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LI League Captain Recognized for Sportsmanship

Long Island USTA League captain Debbie Trimboli (third from left) was honored by USTA Eastern at a NY Empire match.
July 26, 2018 03:23 PM
Captain Debbie Trimboli is joined by her teammates in 2015 in Schenectady. The team was Long Island Champion that year in Ladies 3.0. Pictured are (top row, from left): Stephanie Reilly,Diann Codispodo, Debbie Trimboli, Kelly Walther and Barbara Brenseke. Bottom row (from left): Ellie Wang,Marianne Faiella,Sue Bilski and Bonnie Pantell

USTA Eastern took the opportunity to recognize and celebrate several of its USTA Adult League captains at Eastern Night at a New York Empire match recently. The captains, who were selected from Regions throughout the Section, were honored for their sportsmanship at all times during League play. Representing Long Island at the July 15th NY Empire vs. Washington match was Deb Trimboli.

Deb has been captaining out of Sportime Bethpage for more than 10 years. She says being honored by USTA Eastern on court at the NY Empire match was very meaningful for her. “I was so touched,” she says. “I should be thanking USTA for introducing me to a sport I truly love and for the lifelong friendships I now have. I was raised by a single mom who couldn't afford much. Tennis was something I watched on television. Standing on the court in that arena was a feeling I won't forget.”

She relates that she got involved with tennis after moving to Long Island in 2004 and seeking to meet new friends.  Although she had never played a sport, her family encouraged her to join a local tennis club. “I started playing for fun at Sportime Massapequa and then decided to take lessons,” Deb says. “I was asked to join a USTA team and said yes. I had no idea that my life would completely change just by joining. My team went to playoffs that season and I was hooked!”

Deb currently captain three teams – a 3.5 level 40  team and two 3.0 level teams (40 and 18 ). She also is co-captain of a 3.5 (18 ) team and she plays on a ladies’ day team out of Sportime Syosset. She says ther most important reason for loving being a captain is camaraderie. “The friendships and support I see between these ladies is admirable. As women, we wear many hats. Every one of us has responsibilities to our families, jobs., etc., but when we all get together and play USTA tennis we are all just girls. We laugh...we talk about how frustrating that fuzzy yellow ball is... and we remind each other of how lucky we are to be playing!!

“I also love seeing players improve,” Deb says. “I do not coach anyone because I am not a pro, but I always point out their strengths and tell them to keep playing. That is my best advice and it works. The pure joy I have seen over the years has been such a gift. These women give their all and it pays off. How blessed I am to be part of it!”

She relates one of her favorite USTA League moments in recent years:

“Three years ago, my 3.0 team was the Long Island Champion. We went to Sectionals! It was an amazing experience. I cannot tell you how much fun we had. Before we won we had to play a match against Carefree.  They were close in points, so we knew it would be a tough match. After we won, the Carefree team, which had made it to Sectionals in the past, all gathered around to congratulate us. I remember crying my eyes out. They team we had just beaten at their home was laughing and smiling and telling us to bring pickles (to help us stay hydrated during the matches at Sectionals). I wrote an email to (USTA Adult Leagues Coordinator) Kathy Miller after that match to tell her how much it meant to me. The Captain of that team showed me what kindness and grace were all about! There were many moments like this over the past few years and there are so many wonderful Captains. I respect each and every one.”

Says Kathy Miller: “When I was asked to nominate a captain who showed good sportsmanship, although there are many, Debbie Trimboli stood out to me.  She has been a captain for many years and when she was bumped up a level a few years ago, she didn't want to leave the friends she had made on her team, so she continued to captain a team she could no longer play on, bringing them all the way to the regional championship match.  I remember when they lost the match and every one of the ladies on her team were gracious and supportive to the team that had won and who would be advancing to sectional championships.  Debbie has always been accommodating to other captains and I have heard many positive remarks about her and her great sportsmanship.”