RSF Tennis Club’s USTA Women’s team wins Sectionals and is now headed to Nationals in October

Team members
Team members (l-r): Jill Ruzich, Julie Guillory, Cynthia Hudson, Sara Bennett, Elia Surran, LJ Nicholas, Molly Tanner, Team Captain Ann Ortel, Maritia Walper, Holly Carter, Marisel Bastias. Not pictured: Brittney Matzinger.

(Allie DeNike


Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club’s Women’s 3.0 USTA team won Southern California Sectionals held at Barnes Tennis Center in Point Loma the weekend of May 20-22. Twelve tennis teams battled for the opportunity to advance to Nationals in the fall. Despite challenging rainy and windy conditions, the women powered through their Friday and Saturday flights of three team matches to earn a place in the Sunday semifinals. Their Sunday morning semifinal win launched them into Sunday afternoon’s final round. After several hours of play, the RSF team won three of their four finals matches, qualifying them to be Southern California’s representative in USTA Nationals.

Winning team captain, Ann Ortel, enjoyed the experience and shared her thoughts on the event: “Congratulations to this team for their hard work and dedication in earning a spot at Nationals by winning USTA Sectionals this past weekend. I really appreciate the team for putting their faith in me as captain and all their support during our Sectionals weekend. A huge thank you to the teaching pros at Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club: Allison DeNike, Derek Miller, James Conda, and John Chanfreau, and also to local tennis pro, Lynn Lewis, for their guidance and advice during this journey.

“Also thank you to my fantastic co-captain, Cynthia Hudson, for her wise counsel, and my husband, Doug, for his unwavering support. I also appreciate the strong encouragement from our RSF Tennis Club members. Now, on to Nationals for this amazing team!”

Hard-hitting team member Molly Tanner stated, “Competition gives me energy. It keeps me focused.” Notably, Tanner and her doubles partner, LJ Nicholas, won all five of the matches they played in this three-day event.

Dynamic player Nicholas added, “I’m proud of the RSF tennis team for winning Sectionals. The entire team worked incredibly hard all year and at the same time had so much fun. I think the key to our success was being a close-knit team and supporting each other. I am excited to compete with our incredible teammates at Nationals in Arizona.”

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis. It is the largest tennis organization in the world, with 17 geographical sections, more than 680,000 individual members, thousands of volunteers and a professional staff dedicated to growing the game. Go to to learn more about USTA tennis opportunities for improving your game.