WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Cruz family of New Rochelle was honored as USTA Eastern’s Tennis Family of the Year at the organization's Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Renaissance Hotel in White Plains.
The family was chosen for the award due to its impactful enthusiasm for tennis. Tennis is a familiar topic in the Cruz household, as the entire family -- Eric, Carolyn, Cassidy, Jessie and James -- all play the sport, according to a release from USTA Eastern.
Carolyn is currently the Director of Tennis and Operations at Rye Racquet Club in Rye. Through her role, she oversees all programming, staffing and marketing, the release said.
She has held this role for 18 years and has proudly worked at Rye Racquet Club for 22 years.
Carolyn and her husband, Eric, met while attending Cornell University, where they both played varsity tennis all four years. They continue to be involved with their alma mater as Eric is a member of the Cornell Men’s Tennis Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Carolyn is part of the Cornell Women’s Tennis Alumni Association Board of Directors.
“My husband and I have some of the best memories from college tennis,” Carolyn said. “It has been great to reconnect with former teammates, meet the current team and have functions with them.”
Cassidy, their eldest daughter, is a senior at Lehigh University where she is co-captain of the women’s tennis team.
Jessie, their second daughter, is a sophomore and member of the women’s tennis team at Claremont McKenna College. Prior to competing in college, they were the New York State girls’ doubles champions two years in a row, the release said.
James, their youngest, is an Eastern junior player and freshman at New Rochelle High School. Through participation on Rye Racquet Club’s Junior Team Tennis (JTT) teams, James has competed at three JTT Sectionals.
“All of the kids started playing tennis around four years old,” Carolyn said. “They grew up at Rye Racquet so it was natural for them to become involved in tennis, but they all competed in other sports as well.”
Rye Racquet Club’s instrumental role in the Cruz family’s love for tennis is evident, according to the release. All of the kids taught tennis during school breaks, while Eric and Carolyn participate on and have captained several USTA League teams at the club.
Additionally, Eric was actively involved as a captain and coordinator for teams and leagues out of the New York Athletic Club in Pelham for several years.
“For our family, tennis is a common bond that will always be there,” Carolyn said. “We have dedicated so much time and energy to the sport. It is nice to be acknowledged.”
USTA Eastern’s Annual Awards Dinner is held as part of the Eastern Tennis Conference, an annual event hosted by USTA Eastern, the United States Professional Tennis Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. The two-day event features dynamic sessions, informative workshops and award receptions.
The USTA Eastern Section, based in White Plains, is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis.