun Correspondent


    Published April 12, 2011

    The Gainesville High School girls tennis team, in the regional playoffs for the first time since 2008, notched its first postseason win since that year on Tuesday.

    The Hurricanes went on the road and knocked off St. Augustine 4-3, in a Class 3A, Region 2 first-round match.

    Eve Sampson and Sarah Lima each picked up straight-set wins at No. 1 and No. 4 singles respectively. Madison Parenti needed three sets to win at No. 5 singles, while the Hurricanes’ No. 2 doubles team of Lima and Brianna Harper were also victorious in straight sets.

    GHS (6-7) will travel to district-rival Columbia for Thursday’s second-round.

    “I am very proud and I am very happy for them,” GHS coach Debra Rhinesmith said. “They worked hard for it.”

    Columbia 7, St. Augustine Pedro Menendez 0: The Tigers, who reached the state tournament a year ago, opened the regional playoffs for the second straight year with a win over the Falcons.

    Columbia did not drop a set in its Class 3A, Region 2 first-round win.

    Chrissie Reichert, Susy Romero, Kelsey Mercer, Jessie Bates and Heather Benson each posted wins at each of the five singles positions. Reichert and Romero won at No. 1 doubles, while Mercer and Taylor Owens won at No. 2 doubles for Columbia (12-2).

    “They are just really motivated to get back to state again,” Columbia coach Tabatha McMahon said. “It was effortless and they played some of the best tennis they have played all year.”

    Jacksonvile Episcopal 5, Oak Hall 0: Oak Hall’s girls tennis team, which reached the regional playoffs for the first time since 2007, fell in their Class 1A, Region 2 first-round match on Tuesday.

    Episcopal clinched the win as it claimed each of the five singles positions.


    Jacksonville Episcopal 4, Oak Hall 3: The Oak Hall boys tennis team , which was looking for its first opening-round win since defeating Episcopal in 2006, fell to the Jacksonville school in Tuesday’s Class 1A, Region 2 first-round match.

    Tyler Werbel won at No. 1 singles and played with Zach Thibault to post a win at No. 1 doubles, but it wasn’t enough for Oak Hall (6-9). Alvin Wang and Apurv Suman also won at No. 2 doubles for Oak Hall.

  • ‘Canes Get Set for Regional Tourney

    By Cliff Olsen


    Posted April 11th, 2011

    Gainesville High School boys tennis coach Paul Spradling has had the perfect vantage point for what could end up being a special season for his club.

    Zachary Goldberg

    The Hurricanes claimed their first district title since 2007 last week and they also have their eye on making their first FHSAA Class 3A state tournament appearance since that year as well.

    “That is a good thing about being the coach, I get to watch this,” said Spradling, who guided the ‘Canes to the Class 5A state title in 1996 and to a share of the championship 1998. “Definitely the goal is to get to state. I’d love to win a state title, but if we could get in the top three at state, that would be a great accomplishment for these kids.

    “I am not looking ahead yet, I want to make sure we get Tuesday’s match out of the way.”

    GHS hosts St. Augustine in a Class 3A, Region 2 first-round match today at the Jonesville Tennis Center at 3 p.m.

    Leading the way for the Hurricanes is sophomore Zach Goldberg (17-2) at the No. 1 singles position. A member of last year’s Eastside team that reached state, Goldberg has teamed up with Cole Fiegel and the duo owns an 18-1 mark at No. 1 doubles. Fiegel, The Sun’s 2010 player of the year, is 17-2 at No. 2 singles, while standout freshman Peter Slaton is 16-3 this season at the No. 3 singles position.

    “We are going to focus on winning our first regional match and go from there,” said Goldberg, who transferred to GHS for its Academy of Health Professions program. “This is the postseason, this is what you look forward to at the beginning of the season.”

    GHS is just 9-7 in dual matches this year, but that was due in part to a challenging non-district schedule that featured six playoff teams. But the key for the Hurricanes reaching state could be the play of senior Jesse Gordon at No. 4 singles and Justin Zambelli at No. 5 singles. Zambelli and Slaton won a district title at No. 2 doubles last week.

    “If we can get quality play from the bottom half of the order, we can do something at state,” Spradling said. “It will also depend on our draw too.”

  • A to Z with Frazier Springfield

    By Cliff Olsen, Gainesville Sun Correspondent, April 6th, 2011


    SCHOOL: Eastside

    YEAR: Junior


    POSITION: No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles

    HEIGHT: 5-foot-9

    WEIGHT: 140 pounds

    A rea tennis player I would pay to watch play?: Zach Goldberg of Gainesville High School. He has been a good friend of mine for a long time. I respect him as a tennis player. He works really hard when he trains and he plays his heart out when he plays. Rebecca Rosenblat of Eastside. She is a friend of mine, and I give her tennis lessons.

