MEET THE STAFF
Under Kit’s direction, the Rye Racquet Club has developed into one of the East Coast’s largest teaching facilities. His junior proteges have won sixteen USTA singles and doubles titles, and have progressed to the Pro Tour as highly ranked players. Fifteen of his adult league USTA teams have gone on to the National League Championships at levels 2.5 to 5.0; 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 teams having won the top title. His MITL teams are the “place to be.” in the spring as they are consistently at the top of their flights.
As a testament to his remarkable and continued impact on the sport, he was inducted into the USTA Eastern Hall of Fame in April 2019. He has served the USTA Eastern section as a two-term Vice President, and been a member of several USTA committees.
Director of Tennis and Operations
Carolyn Cruz graduated from Cornell University in 1988 where she played #1 singles and doubles, and was captain of the Varsity team. She joined the Rye Racquet Club in 1995 and was a tennis pro at the Apawamis Club in Rye during the 1995 summer season. In 2017, her family was awarded USTA Southern Region Family of the Year. Her two daughters both competed at the collegiate level, one at Lehigh University, Division 1, and the other at Claremont Mckenna, who were the 2018 Division 3 National Champions. Her son was awarded USTA Southern Region Volunteer of the Year in 2020. Carolyn has captained many USTA teams to post season play. In 2004 her USTA 5.0 team were National Finalists, and in 2019 her USTA 4.5, 40 & over team were also National Finalists. She currently plays on the Rye Racquet MITL A team and has captained the team to many years of first place titles in Flight 1.
Director of Adult Programs and Summer Programs
Go Inagawa grew up in the Rye area and was a student in the Rye Racquet Club tennis program. A 1994 graduate of Syracuse University, he went on to the Tennis Tech program at Tyler, Texas where he was certified by the USPTA and USPTR as a P-1 professional. He was the Assistant Pro at the Hollytree Country Club and at the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. Go joined the Rye Racquet Club in 1997 and in addition to being a senior pro, he currently serves as an Adult Program Director and Summer Camp Director. In 2015, he coaches and took USTA Women’s 3.0 team to National Championships in Arizona. He also led the Hudson Valley Team to winning the flight 1 eight times as well as leading his Jr. Team Tennis to four sectional appearances.
Director of Leagues and Adult Programs / Pop Tennis Coordinator / Website & Social Media Coordinator
Hiromi Inagawa began playing Junior Tennis, including National Tournaments, at the age of 10 in Japan. She was also captain of her high school tennis team. Hiromi began her career at Rye Racquet in 1995 and is now the Director of Leagues and Adult Programs. Hiromi also coordinates The Pop Tennis League. The League started in September 2018 for the first Pop Tennis League in Westchester, NY, first in the country and first in the world. Hiromi currently plays on the Rye Racquet Club MITL A team and USTA 4.5 team, and was part of the Rye Racquet Club USTA 4.5 National Champion Team in 2005, and in 2019 her USTA 4.5, 40 & over team were also National Finalists. Further, Hiromi assists Kit Byron in the formation of MITL/USTA teams. Hiromi is in charge of RRC website, social medias, Facebook and Instagram.
Director of Men’s League
Alex Dias was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he was a top 10 junior player. He graduated from Auburn University in Alabama with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. The Auburn tennis team won the SEC twice when Alex was on the squad and ranked as high as #8 in the nation. He was All-SEC and #1 SEC Doubles Champion as well as Top 50 in the college rankings during his time there. He earned ATP points on tour and was the WTA touring coach to the #1 ranked Brazilian women’s player. Alexwas #1 35’s ETA for 6 years, national singles 35’s grass champion, ranked #2 nationally in the 35’s and a member of the 5.0 National Championship team. Prior to joining Rye Racquet, Alex was the former Pelham Country Club Tennis Director as well as Sound Shore Senior Pro and Men’s League Director. Currently, he is the Larchmont Shore Club Tennis Director.
