We’re thrilled to be leading the charge in the exciting world of Pickleball’s growth. This fall, we’re opening six dedicated indoor Pickleball courts, showcasing our commitment to providing our members with diverse and engaging opportunities. Alongside this, we’re unveiling a newly renovated lobby, business office, and pro shop, creating a modern and welcoming space for our community.
As an added bonus, we’re delighted to announce that our own tennis pros have recently acquired certification in Pickleball instruction. This achievement enables us to elevate our Pickleball programming and deliver top-tier instruction to our community. The surging popularity of Pickleball has us eager to be part of this dynamic sport.
The Village Glen Tennis & Pickleball team is enthusiastic and ready to cater to your tennis and Pickleball needs with dedication. See you on the courts for some fantastic sporting experiences!
After an incredible 17-year journey in Pittsburgh, I am thrilled to have returned to my hometown and the club where it all began – Village Glen – as the Director of Tennis. This opportunity is truly a dream come true. With over three decades in the tennis industry, including roles as a High-Performance Junior Coach, Director of Tennis, Division 1 Collegiate Coach, and Tennis Club Owner, my gratitude goes out to the owners for their unwavering support.
My association with Village Glen started in 1989 as an assistant pro, where I immersed myself in every aspect of the tennis business. Under the mentorship of Tom LaPenna, I spent seven enriching years as a high-performance junior coach, catering to players of all ages and skill levels. Later, I co-directed tennis operations alongside David Todoroff, and our combined efforts bore fruit – a thriving Junior Program and exceptional adult clinics that exceeded expectations.
In 1999, a new chapter unfolded as I seized the opportunity to establish The Pennsylvania Tennis Academy. Over five years, we crafted one of Western PA’s largest and most successful junior and adult tennis programs. My journey continued in Pittsburgh, where I honed my skills and knowledge throughout the following decade. In 2010, I became a part owner and Director of Tennis at Alpha Tennis and Fitness, a role that led to me being honored as USTA Pro of the year in 2011. The Allegheny Mountain District bestowed the Club of the Year title upon Alpha, a testament to our dedication.
In 2012, I embraced a dual role, taking the helm as Head Coach of the Duquesne University Men’s Tennis Team. Together, we accomplished a historic 16-6 season, marking a milestone for the school’s tennis program. The following year, I extended my leadership to both the Men’s and Women’s teams, achieving a notable improvement in the women’s performance, making them formidable contenders in the A10 conference.
Life’s journey has now brought me full circle, back to the embrace of Village Glen and the city of Buffalo. With deep family roots in Buffalo, the timing of this incredible opportunity could not have been more perfect. Alongside my partner Deb, we’ve established our home in Williamsville, where our children, Zoey, Lexie, and Max, attend local schools. Our daughter, Calista, is pursuing her graduate studies in the Sports Management Department at Florida State, poised to become the second female General Manager of a professional sports team.
The honor and privilege of being part of this exceptional team at Village Glen fill me with immense pride. As your Director of Tennis, I pledge to uphold the highest standards, providing you with a meticulously run facility and personalized service that ensures your tennis experience is unparalleled. Our aim is to make our clubs your cherished tennis haven away from home.
Head Tennis Pro, Director of Tournaments & Adult Development
Russ Tringalli, Head Tennis Pro, Director of Tournaments & Adult Development
Meet Russ, the dynamic Tournament & Adult Development Director at Village Glen. With a knack for transforming adult beginners and advanced beginners into formidable players, Russ is a true guru in his field. He’s the driving force behind our Rally Tennis Group Lesson Program, where VG players undergo a rapid metamorphosis from novices to dedicated competitors.
In addition to his prowess in adult development, Russ orchestrates an impressive array of USTA sanctioned and non-USTA junior tournaments and competitions each year. With a tennis journey spanning over 45 years, Russ boasts a rich history on the court, clinching multiple Western New York singles and doubles titles. Notably, in 1981, he secured the NYS SUNY Singles Championship, and his dominance continued with Doubles Champion titles in 1982 and 1983. During his tenure at UB from 1981 to 1984, he was a formidable force as the number one singles player.
With over four decades as a teaching pro, Russ has nurtured some of the most accomplished junior players, propelling them to national and sectional rankings. His coaching legacy extends to his role as the assistant tennis coach for the University at Buffalo from ’87 to ’88. Today, Russ’s fervor is dedicated to introducing newcomers to tennis and guiding them through the diverse programs at Village Glen. Skillfully conducting evaluations, he adeptly places both adult and junior players in tailored programs to maximize their potential.
