In the organizations history this is one of the largest college placements years ever. 9 children that played tennis locally have been given scholarships for athletics and or academics for their 2010 freshman year. 7 of the 9 will play division 1 college tennis, with the others receiving scholarships for their academics. All of these students had a high grade point average and many of them were among the most sought after student athletes in the country.
Patrick Kawka from Henderson is now ranked #19 in the United States and could have picked among many opportunities.
"I chose BYU because of the coach Brad Pierce," Kawka said when asked about the next 4 years of his life. "They are also a top nationally ranked college team and I would like to see if I could play professionally after college and this is my best bet."
Kawka trained with Adam Carey and Tim Blenkiron and the NO QUIT Tennis Academy at the City of Las Vegas's Lorenzi Park. He was also one of the children groomed by VegasTennis.com's Marty Hennessy jr tennis foundation in their leadership program.
"Patrick is not only a great athlete, student and person but was an amazing mentor and coach to many children as well," explained Tim Blenkiron. "The Marty Hennessy Foundation helped Patrick a lot but he gave back by helping others and that is his greatest trait."
Dillon Berkabile is a player that did not make his freshman high school tennis team at Palo Verde. A year later he was part of a state championships team there and was captain his junior and senior year. Berkabile received the "Rudy Award" for his hard work and accomplishing so much in so little time.
"Dillon is one of the best success stories in tennis," said USTA-Nevada Executive Director Ryan Wolfington. "He went from a beginner to a college player in 4 years and that is unheard of."
Berkabile is also coached by Adam Carey and Tim Blenkiron at the NO QUIT Tennis Academy.
"The Academy gave me the discipline, coaching and inspiration to improve," said Berkabile. "They are like my family and I will miss them a ton."
Berkabille got a tennis scholarship to play for the Citadel. He also served as a intern for the USTA-Nevada and gave back to the tennis community by teaching free at his alma mater Sig Rogich middle school.
Sara Lucas received the Mike Agassi NO QUIT Award for her tremendous effort to go from beginner to college scholarship in 4 years as well. Sarah got a scholarship to play for Seattle University. She was captain of her high school tennis team and graduated with an honors diploma.
"Sarah is one of the most dedicated , hard working and giving players I have ever worked with," said Tim Blenkiron of the NO QUIT Academy. "She is a coaches dream."
Anita Lee got a full scholarship to University of Southern Illinois and is also a member of the NO QUIT Tennis Academy. She is also part of the state championship Gorman Tennis team. Anita was developed by Adam Yee and reached a high national ranking of 20 in the USA.
"Anita will be a tremendous asset to her team," said her coach Adam Carey. "She is a great talent and going to represent Nevada well."
Danica Ingwaldson got a full scholarship to play division 1 college tennis at University of Southern Utah. She is one of three sisters that played at a high level in Nevada. Danica is also a recipient of support from VegasTennis.com's Marty Hennessy Foundation.
"Danica has done a great job of honing her skills, academics and doing what it takes to get a college scholarship," said Marty Hennessy. "She made the most of our support and that is what our foundation is about."
J.C. Pauli will be a freshman on the tennis team at Hawaii Pacific Univeristy. Also part of the NO QUIT Academy and sponsored by the Hennessy Foundation Pauli became one of the best players in the state.
"J.C. worked very hard for me and I am proud of how much he improved over the last two years," said coach Adam Carey. "He will be a very good division one player."
Pauli is also a top student, graduating with an honors diploma.
Ashton Kalhorn was coached by David Pate, the former #1 doubles player in the world. Kalhorn reached very high levels in the national standings and was among the top 3 boys in the state. He got a scholarship to Bradley University and will continue his emphases on academics and his love of music.
Kalhorn was also part of the NO QUIT Tennis Academy and graduated with a very high grade point average.
Kristen and Nicole Santero, both state champions in doubles, received academic scholarships and look to play some level of college tennis.
"We are really thankful to the Hennessy Foundation" they said at a recent gathering of close to 15 children who were helped by the foundation to get college scholarships.
USTA-Nevada Graduating Class
Dillon Berkabille - The Citadel
Danica Ingwaldson - University of Southern Utah
Patrick Kawka - BYU
Anita Lee - University of Illinois
Sarah Lucas - University of Seattle
John C. Pauli - Hawaii Pacific University
Devon Morrissey - CSN
Ashton Kalhorn- TBD
Nicole Santero- UNLV