New England

Lisi Named USTARI NCAA Player of the Year

May 28, 2020



Lisi becomes the sixth recipient, and second from RIC, of the Jill Craybas Award from the USTA state association.


NEWPORT, RI – Rhode Island College's Jenna Lisi, a freshman from Cranston, has been named USTA Rhode Island’s Female College Tennis Players of the Year, for the 2019-20 school year.


The Craybas Award represents a clean sweep of awards for Lisi, who led the Anchorwomen to their third consecutive Little East Conference championship and 15-1 overall record. Lisa was also named the LEC's Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Tournament Most Valuable Player and First Team All-Star in Singles and Doubles. She joins RIC assistant coach Sadie Campanella, the 2016 recipient, as Anchorwomen to receive the Craybas Award.


Lisi completed her spectacular rookie campaign with a was a 15-1 record in singles (8-1 at #1, 6-0 at #2) and 15-1 in doubles (13-1 at #1 and 2-0 at #2). In LEC regular season play, she was 9-0 in singles and 8-1 in doubles. Lisi was 2-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles in the LEC Tournament, earning Coach Adam Spring's squad a third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. However, the post-season was canceled.


Lisi is a graduate of LaSalle Academy in Providence, where she was all-state in tennis..


"This has been an unusual year in college sports, with so much activity canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic," said Douglas Chapman, USTA Rhode Island's president and CEO. "But there is no question that Jenna Lisi had a remarkable year before the NCAA shut down college sports. This award is inline with our mission statement of promoting the growth and development of tennis in the state. Jenna is a most worthy recipient of this prestigious honor, named after Rhode Island's greatest player."


In past years, the Craybas Award has been presented during the Tennis Hall of Fame Championships in Newport. But with the ATP tournament now canceled, the award will be presented at a later date and place to be determined. 


The Andy Chase Award, annually given to Rhode Island's Male College Tennis Player of the Year, will not be presented this year. The NCAA canceled spring sports, including men's college tennis, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



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.



Past Award Recipients:



2020 - Jenna Lisi (Cranston), Rhode Island College

2019 - Julia Pezzuco (Johnston), Western Carolina University

2018 - Natalia Pezzuco (Johnston), Union College

2017 - Evelyn Miller (Smithfield), Colby-Sawyer

2016 - Sadie Campanella (Chepachet), Rhode Island College

2015 - Rebecca Curran (Rumford), Williams College



2020 - Not awarded (NCAA season canceled)

2019 –  Matt Kuhar (Smithfield), Bryant University

2018 – Matt Kuhar (Smithfield), Bryant University

2017 – Matt Kuhar (Smithfield), Bryant University

2016 – Eric Laboissonniere (Cumberland), Roger Williams University

2015 – Matt Kuhar (Smithfield), Bryant University


USTA RHODE ISLAND is the governing body of tennis in the state, and one of seven state associations that make up USTA New England, one of 17 sections in the country. Its mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis in the Ocean State.

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