    B est movie I’ve ever seen: “Iron Man 1 and 2.” Iike Robert Downey Jr. and I like action movies.

    C oach Dave Porter’s best words of advice for me …: He says that I have the game and the technique, but I need to play more tournaments so I can develop my mental side.

    D inner on an ideal night? Dinner on a Friday night at Chipotle with all my friends.

    E astside’s 2010 boys tennis season, hightlighted by its first trip to state since 2003, was …: Exciting. I was a sophomore and to go to state with my friends and being one of the younger players, it was pretty honorable to go to a tournament like that.

    F orehand winner, service ace, backhand winner or an overhead smash to win a match?: Forehand winner. My forehand is the best shot I have.

    G oing to the net or staying on the baseline?: Going to the net. I like going to the net because it is the ideal way to win a point.

    H ardest thing about playing in the two-day District 4-3A tournament is …: Facing Zach Goldberg of GHS in the No. 1 singles final. It will be tougher if I lose to him because he was on our team last year.

    I nteresting thing about me away from tennis: I enjoy taking photos of nature. My favorite type of photo to shoot is running water, like waterfalls or the river.

    J oker on the team: Definitely Tim Louthan. He is a nice, sarcastic person, but he likes to think that he is a thug.

    K ey to having a good serve is …: Accuracy and consistency.

    L east favorite Eastside tennis moment: Losing my first-round singles match at last year’s Class 3A state tournament.

    M y biggest challenge moving from No. 3 singles to No. 1 singles this year has been …: A tough adjustment. In our big matches, usually against GHS or Buchholz, it comes down to one or two matches and it has been difficult being the person the team relies on to get a big win.

    N ickname?: “Fraz” and I have also been given an inappropriate nickname by Josh Rosenblat after I shaved my head.

    O ne person in my life who inspires me most: My dad, Emory Springfield. He is a pretty big athlete himself. He is 57 and still runs marathons. I got all the good athletic genes from him.

    P otential college major: Marine biology. I like to scuba dive and I enjoy being under water.

    Q uirky habit: I bite my nails.

    R afael Nadal or Roger Federer?: Definitely Nadal. I think he is more of a genuine person than Federer is, even though I don’t know either one of them.

    S uperstition I have: Karma. If you do something good, something good will happen to you; if you do something bad, something bad will happen to you.

    T witter or Facebook page status post?: Facebook, but I really don’t use it that much.

    U niversities or colleges considering: I’d like to play tennis for Stetson, and I like the University of Florida because it is in town.

    V acation spot I love: Spruce Pine, North Carolina. It is in the Appalachian Mountains and it is where I do most of my nature photography. I also go snowboarding with my friends there.

    W imbledon, The French Open, The Australian Open and the U.S. Open, my favorite grand slam tournament is …: The U.S. Open, partially because it is in our country, and I think it is more glamorous than the other ones.

    X box, PlayStation or Wii?: Xbox 360. I enjoy playing Call of Duty: Black Ops.

    Y ear I was born: 1994.

    Z oo animal I like most: Flamingo. I like how they sleep with one leg up and their head in their chest.

  • Area Teams Continue Reign in District Tennis

    By Larry Savage, Gainesville Sun Staff Writer, April 5, 2011


    Oak Hall and P.K. Yonge continued their dominance in District 4-1A tennis Tuesday, with the Eagles winning their third straight boys tournament title and the Blue Wave capturing their fourth straight in girls.

    Oak Hall, which hosted the two-day district tourney and had to squeeze off water on the courts after Tuesday’s early morning storms, advanced four of their five singles players in the finals. Getting wins for the Eagles were seniors Zach Thibault and Alvin Wang, and junior Apurv Suman.

    “It is gratifying that we continue our high caliber of play,” said Oak Hall co-head coach John Dickinson. “We are happy our four seniors will go out with another district title.”

    Oak Hall will host Tuesday’s regional match play against a Jacksonville school, likely either Trinity Christian or Episcopal. Dickinson said he will know in a few days.

    The Eagles beat out St. Augustine St. Joseph and St. Francis for the boys title. P.K. Yonge and Union County also competed.

    Thibault took the No. 3 title, beating Matt Tueth of St. Francis, 6-4, 7-5 while Wang topped Josh Buckner of St. Francis at No. 4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Suman outbattled P.K. Yonge’s Thomas Buschbacker, 6-2, 6-1, in No. 5 singles.

    For the third straight year, Oak Hall’s No. 1 player Tyler Werbel fell to Henning Ander of St. Joseph, who picked up his third straight district title with a 6-1, 6-1 win.

    “They always play a heck of a match, and did again today,” Dickinson said. “Henning is just a little bit better than Tyler.”