Beyond the courts, Russ’s passion extends to fitness. As a co-owner of Cavalier Fitness Studio, located on the second floor of Village Glen, he’s committed to fusing tennis and fitness. Collaborating with Shelly Cavalier, Russ offers an array of group fitness classes, fostering an environment where everyone can relish the harmonious blend of physical activity and tennis.
Russ embodies the spirit of dedication and continuous learning, propelling players and fitness enthusiasts alike toward excellence at Village Glen.
Bryan’s journey in tennis began under the guidance of Neeru Gupta at the age of 13, setting the stage for his lifelong passion. At 15, he embraced the competitive realm through the Village Glen Junior Program, where his ardor for the game blossomed alongside a deep appreciation for exceptional coaching. Bryan’s formative years were enriched by the mentorship of revered tennis professionals such as Tom LaPenna and Ross Nwachukwu, figures who continue to shape his tennis philosophy.
During his time at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, Bryan showcased his prowess on the court, capturing attention and acclaim as he clinched the PSAC Rookie of the Year title. His impact extended beyond matches, as he emerged as a pivotal team member both in competition and in fostering camaraderie. Following graduation, Bryan returned to his roots in Buffalo, maintaining a strong connection with his coach Andy Findlay. A shared belief with his wife Deanna envisions their daughter, Alaina, as a potential future US Open champion.
As he continues to pursue an ATP ranking, Bryan remains dedicated to his own competitive journey, participating in Open level, National, and Future level tournaments. His affiliation with Village Glen endures through years of involvement in junior and adult development programs. Passionate about sharing his wealth of experience, innovative techniques, and strategic insights, Bryan is committed to empowering aspiring players to unearth their full potential.
To Bryan, the essence of athletic greatness lies in harnessing one’s inherent talents to the fullest extent. Guided by this principle, he wholeheartedly embraces his role in helping others achieve their pinnacle as players. His aspiration is to enable each individual to transcend their limits and reach the zenith of their tennis prowess.
With an unwavering ardor for tennis, Neeru Gupta stands as a revered figure in the Buffalo area, boasting nearly three decades of dedicated teaching. Her journey commenced in 1984 at Buffalo racket Club and subsequently extended to Transit Valley Country Club, where her expertise left an indelible mark. For eight illustrious years, Neeru served as the Head Pro at Westwood Country Club, a testament to her exceptional skills.
Since 1987, Neeru has directed the Tennis Program for Williamsville Community Education, a role that has allowed her to shape countless tennis enthusiasts. At SportsPlex, she cultivated her own Quick Start and High-Performance program, leaving an indomitable legacy. Her leadership extended to overseeing the Buffalo-Niagara Junior Team Tennis League (JTTL) for several fruitful years.
Neeru’s journey commenced with the instruction of her own children, Anjeli and Anil. Their progression to First Singles for Williamsville High School Teams and subsequent national rankings within the ETA Top 10 and Top 128 underscores Neeru’s impact. Notably, she has continued to nurture exceptional talent, with students like Thomas Navarro, Priya Bommaraju, and Michael Rusk standing as testimony to her tutelage.
Her competitive spirit extends to her own playing history, marked by numerous victories in MUNY tournaments and active participation in the USTA Women’s 4.5 League. Neeru’s teams achieved Sectional and even National recognition, a testament to her dedication.
Neeru’s association with Village Glen traces back to her own involvement in Team Tennis, a path her children furthered under the mentorship of Tom LaPenna and Rob Gregoire. Her affiliation with Village Glen as a Pro since September 2015 underscores her esteemed teaching experience and USPTR Certification for Ten and Under, making her an invaluable asset.
In a feature in the Buffalo News, Dennis Behr aptly summarized Neeru’s impact: “Neeru doesn’t just teach tennis. She takes an interest in each of her students, not just as a tennis player, but as a person. She is always positive, treats youngsters and adults with equal passion, and always goes the extra mile.” Neeru’s journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment, shaping players both on and off the court, and solidifying her status as a local tennis legend.
We are delighted to welcome Pradeep Rebala to our esteemed team at Village Glen.