Director of JG Tennis Development
Johnny is from Punta del Este, Uruguay. He was a highly ranked junior player in South America, and after moving to the U.S. in 2005, he began to pursue his passion for training the dedicated junior tennis player. Achieving noted success with highly ranked Eastern and Nationally ranked players, he founded his own program, JG Tennis Development, in 2012. Under his expert coaching, dedication and guidance, many of his students have gone on to play for prestigious collegiate tennis teams. Johnny is a USPTR Certified Professional, as well as a certified USTA High Performance Coach.
A former top 10 junior in India, Neel Roy comes to Rye Racquet Club as a graduate of Concordia College. Neel was a 4-year All Conference Team recipient, playing #3 Singles and #1 Doubles while getting his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. A member of the 2012 USTA 9.0 and 10.0 Mixed Doubles Eastern Sectional Championship Teams, Neel frequently competes in various USTA Leagues. Neel has been at Rye Racquet Club since 2005 where he is a Senior Pro, Assistant Summer Camp Director and participates in the training of the RRC MITL and USTA League Teams. Additionally, his teaching experience includes 6 years with College Racquet Club and 5 summers at the Coveleigh Club in Rye. Neel has worked with the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams at Iona College for a year while he earned an MBA in Marketing.
Kabwe (K.C.) Chipopola, a senior pro and Director of Junior Tournament Training Programs at Rye Racquet Club, has been on staff since 1999. He is a graduate of Concordia College where he played both singles and doubles. Prior to joining Rye Racquet Club, he was Tennis Professional at the New Rochelle Racquet Club and Assistant Head Pro at Concordia College Summer Junior Tennis Camp. K.C. is a certified teaching professional of the USPTR. K.C. participates in the training of the RRC MITL and USTA League Teams at RRC.
Mulenga Chipopola is a 2001 Psychology Major from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. In college she played singles and doubles tennis, attending and winning the MEAC Regional Conference twice. Further, Mulenga was a Zambian Junior Champion travelling around Africa with her older brother K.C. Mulenga joined Rye Racquet Club as a Tennis Professional in the fall of 2005. Prior to Rye Racquet Club, Mulenga taught at Bronxville Tennis for 5 years and Mt. Vernon Tennis the previous 3 years.
Brehima Diallo, a former #1 player from Mali, has been a teaching professional since 1999 and a competitive junior player since 1990. In 1994, Diallo was ranked among the top 100 Juniors in the world, and at that state, was ranked in the top 3 Junior players in Africa. During that time, Diallo was selected onto the International Tennis Federation Junior Team, participating in International Tournaments both in Africa and Europe. In fact, Diallo was awarded a scholarship to train at the Australian Institute of Sports, where he honed his tennis skills to become the 1996 Singles Champion of the Dunhill Master International Tournament in Senegal, Africa. Further, in 2002, he reached #1 in the USTA/Eastern’s Men 25 Division. Since his junior success, Diallo has designed and taught Adult and Junior Programs all over the world. Diallo has been a Senior Tennis Professional at Rye Racquet Club since 2014.
A Belo Horizonte, Brazil native, Rodrigo Amaral began playing competitive tennis at an early age. At 16 years old, Rodrigo earned a national #1 ranking as well as state championship titles in every age group throughout his junior career from 2001-2007. In 2008, Rodrigo received a tennis scholarship to play at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. As a three-time ITA Scholar-Athletic recipient and four-time Atlantic Sun Conference All Academic Award winner, Rodrigo posted Belmont University All-time Singles Victories record at 64 wins. He graduated with a dual degree in Accounting and Management and even served as an Assistant Tennis Coach at Belmont University while pursuing his Masters in Sports Administration. From 2014-2015, Rodrigo’s teaching skills went beyond on-court instruction at the Belle Meade Country Club in Tennessee as their Director of Junior Programs and Marketing Coordinator. He currently spends his summers as an Assistant Tennis Instructor at Larchmont Shore Club while coaching their MITL Adult and Junior Teams and managing the Tennis Shop Rodrigo became an accredited USPTA Tennis Professional Instructor in 2015.
