2011-06-15 / Front Page

NYJTL Announces 2011 Boys And Girls Varsity All-Star Teams

New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) announced on June 14 its 2011 NYJTL Boys & Girls Varsity All-Star Teams, consisting of 22 players, including 11 boys and 11 girls from New York City's public, private and parochial schools.  
The All-Stars, who are selected by a panel of experts from New York Junior Tennis League and the Mayor's Cup Committee, are being recognized for their accomplishments on the tennis court, sportsmanship, and academic excellence. The graduating seniors are David Arroyave, Daniel Lakhman, Kilby Featherston, Leighann Sahagun and Kathleen Uy, Manuela Velasquez, Quinton Vega, and Steven Wilson each boasting acceptance into respected Universities and some have been highly recruited to play on NCAA Division I Tennis Teams. 
2011 Boys Varsity All-Star Team:  
David Arroyave - St. Francis Preparatory School (Senior)
This year's Mayor's Cup Arroyave was seeded third and advanced to the finals, where he lost to Christian Waldron. A NYJTL Tournament Team Member for many years, Arroyave leads his high school team at the #1 singles position. The senior will be staying local, attending St. John's University in the fall. 
Kilby Featherston - St. Francis Preparatory School (Senior) 
As a senior, Featherston reached the Mayor's Cup Boy's Varsity Doubles Title for the third straight year with partner Christopher Jimenez. The team was able to win the 2010 Mayor's Cup without losing a set. The duo defended their title this year by defeating top seeds Christopher Jou and Leon Pan. Featherston will be attending UC California Berkeley in the fall.

Stefan Ilic - Forest Hills High School (Sophomore)
A powerful Sophomore and this year's Mayor's Cup top seed reached the round of 16 in 2010. He is one of the top junior players here in the Eastern Section and is a player to look out for in the coming years. 
Christopher Jimenez - St. Francis Prep (Junior) 
Jimenez reaches the Boys Varsity doubles finals at the 2011 Mayor's Cup for the third consecutive year with teammate Kilby Featherston. Jimenez will be playing local level one tournaments this summer as well as preparing for college applications. 
Christopher Jou - Stuyvesant High School (Junior) 
This year's Mayor's Cup Boys Varsity doubles finalist with partner Leon Pan. Jou was honored by  NYJTL at this year's Spring Kickoff as NYJTL's MVP in 2010. 
Daniel Lakhman- Francis Lewis High School (Senior)
Lackham represents the Francis Lewis Patriots as the #1 singles player. Seeded fifth in this year's Mayor's Cup, Lakham advanced all the way to the Semifinals where he fell to 10th seed and eventual champion, Christian Waldron from the Beacon School. Lakhman will be attending Muhlenberg College in Allentown PA.
Hugh Mo - Benjamin Cardozo High School (Junior)
Mo will be competing in the summer Super National Clay courts and the Super National Hard Courts in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kalamazoo is one of the most prestigious junior national tournaments in the country. The winner will receive automatic entry into the US Open this September. Mo is also beginning to look into colleges, particularly the Ivy League schools and other top Division I tennis programs.
Jake Sosonkin - Brooklyn Tech (Junior)
Sosonkon hopes to qualify for the Super National tournaments this summer. Sosonkin is beginning to look into several colleges on the East Coast that specialize in Pharmacy. Among his top choices is St. John's University, which holds a prestigious undergraduate and graduate pharmacy program. He is currently ranked #20 in the USTA Boy's 18s Eastern Section. 
Christian Waldron - The Beacon School (Junior) Waldron is this year's Mayor's Cup Boy's Varsity champion, defeating NYJTL Tournament Team member, David Arroyave in a close two-set match, ending 6-3; 6-4. Waldron plans to play national tournaments this summer and begin looking at top Division I programs for next year.