During his high school years at North High School, Pradeep Rebala exhibited his exceptional prowess on the tennis court by securing a coveted spot in the State Championship in doubles competition during his senior year. Building on this foundation, he further honed his skills as a Division 1 tennis player at the University at Buffalo. Following his collegiate journey, Pradeep’s professional path led him to embark on the establishment and expansion of a successful distribution business.
In 2017, Pradeep’s passion for tennis reignited as he returned to the court, this time alongside his son. This rekindled connection with the sport sparked a fresh enthusiasm, ultimately leading him down a new avenue – coaching. His coaching philosophy is grounded in a keen focus on technical precision and fundamental mastery, an approach that resonates with his dedication to cultivating a solid tennis skillset.
Pradeep Rebala’s journey from an accomplished high school player to a Division 1 athlete, successful entrepreneur, and now a passionate coach is a testament to his multifaceted talents and unwavering commitment. We are excited to have him as a valuable addition to our Village Glen team.
Joe “Viz” Vizzi, Tennis Pro, ROGace Trained Professional
Hailing from North Buffalo, Joe “VIZ” Vizzi has transformed from an accomplished lifelong baseball player to a fervent devotee of tennis. In his formative years, the baseball diamond was Joe’s playground, where he showcased his skills as a dynamic second baseman and shortstop. Earning multiple Tonawanda All Star Team selections and a spot on the All-Niagara Frontier League second team as a junior underscored his prowess.
“VIZ” seamlessly transitioned his sporting talent to the baseball field during his time at UB, where he emerged as a standout outfielder and leadoff hitter. His MUNY baseball journey with the Buffalo Voyageurs brought further glory, including an impressive 10 titles in 20 years and a crowning achievement – the National Amateur Baseball Federation Championship in 1979. Joe’s remarkable achievements have rightfully earned him a place in The WNY Baseball Hall of Fame.
In more recent years, Joe embarked on a tennis journey with his brother, Tony, at Village Glen. His ability to leverage skills from other sports and apply them to tennis exemplifies his unique talent. As a tennis pro at Village Glen, Joe passionately imparts his knowledge, particularly in the 10 & Under and Red Ball tennis programs, holding a ROGace certification under Wojtek Starakiewicz.
Joe’s affiliation with Village Glen dates back to 2014, while his official role within our VG Staff family commenced in 2019. A spirited competitor, Joe actively participates in a range of leagues, including USTA tennis teams. His amiable nature has earned him a special place in the hearts of fellow tennis enthusiasts and his junior students alike.
Beyond the courts and amid his busy schedule, he relishes cherished moments with his daughter, Victoria, and enjoys the company of his expansive extended family. Joe and his wife, Karen, are ardent advocates for animal rescue, dedicating their efforts to Buffalo area shelters.
Joe “VIZ” Vizzi’s journey encapsulates a remarkable blend of sportsmanship, mentoring, and community engagement, embodying the essence of a versatile and passionate individual.
Allen’s tennis journey comes full circle as a product of the VG junior program himself, having honed his skills on these very courts years ago. A familiar face in leagues and drill clinics, he epitomizes a true tennis aficionado, capable of discussing the sport tirelessly and extending his playing time indefinitely.
With a formative foundation established within the VG junior academy, Allen seamlessly transitioned to a valuable member of our staff. His inherent understanding of the VG ethos makes him an invaluable asset. Allen’s passion for tennis is palpable; he’s equally adept at engaging in lengthy tennis conversations as he is at stretching out a match.
Allen’s role encompasses imparting his knowledge and enthusiasm to various segments of our tennis community. He skillfully guides the Adult Rally lessons, fostering a vibrant atmosphere for skill refinement. On the junior front, Allen mentors our aspiring talents at both the JV and Varsity levels, sharing his insight and experience.
Beyond his instructional duties, Allen is a key figure in our Academy juniors’ development. He engages in purposeful hits during lessons and Match Plays, contributing to their growth on and off the court. His active involvement speaks to his dedication to nurturing the next generation of tennis stars.
Allen’s journey from junior player to passionate coach highlights his unwavering commitment to the sport and his desire to give back to the VG community that shaped him. His presence adds a dimension of familiarity and relatability that resonates deeply with our players.
Hailing from Syracuse, New York, Brent’s tennis journey commenced at the tender age of 6. A prodigious talent, he quickly ascended the ranks as a junior, achieving an impressive ranking of 16 in New York State. This remarkable accomplishment paved the way for his recruitment to Niagara University in 2015, where he would leave an indelible mark.