PATRICK "PK" KARORO
Patrick “PK” Karoro, a former top 5 junior from Zimbabwe, played his college tennis at Jackson State
University in Mississippi. He brings with him a vast amount of experience having coached in the Westchester
area for the last 14 years. He has taught at Old Oaks, Sunningdale, Larchmont Shore Club and for the last 8 years at Brae Burn Country Club. He has spent the last 12 years at Sound Shore as a Senior Pro where he ran the High School Junior Program along with teaching both junior and adult clinics.
Richard Henry hails from the island of Barbados. He represented his country on the ITF junior circuit and achieved a junior world ranking in singles and doubles. He attended Jackson State on a tennis scholarship where his team was ranked nationally in NCAA Division 1. He graduated with a degree in architectural drafting and went on to play professional futures events. Richard has coached many world ranked juniors, professionals and collegiate players. He won a national title as a coach at Tyler Junior College in 2004 and coached Ivo Karlovic during the 2013 US Open. In 2010 Richard won the Price Waterhouse Coopers Cayman Open Doubles title with Juan Rios and was ranked nationally by the USPTA. Richard is certified by the USTA as a high performance coach and currently holds Elite Professional status through the USPTA. Richard is currently the Head Tennis Professional at Metropolis Country Club in White Plains.
Stjepan Beg, a Croatian native, graduated from New Mexico State University in 2007, where he played at
the top of the line-up in both singles and doubles. He was captain of NMSU tennis team for the last 2
years of his college career. As a junior player, Stjepan was ranked #1 and was a member of the Croatia
National Team. Stjepan was a pro at Manursing Island Club from 2007-2010, and the Director of Tennis
at the American Yacht Club in 2011. Stjepan is Director of Tennis at Apawamis Club in Rye.
Zeljka Beg is originally from Croatia and graduated from New Mexico State University in 2008, where she played at the top of the line-up in both singles and doubles, leading the Aggies to one of their most successful years. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Finance and International business, Zeljka joined the coaching staff at NMSU while completing her MBA. Prior to her collegiate career, she was ranked no.3 in the Croatian Tennis federation (under 18) and finished second with the Croatian tennis club Mladost Zagreb in the National Tennis League. She won several junior tournaments in Croatia and was a member of the tennis academy Sanchez-Casal for a few years. Zeljka has taught at the Manursing Island Club from 2006-2010 and American Yacht Club in 2011. She is currently at the Apawamis Country Club in Rye, NY.
From Assam, India, Bhaskar Chowdhury is a former Top 100 world ranked junior and was Captain of the Indian World Youth Cup Team. In 1999, he was selected to play on the ITF Junior Team for the European Tour in 1996. During his time at Concordia College, Bhaskar served as Captain of their Men’s Tennis Team while playing at the top of the Singles and Doubles line-up. In 2003 Bhaskar received the CACC Sportsmanship and Leadership Award and attained a #3 ranking in the NCAA East. Following college, Bhaskar began as an Assistant Tennis Professional at Old Oaks Country Club from 2003-2005, Fairview Country Club from 2006- 2010, and a Senior Tennis Professional at Soundshore Indoor Tennis from 2003-2011. Bhaskar currently spends his time as the Director of Racquet Sports at Wykagyl Country Club, coordinating all Adult and Junior Tennis Summer Programs and Winter Paddle Programs.
Flavio is from Madrid, Spain where he started playing tennis at the age of 4. Growing up, he was able to attend the best academies and receive training from the top coaches in Spain. He became one of the best players in the region before he started competing in junior tournaments and achieving a high national ranking. As a college player in the United States, he played for Harford Community College for two years in Maryland and helped the team to achieve a Top 10 Ranking in the nation. After that, he received a scholarship to play for the University of Mount Olive, where he enjoyed both academic and athletic success, making the President’s list at the school. He has a total of 7 years of coaching experience. He has worked as a pro at Future Starts Camp, The Bailliwick Club in Greenwich and Proform Tennis Academy.