Steven Wilson - John F. Kennedy High School (Senior)
The senior will be attending Wilkes University in Pennsylvania where he also plans to play for the Boys' Varsity Men's Tennis Team. This summer, Wilson will be both playing tournaments and teaching tennis at Fordham University's summer camp.
Quinton Vega - The Beacon School (Senior)
Vega represents The Beacon School as the #1 singles player. He led his team to Boys' Varsity Team victory over reigning champions, Horace Mann School. Vega is one of the top players in the country and a top college prospect. He has already boasted interest from Wisconsin University, Boise State, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, and Wake Forest.
2011 Honorable Mention:
Andrew Arrabold - Horace Mann
Steven Hefter - Horace Mann
Jeremy Kochman - Poly Preparatory High School
 2011 Girls Varsity All-Star Team:
Angela Assal - The High School of Math Science and Engineering at City College (Sophomore)    
Assal had a strong performance at last year's Mayor's Cup, reaching the semifinals against another standout player, Becky Shtilkind from Leon M. Goldstein High School. This year, Assal competed hard again reaching the Quarterfinals before losing to St. Francis Preps' #1, Kathleen Uy in a tough three-set match.      
Destiny Grunin - Leon Goldstein High School (Sophomore)
Grunin plays tournaments every two weeks, while balancing out her rigorous studies. This summer, Grunin will continue playing tournaments and also start taking SAT prep classes.     
Arianna Rodriguez - Kew Forest (Freshman)
The Kew Forest freshman is a rising junior player here in New York City. Rodriguez will be spending this summer competing on the ITF Junior Circuit against players from all over the country and world. Rodriguez is certainly a player to keep your eyes out for this summer and in the coming years.  
Leighann Sahagun - (Senior) 
Sahagun is a standout player and a Queens, New York native. The college bound, Sahagun will be attending Arizona State University in the fall and expects to make the starting lineup in her first year. With her great athletic ability and big forehand, Sahagun will be a great addition to the Arizona State lineup.   
Marylen Santos - St. Francis Preparatory School (Junior) 
Santos was the highlight of this year's Mayor's Cup, clinching the Girls' Team Event, winning 6-4 in the third set against Leon Goldstein High School, giving the St. Francis Prep Team its 12th consecutive team title. A member of the NYJTL Tournament Team, Santos was ranked in the top 30 in the Eastern Section for the Girls16-and-under division. Santos will be spending this summer training and applying to colleges. Santos is interested in attending Johns Hopkins, Cornell University and Columbia University. 
Becky Shtilkind - Leon M. Goldstein High School (Junior) 
A Brooklyn native and seeded first in this year's Mayor's Cup, Shtilkind advanced all the way to the finals. Shtilkind was the 2008 Mayor's Cup middle-school singles champion and is ranked in the top 10 in the east and top 100 in the nation. She will be competing this summer in the Super Nationals Girls 18-and-under division.  
Gabrielle Sullivan - Poly Preparatory High School (Senior)

Although Sullivan did not play in the Mayor's Cup this year, she was a Quarterfinalist in 2009 and won the Girls' Middle School singles in 2008. A top college recruit, Sullivan will be attending Cornell University in the fall where she will play on the Varsity Women's Tennis Team. Sullivan plans to compete this summer in some college tournaments provided by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Alexis Tashiro - Francis Lewis High School (Junior) 
A Jamaica, Queens native, Tashiro is the #1 singles player on her team. She led Francis Lewis to a semifinal finish in this year's Mayor's Cup Team Event. Tashiro is competing in the USTA Eastern 18-and-under age division.  
Manuela Velasquez - Home Schooled (Senior)
The 2011 Mayor's Cup Champion, Velasquez displayed some great playing ability upsetting Leon Goldstein's #1 player and this year's Mayor's Cup top seed, Becky Shtilkind 6-4; 7-5. Velasquez will be spending her summer competing on the pro circuit, competing in Atlanta Georgia and Evansville, Indiana. The senior is still undecided on colleges, but plans to try out the pro circuit for awhile, before committing to a Division I college tennis team.
Paulina Velasquez - Francis Lewis High School (Junior)

The sister of this year's Mayor's Cup Girls' Varsity Singles event, Paulina will be taking a break this summer from tennis to concentrate on her studies as she prepares for the SAT's and college applications.
Kathleen Uy - St. Francis Preparatory High School (Senior)
Uy reached the Quarterfinals of the 2010 Mayor's Cup. Uy helped St. Francis Prep at #1 singles to capture this year's Girls' Varsity Team Event. This is St. Francis Preps' 12th consecutive team title. Uy is a former top 20 ranked player in the USTA Eastern Section. She will be attending the University of Rhode Island in the fall on a full tennis and academic scholarship.
2011 Honorable Mention:   
Katie Derienzo - St. Francis Preparatory School (Junior) 
A Junior from Douglaston, New York and a member of the NYJTL Tournament Team, Derienzo is a two time Mayor's Cup Girls Varsity Doubles Champion. Pairing up again this year with partner, Marylen Santos, the reigning champions reached the doubles finals, but lost a close match against a tough Francis Lewis team, 6-4; 7-6.
Francesca Franchin - Horace Mann School (Sophmore)

Lisa Ventimiglia - St. Francis Preparatory School (Junior)
A junior and a member of the St. Francis Preparatory Girls' Varsity team. Ventimiglia plans to compete in several Level I tennis tournaments this summer. Ventimiglia transitions to the Girls' 18-and-under this year, finishing in the top 60 in the Girls' 16-and-under for the USTA Eastern Section.  

The New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) offers comprehensive school and community tennis and education programs throughout New York's five boroughs bringing tennis to 100,000 youth annually from ages 6-18. To reach its goals, NYJTL mobilizes the support of the community, corporate citizens, foundations, organizations and individuals who are committed to achieving net gains for kids. NYJTL is the largest tennis and education-themed community organization in the United States. For more information, visit www.nyjtl.org or call 347-417-8156.

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