More than 190 people were in attendance as USTA Middle States welcomed Jay Lapidus, Leslie Pixley, Scott Tharp and Laura Travis into its Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 17 in Newark, Del.
The evening celebrated a group of inductees who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of tennis. John Clark, Philadelphia-area sports reporter for Comcast SportsNet, served as the emcee for the evening. The induction dinner was held at Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club.
Proceeds from the evening benefit the Middle States Tennis Patrons’ Foundation and be utilized to support junior tennis programs and further tennis education objectives in Middle States.
Established in 1994, the prestigious Hall boasts 95 prior inductees, including tennis legend and women’s rights pioneer Billie Jean King, and former USTA Presidents Jane Brown Grimes, Merv Heller, Judy Levering and Martin Tressel. The event provides an opportunity for all who love the game of tennis to celebrate the past and support the future.
For photos from the event, please visit the Middle States Facebook page.
The 2014 Hall of Fame Class:
Jay Lapidus first displayed his tennis talent and potential while growing up in New Jersey. A highly-ranked Middle States junior, he stayed local and earned All-America honors and a No. 1 ranking at Princeton University. After his stellar career at Princeton, Lapidus saw continued success as a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team, and later on the ATP Tour, achieving a world ranking of No. 29.
When his playing career came to an end, Lapidus continued his involvement with tennis as a coach, and recently became the all-time winningest coach in Duke University history.
Leslie Pixley is known around the area as a standout coach, player and promoter of tennis in Middle States. Pixley started her competitive playing career at Penn State University and began teaching tennis almost immediately after. Since then she’s positively impacted thousands of tennis players in Middle States with her personalized coaching style and her unique approach to each player.
A coach at Brandywine Racquet Club for more than 40 years, Pixley’s passion for tennis also translates to the court as a player, where she’s constantly been a top player in USTA competition for years.
Scott Tharp has made a career of growing tennis and providing opportunities for youth throughout Middle States. Tharp’s involvement includes dozens of leadership roles within the tennis industry, including positions on the USTA and USTA Middle States Board of Directors. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Professional Tennis Registry Foundation, and is a Senior Advisory Board Member at Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring.
A former player at the College of William & Mary, Tharp maintained a steady playing career and has been an active competitor across USTA formats.
Laura Travis began setting tennis records as a high school player in Delaware, and hasn’t slowed down since. As a student-athlete at the University of Delaware, Travis set school records for singles and doubles wins, and was a four-time East Coast Conference champion in both singles and doubles, as well.
Travis’ involvement with Delaware didn’t end there, as she currently has coached the University’s men’s and women’s teams for 20 years. She was the first woman to coach a men’s program at Delaware. In the community, Travis is an active volunteer, having served in the past as President of the USTA Middle States Delaware District, and the Delaware Tennis Foundation. She’s earned numerous awards for her commitment to tennis and growing the game.