CHISOMO "CHIZZY" LUMETA
Chisomo “Chizzy” Lumeta’s hometown is Zomba, Malawi. He studied Business Administration at the University of Northwestern Ohio. Before this, he attended college at Seminole State College. He was once named “Player of the Week” and “Player to Watch” during the NJCAA Nationals. He won the Individual Nationals and was selected to be first team All American. Chizzy represented Malawi from 2009 at an international level. He has traveled to more than 30 countries, playing at a high level of tennis where he won gold and silver medals in international tennis tournaments. He has single handedly put Malawi on the map for tennis, especially in the context of Africa. Chizzy started playing at age of five through a development program initiated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). His talent in the game earned him a scholarship from ITF to play while studying in both South Africa and Morocco. Chizzy achieved some big wins over several top 100 ATP players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alex De Minaur and Casper Ruud.
Alex Yuille is a native of London. As a junior he earned a top 100 National Ranking in the 18 and Under Division. At the age of 18, Alex came to the USA on a tennis scholarship from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College from 2007-2009 and for Georgia Southern University from 2009-2011. After graduating with a Business Management Degree in 2011, Alex moved to Orlando, Florida where he worked at Winter Park Tennis Center instructing both Adults and Juniors. From 2012- 2013 Alex was the Assistant Tennis Director for Future Stars Tennis Summer Camp at Purchase College. From the Fall of 2013 until the end of 2014 Alex was the Assistant Tennis Coach at Cheam Tennis Club in Surrey, United Kingdom where he worked with some of the top Juniors, as well as coached the Men’s and Women’s Teams for upcoming competitions. Alex currently spends his summers as a Tennis Professional at the Coveleigh Club.
OLA PROCA WHITE
Ola is from Bucharest, Romania. As a junior player she was ranked in the top ten in Romania. She later went on to star at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY where she played at #1 singles and doubles and earned a degree in film. She also has a degree in Sport Science and Business from Manchester University, England. She has 24 years of experience coaching juniors and adults at all skill levels. She started her teaching career in Europe including clubs in Romania, Turkey and England where she divided her time between London and Manchester. She has spent the last three years as the Director of Tennis at Park Hill Racquet Club in Yonkers, NY. She also splits her time coaching the women’s teams at Orienta Beach Club in Mamaroneck, NY.
DAVID GONZALEZ RODRIGUEZ
David Gonzalez Rodriguez is originally from Barcelona, Spain where he earned a ranking as high as #8 as a junior and #72 in the +21 category. He graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Business Management and Marketing degree with academic honors in 2019. In his four years at ETSU, he helped the tennis team win four conference titles. During this time, he was ranked as high as 107 in the ITA National Ranking in singles. He was honored to receive the following awards within the Southern Conference: SoCon Academic honors 2018 & 2019, SoCon second-team singles 2017, and SoCon second-team doubles 2017, 2018 & 2019. Prior to joining RRC, he was the Assistant Head Pro at Manursing Island Club in Rye.
Doug was a 4-year letter winner on the top 10 nationally-ranked University of Florida men’s D-1 Gator tennis team. He earned a #2 men’s singles ranking in the Eastern section of the country (open division) and a #7 doubles national ranking (40 & over division). After he graduated, he played on the international satellite circuit as a touring professional and then coached the University of North Carolina men’s Tar Heel tennis team as an assistant in 1998 and 1999. his first Tennis Director position was at Beckwith Pointe Club in New Rochelle, then he earned the Director spot at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale before becoming the Director of Tennis at Country Tennis Club of Westchester also in Scarsdale. He currently directs the platform tennis programs at Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck and American Yacht in Rye.