    In the girls, the Blue Wave swept the top four singles, getting wins from No. 1 Jazz Whittaker, No. 2 Kiah Turner, No. 3 Zari Whittaker and No. 4 sixth-grader Madison Sagas. P.K. Yonge also swept both doubles, which included the duo of Jazz Whittaker and Turner, who are unbeaten at No. 1. Last year, the two captured the state 1A title at No. 2 doubles.

    “We have had a pretty good season,” said Blue Wave assistant coach Leanne Yarn, who is in her first year. “They are playing very well, and look forward to regionals. It is exciting knowing that almost all of them are coming back, but we will be losing a very good No. 3 player (Zari Whittaker).”

    Sophomore Jazz Whittaker downed Anna Marzak of Santa Fe, 6-0, 6-2, while the freshman Turner beat Oak Hall’s Zahara Chowdhury, 6-3, 6-2. Zari Whittaker defeated Gaelin McLeod of Oak Hall, 6-3, 6-3, and Sagas blanked Alexis Mast of Oak Hall, 6-0, 6-0.

    The Blue Wave will host a first-round regional match on Tuesday. Their opponent has yet to be determined.

  • Buchholz Boys, Girls Clinch Regional Berths

    By Cliff Olsen, Gainesville Sun Correspondent, April 5th, 2011


    The Buchholz boys and girls tennis teams each finished as District 1-4A runner-ups and each clinched a regional playoff berth on Tuesday.

    Erik Vincek captured his second straight district title by winning at No. 1 singles, while the Bobcats’ No. 1 girls doubles team of Courtney Cribb and Zhoe Solaun also titled to highlight day-two action for Buchholz at the Jonesville Tennis Center. Vincek, along with Cribb and Solaun, earned individual berths to the FHSAA Class 4A state tournament.

    As a team, the Buchholz boys squad secured its eighth trip to the regional playoffs in the last 11 seasons. The girls team will be moving onto the regional playoffs for the fifth straight year. Both groups will travel to Port Orange Spruce Creek for Tuesday’s opening-round regional match.

    “The boys did great, I was pleased with the way they held themselves at the tournament,” said Buchholz coach Johnny Johnston. “They all played well. They lost to a better team and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”

    Orange Park Fleming Island won the boys title with 20 points, having won five of the six singles and both doubles positions with the Bobcats next with 12 points.

    On the girls’ side, Fleming Island edged Buchholz 13-12 for the district title, topping the eight-team field.

    Cribb, a freshman, took home the district title at No. 2 singles for the Bobcats’ lone win among the five singles positions.

    The start of the second day’s action on the clay courts was delayed by about four hours due to early morning thunderstorms, which made for a long day of tennis.

    “I was very happy. I was ecstatic for both of them,” said Johnston, about his No. 1 girls doubles team. “It was huge.”

  • Florida Tennis League Season Two

  • Aces for Kids Tennis Tournament

    The Aces for Kids Tennis Tournament will be held April 22-24, 2011 at the Jonesville Tennis Center. Proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County. There will be several divisions, with a 2 match guarantee: Singles and Doubles, Open, A, B, C, Parent-Child, Mixed Doubles, and Juniors. Singles: $25, Doubles $40/team, Mixed $40/team, Parent/Child $30/team and Juniors (14 and Under) $20. Cash prizes for Open Divisions, with 25% of Open Proceeds to Winners, 10% to Runner-Ups. There will also be a Players’ Social on April 22nd, with complimentary hors d-oeuvres and beverages. To register online, or more information, please call 352-372-5342.  For a copy of the registration form, go to the link below:


  • GACTA Announces Alachua County Middle School Tennis Program 2011

    The Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association is launching a pilot after school tennis program for middle school students in Alachua County. The inaugural season is set to begin in late March.

    Anne Koterba, vice president of GACTA, says the new middle school program will help introduce the lifetime sport of tennis to this age group and provide a positive recreational after school activity for students.

    “GACTA now has the opportunity to work along with the Alachua County school system to provide middle school students with a safe, fun and learning atmosphere centered on tennis,” Koterba said. “Tennis helps teach students how to live a healthy lifestyle, and this program will give them the skills to play in high school and with their family and friends for the rest of their lives.”

    Fort Clarke Middle School, Kanapaha Middle School, Westwood Middle School and Lincoln Middle School are the four Alachua County schools participating in the pilot middle school program. The season will begin with practices in late March. The schedule of five dual match weeks and one tournament week will extend from April 18th-May 27th, 2011. Participants will receive clinics from volunteer local tennis teaching professionals at local tennis facilities, and parents will captain the each school’s team.

    A no-cut format will be used, and the program is aimed at players of all levels.