Brent’s collegiate years were defined by his versatility and commitment on the court. He displayed exceptional prowess across the singles lineup, excelling in positions ranging from 2 through 5. In the doubles realm, he showcased his skill set in positions 1 through 3, embodying a true team player ethos. His leadership was evident as he assumed the role of team captain during his senior year, further illustrating his dedication and impact.
Beyond his playing days, Brent’s engagement in the tennis community extended to a pivotal role as the volunteer assistant coach for Niagara University. This multifaceted involvement speaks volumes about his commitment to the sport and his desire to contribute to the development of emerging talents.
Brent’s journey from a young enthusiast in Syracuse to a respected collegiate athlete and devoted coach is a testament to his unwavering passion and determination. His connection to the game is both profound and far-reaching, exemplifying his lasting impact on and off the court.
Ross Nwachukwu’s journey through the world of tennis is nothing short of extraordinary, marked by numerous achievements and a profound dedication to the sport.
Growing up in Buffalo, Ross’s passion for tennis was ignited early on as he immersed himself in junior tennis and Men’s open tournaments within the local circuit. A dominant force, he consistently held the #1 ranking among men’s open players in Western New York from 1990 to 2005. Ross’s exceptional skills earned him the honor of being a two-time National High School Tennis All-American in 1989 and 1990. His remarkable high school record of 110 wins and 5 losses culminated in his induction into the Bennett High School Hall of Fame. Ross’s prowess continued to shine as he secured the Buffalo Municipal Men’s open Champion title four times.
Embarking on a college tennis career at Division 1 Drake University, Ross’s impact was undeniable. An eight-time Missouri Valley champion in both singles and doubles, he left an indelible mark with an astonishing 273 career singles and doubles wins over four exceptional years. Ross’s contributions were instrumental in guiding Drake University to team qualifications for the NCAA championship in 1992, 1993, and 1994. His individual excellence earned him a spot in the NCAA singles championship in 1994. To further underscore his achievements, Ross was honored as one of only three Drake Men’s tennis players named to the Missouri Valley Conference ALL-CENTENNIAL TEAM. In 1994, he proudly earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Drake University.
Ross’s journey expanded to the professional circuit, where he participated in numerous satellites, futures, and challenger events, securing notable victories over players ranked within the top 200 in the world.
Ross’s impact on the tennis community extended beyond his playing days. His coaching career took flight at Drake University, where he served as the assistant men’s tennis coach during the 1995-1996 season. He further honed his coaching expertise as the assistant men’s tennis coach at the University of Kansas from 1999-2000, eventually assuming the role of head assistant men’s tennis coach during the same season. In the following years, Ross took the helm as the head men’s tennis coach for the 2000-2001 season and contributed as the assistant women’s tennis coach for the University of Buffalo in the 2002-2003 season.
Ross’s return to Buffalo saw him play a pivotal role as a USPTA certified tennis instructor at Village Glen Tennis Club from 2002 to 2006. His teaching journey continued at SportsPlex from 2006-2011, before coming full circle back to the Village Glen, where his heart truly resides.
Ross Nwachukwu’s remarkable journey through the realms of tennis, both as a player and a coach, is a testament to his enduring passion and unwavering commitment to the sport. His legacy continues to shape the tennis landscape, leaving an indelible mark that inspires players and enthusiasts alike.
A true Western New Yorker through and through, Phil’s journey in the world of tennis began at The Buffalo Tennis & racketball Center (BTRC) in 1985. It was here that he laid the foundation for his teaching career, embarking on a path that would ultimately shape his lifelong dedication to the sport. In 1986, Phil elevated his expertise by attaining his PTR Certification under the guidance of Dennis Van der Meer at Sweet Briar College in Lynchburg, Virginia – a defining moment that set the stage for his impactful journey.
Phil’s journey took a pivotal turn in 1988 when he caught the attention of Tom LaPenna, earning a coveted role at The Village Glen Tennis & Fitness Club. A year later, his passion and prowess led to a simultaneous appointment as the Head Pro at The Park Country Club – a dynamic period that also marked the birth of the renowned “Phil’s Drills,” a testament to his innovative coaching approach.
