WESTBORO, Mass. – USTA New England has announced its newest Hall of Famers, a group that will be inducted formally in a ceremony in Newport on June 6.
The Class of 2009 includes five individuals who fit perfectly the Hall’s tradition of recognizing those tennis players and non-players in New England whose achievements as sportsmen or sportswomen are worthy of the highest commendation and recognition, or whose contributions as officials or individuals in a tennis-related activity have been so outstanding over a significant period of time as to justify the highest commendation and recognition.
This year’s inductees are Peter Allen, Jules Cohen, Avis Murray, Jean Osachuk and Aileen Smith Eleey.
Allen, a native of Framingham, Mass. who now lives in Westboro, has been playing tennis for 57 years. Although he has a long list of accomplishments as a player and advocate for the game, best tennis memories are from the National Father & Son tournaments in Rhode Island, in which he has participated for nearly five decades – first with his father, Dick, and later with his own son, Rick.
Cohen, who hails from North Kingstown, R.I., enjoyed a 30-year tennis career that saw championships as a player at Yale University, the United States Army and as a top New England amateur, where his memorable matches included a doubles contest at Newport against Vic Seixas and Tony Trabert.
Murray, a USPTA Master Professional from Gloucester, Mass., has held No. 1 rankings in both the USTA and the USPTA. She has been named both Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. Along with a terrific career as a tennis player, coach and advocate, Murray is a true pioneer of women’s athletics. During her youth, she was the first girl to play in the Cape Ann Junior Baseball League. In 1993, she became the third woman inducted into the Gloucester High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Smith Eleey, who grew up in Simsbury, Conn., played her college tennis at Northeastern. She literally earned that scholarship when the Huskies’ coach set up a match between Eeley Smith and the team’s reigning No. 1 player. Smith Eleey won and was rewarded with a scholarship. Her success in tennis continued after that. She played in and won several professional events and during the early 1990s, dominated the USTA New England circuit. Smith Eleey now frequently represents New England in team competitions, including the Sears Cup, Addie Cup and Intersectional events.
Osachuk, who hails from Lancaster, Mass. and now resides in Belmont, Mass., has been a captain and winner on Sears Cup and Addie Cup teams. She has excelled in the doubles format, earning the No. 1 ranking in New England and No. 9 nationally during her USTA career. Osachuk was on the court when New England won its first ever Sears Cup championship on a clay surface.