    The costs associated with registration are $30 for the season and include a team T-shirt, match balls and the end of season tournament and party. Transportation to and from the tennis facilities will be the responsibility of the parents.

  • Gainesville Receives $5,750 Tennis Grant from USTA Florida



    Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) has been granted $5,750 through the United States Tennis Association-Florida (USTA Florida) “Share the Love” initiative for an extended-day tennis program in Alachua County elementary schools, and an adaptive tennis program for special-needs children. Both programs are targeted to combat obesity and improve the health of children in the region.

    The funding will be used for tennis teacher stipends for both programs, and for USTA 10 and Under Tennis equipment.“The purpose of this program is to provide a healthy academic opportunity to a diverse group of children in the Alachua County schools’ Extended Day Enrichment Program, which currently has an enrollment of over 3,000 children,” says Anne Koterba, a USTA Gainesville community representative who initiated the grant application. “We are also seeking to introduce the sport of tennis to special-needs children in the Gainesville and Alachua County area.”

    A pilot program coordinated by Koterba and other tennis activists at the Jonesville Tennis Center in Gainesville catered to the substantial population of children in the area with autism, Down’s Syndrome and a variety of other conditions. The group looks to continue the program, utilizing the scaled-down USTA 10 and Under Tennis equipment which provides a more successful and enjoyable tennis experience for children.

    The USTA 10 and Under Tennis 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 10 and Under Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com

    “Many school children in our community are facing a number of challenges to their long-term well-being, including obesity, as approximately one-third of school children in our county are overweight or obese,” Koterba says. “USTA Florida, by providing funding to projects like these, can make a difference in our community by helping us introduce tennis, a potentially life-long sport, to children of all abilities and socio-economic backgrounds.”

    In 2011 the GACTA planned to expand the extended-day tennis programs from eight to 12 elementary schools, with qualified tennis teachers overseeing each school, (but was actually able to extend the program to include all the elementary schools in Alachua County). Partners in the program include the Alachua County School District, the Alachua County Choices Program, the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, the University of Florida and the Jonesville Tennis Center.

    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 courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

    “This is another great example of tennis partnerships in Gainesville between the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, the Jonesville Tennis Center, and others that we are proud to support with funding to benefit area children,” said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland. “It is with USTA membership dollars from adult and junior tennis players across the state of Florida that we are able to offer program grants and give back to communities like these.”

    Share the Love grant applications are still being accepted by USTA Florida at www.USTASharetheLove.com, or questions can be e-mailed to grants@nullflorida.usta.com. For more information on the 10-and-Under Tennis play format in Florida, go towww.ustaflorida.com.

    For more information on the Gainesville program, contact Anne Koterba at akoterba@nullaol.com, or go to www.gainesvilletennis.com

  • UF Men’s Tennis Team Schedule 2010-2011

    Fri-Mon, Jan 14-17 SEC Indoor Knoxville, TN
    Friday, Jan.21 Furman Gainesville, FL 3 pm
    Sunday, Jan 23 Baylor Gainesville, FL 12 noon
    Fri, Jan 28 UC Santa Barbara  (ITA Kick-Off Weekend) Gainesville, FL 10 am
    Fri, Jan 28 Troy Vs. NC State Gainesville, FL 1 pm
    Sat., Jan 29 ITA Kick-Off, Consolation Gainesville, FL 10 am
    Sat. Jan 29 ITA Kick-Off, Final Gainesville, FL 1 pm
    Fri, Feb 4 UCF Gainesville, FL 3 pm
    Sun Feb 6 FSU Tallahassee, FL 1 pm
    Sat Feb 12 Illinois Champaign, IL 6 pm
    Fri-Mon Feb 18-21 ITA National Team Indoor Seattle, WA
    Fri March 4 LSU Gainesville, FL 3 pm
    Sun March 6 Arkansas Gainesville, FL 1 pm
    Fri March 11 Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 5 pm
    Sun March 13 Auburn Auburn, AL 1 pm
    Thu March 17 Southern California Gainesville, FL 5 pm
    Sat March 19 Ole Miss Gainesville, FL 1 pm
    Sat March 26 Mississippi State Starksville, MS 1 pm
    Fri April 1 Kentucky Gainesville, FL 3 pm
    Sun April 3 Vanderbilt Gainesville, FL 1 pm
    Fri April 8 Georgia Athens, GA 5 pm
    Sun, April 10 Tennessee Knoxville, TN 1 pm
    Sat. April 16 South Carolina Columbia, SC 3 pm
    Thur-Sun April 21-24 SEC Tournament Gainesville, FL
    Fri-Sun May 13-15 NCAA Regional TBA
    Thur- Wed May 19-25 NCAA Team Tournament Stanford, CA
    Thur-Mon May 26-30 NCAA Individual Stanford, CA