The following years saw Phil’s influence extend beyond Buffalo’s borders, as he ventured to Nashville in 1994. A staff position at The Athletic Club at Maryland Farms became a significant chapter in his career, spanning an impressive 22 years. Within this time frame, Phil’s expertise and leadership were undeniable, culminating in his role as the Head Pro at The Donelson Indoor Tennis Center, a key component of the Maryland Farms tennis umbrella.
The year 2016 marked yet another significant transition for Phil, as he embraced the role of Head Pro at Langford Farms Club in Old Hickory, TN. This chapter witnessed the culmination of his coaching prowess and further solidified his reputation as a remarkable tennis instructor.
In 2022, Phil embarked on a poignant return to his roots, making his way back to Buffalo. This journey brought him full circle to The Village Glen, where it all began. Phil’s arrival signified a homecoming, a reunion with the very essence of his teaching origins.
Phil’s unwavering commitment to the sport, his innovative coaching techniques, and his undeniable impact on countless players have left an indelible mark on the tennis landscape. His journey reflects a profound love for the game, a dedication to nurturing talent, and an enduring legacy that continues to thrive at The Village Glen.
Kathy joined the VG team in May 2022, bringing a lifelong passion for tennis cultivated during her time on the Williams College tennis team. With a rich history in USTA league play, Kathy started coaching at Buffalo Seminary in 2008 and later shaped the NCAA DIII Women’s tennis team at Medaille University, where she served for 11 years as Head Coach for the Women’s team and Assistant Coach for the Men’s team.
As Buffalo USTA Junior Team Tennis Coordinator, Kathy dedicated herself to growing tennis among local youth through USTA and BNCTA initiatives. Currently, she represents Village Glen through after-school tennis programs in local schools. In 2023, Kathy spearheaded the launch of ACEing Autism Buffalo as Program Director, fostering inclusivity in tennis for athletes and families. Transitioning to pickleball, she became a PPR Certified Coach. Grateful for her VG community involvement, Kathy eagerly looks forward to engaging with players of all ages, nurturing their game improvement, and sharing the joy and unforgettable moments these sports offer.
David Todoroff: Your Guide to Tennis and Pickleball Excellence
David Todoroff’s remarkable journey through the world of racquet sports spans over four decades and is a testament to his unwavering dedication to excellence. His story began in his teenage years, representing Clarence High School in singles under the watchful eye of Coach Art Winicki.
David’s quest for tennis mastery led him to earn PTR certification in 1978 after rigorous training with the legendary Dennis Van Der Meer. This commitment, supported by his grandmother and aunt, propelled him to achieve a Professional rating.
Over the years, David’s tennis odyssey saw him at various clubs, from West Seneca Tennis Club to Buffalo Tennis Center, where he fostered a strong practice ethic and made his mark in numerous tournaments. A surprising introduction to “pickleball” by a student, Jim Kargen, initially met with skepticism, but it ultimately ignited a passion for the sport.
In 1985, David clinched the Open Muny singles title, followed by numerous victories in singles and doubles across New York and Canada. Simultaneously, his musical journey with the tenor saxophone, guided by Phil Dillon, added another dimension to his life.
Today, David Todoroff is thrilled to return to his roots, reuniting with old friends and meeting new ones. With a wealth of experience in tennis, a newfound passion for pickleball, and a lifelong commitment to excellence, he’s ready to lead you to success on the courts alongside Rob, Russ, Phil, Ross, Pradeep, Neeru, and the entire Village Glen team. Join David in this exciting chapter of tennis, music, and the allure of Pickleball!
Nasha Ghajar was born in Buffalo, New York when she moved to Saudi Arabia with her family shortly after. She lived in Saudi Arabia for 11 years where she would begin her tennis career at the age of 9. She trained in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia playing ATF and ITF tournaments where she would attain a ranking of 32 in all of Asia in the Girls 14s. After returning back to Buffalo, she began playing USTA tournaments throughout the United States, earning a high junior ranking in the Eastern Section.
For High School, Nasha attended and graduated from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and would go on to be recruited by Liberty University to play for their Division 1 team. She is completing an undergraduate degree in Pre-Law and looks forward to attending Law School. She is excited to make her mark at the South Towns Tennis Club, providing her many years of tennis experience to players. She enjoys working with juniors and adults, implementing technical and mechanical methods to create unique games for each player. Through her vast experience with numerous diverse tennis and fitness coaches, she has had the ability to earn knowledge on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the game, to which she includes in her coaching techniques.
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