Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp 2017 Recap!

All-Camp PhotoYear #4 is in the books over at Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp and I am proud to report another excellent week of tennis.

A dozen campers, three celebrity players, and your camp coaching staff enjoyed warm but pleasant conditions at Furukawa Tennis Gardens, with a smattering of fog to provide some sun relief.

During the week, we worked on becoming confident in tie-break situations, learned the high school format scoring system, and did many of the drills that have guided Laguna Blanca Boys’ Tennis to a 62-19 record over the last five seasons.

In the week-long team competition, Team Berkshire Hathaway held a steady lead throughout the week, although Team LaJuJuMaHaBen made a final day push to make the final score a very close 13-12 win for what we can only assume would be the Oracle of Omaha’s favorite pick for top tennis team.

While all campers exhibited good sportsmanship and drive throughout the week, several stood out as being worthy of our end-of-camp awards. Jake Gidney was the unanimous pick for “Coaches’ Award”, bestowed upon the camper that best embodied the characteristics desired in a player by coaches. Jack Connor snagged the “Most Improved” honors, transitioning from squash phenom to competitive tennis player in one week flat. Finally, the “Most Valuable Player” title went to Luke Williams, who showed himself not only to be the strongest player at camp, but also to be a great leader and teammate.

Thanks go to Laguna Blanca School for allowing me to host this event at Furukawa Tennis Gardens; to Tristan Prinz who has been a coach at each of the four editions of this camp; to Henry Farrell for stepping up from “celeb player” to coach in the summer before he departs for Harvard University; and to Jason Barnick, Atty Roddick, and Andrew Tolles for the volunteer work as this year’s celebrity players.

And of course, I want to thank our campers and camp parents for putting your faith in me to produce a fun and engaging tennis camp!

– Trevor, Your Santa Barbara Area Tennis Coach

At the BenchesBen Backhand VolleyBen v LucianCeleb Jason High-FiveCoach Henry + CampersCoach TristanCoaches + JackCoaches Mini-TennisDoubles Mini-Tennis GvBGeorge + Nicole SmilesHarrison On The RunHarrison Running FHHarrison ServingHenry + TristanJack Most ImprovedJake + Ben Dubs ChampsKate VolleyLucian Forehand VolleyLuke + George Dubsluke FH VolleyLuke High-FiveLuke Slice BHMatt + Jake ActionMatt ReadyNic FHNicole VolleyRyan + Nic DubsRyan StringJobSneaky Shot BoysAll-Camp Candid


Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp 2016 Wrap-Up

Tennis Camp 2016 2-19Today, we completed the third edition of the Laguna Blanca Tennis Camp in beautiful Santa Barbara and I’m proud to report a successful week. With 14 awesome campers, 5 celebrity players, 3 legendary coaches + yours truly, how could we go wrong?

In the team competition, Team Panda narrowly survived a late charge by Team Phix, giving Coach Tristan his team’s first win at Laguna Tennis Camp! Individual awards were handed out to Henry Signa (Most Improved), Alessa Somer (Coaches’ Award), and Grace Fuss/Luke Williams (Co-MVP’s).

Over the last five days we’ve prepared campers to make the jump from junior tennis to the high school format and learned some other important lessons, too: Continue reading

Summer Tennis Camp 2016 off to Great Start!

WarmupTwo days are done and dusted and I think we can all agree that today’s drop in temperature was a welcome respite (relatively, at least). Yesterday’s session featured an emphasis on the ins and outs of tie-breakers and the outsize role they can play in determining a match.

We also split into teams that will be competing for “Owl Points” throughout the remainder of camp. Coach Tristan’s team selected “Team Panda” while Coach Phillip Hick’s players used bits of his name to form the name “Team Phix.” The first Owl Point was awarded to Team Phix for most creative name, but Team Panda responded immediately with a win in the team serving competition by the narrowest of margins. Continue reading

Thorpe Tennis: 2015 Year in Review

Barbara Hallquist DeGroot Celebrity Coach Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis CampAnother great year is in the books and I am thrilled by the progress my students have made in 2015. I’m already excitedly looking forward to raising the bar again in 2016, but before we get ahead of ourselves…

A few highlights from the year at Thorpe Tennis:

  • Worked with 63 different players from age 8 to 52.Jake Gidney
  • Spent over 1,000 hours on-court teaching lessons and coaching high school matches.
  • Directed a second successful year of the Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp, oriented towards middle schoolers and incoming freshmen interested in playing at the high school level.Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp 2015 Group PhotoAndrew Tolles Makes the Ball Stand StillDSC05813DSC05765
  • Coached Laguna Blanca Boys’ Tennis to an 13-3 regular-season record and won a CIF playoff round for the third consecutive year.DSC05087Atty Roddick and Martin BarnickDSC_0003
  • Led Cate School Girls’ Tennis to what was likely the most successful season in team history, going 13-1 during the regular season and making the CIF D2 Quarterfinals.Cate Girls Tennis is Number One Tri Valley League Champions 2015
  • Coached an unheard-of six Cate girls to Tri-Valley League All-League 1st Team and received Coach of the Year Award.All-League Doubles 1st-Team Cate Girls 2015 Tri-Valley Summer Christensen McKenna Madden Eva Herman Janice NgTri-Valley League Singles Champion and Runner-Up Julia Gan Jackie Cai with Coach Trevor Thorpe
  • Completed a two-year project with Edward Cho at Cate, helping him achieve his goal of going from JV to Varsity singles starter
  • Began utilizing photos and slow-motion video within lessons to give players another angle for understanding their game.ConradPerry
  • Helped Julia Gan finally break the top-400 in the country, while also winning the Tri-Valley League Singles Championship and getting widely recruited to play college tennis. We even made her an awesome recruiting video!IMG_2577
  • Had the pleasure of watching senior students matriculate to fine schools such as: Cal Poly SLO, St. Andrews, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, and University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • Expanded community interaction with my students, their families, and other supporters with 28 blog posts that were visited by 1,800 people and viewed 5,000 times. This year also featured many photos of players in action that are free to download and share!Cate Parents Weekend 2015

Thanks to all of you for being part of my tennis family. It is my passion and pleasure to be part of yours. Here’s to another great year of tennis in Santa Barbara!

Trevor Thorpe

Summer Tennis Camp 2015 Wrap-Up


On Thursday, we had the opportunity to learn from another highly decorated tennis player in Sara Scott. After a four-year turn at the #1 singles position for UCLA, Sara went on to be ranked as high as #400 in the world during her professional tennis career. She is a self-identified “aggressive baseliner,” and so her court was all about weight-transfer and driving through groundstrokes. After saying goodbye to Sara, we enjoyed a meal from Backyard Bowls before heading out for some more match-play in the afternoon.

During the last two days of camp, there was a dramatic shift in the Owl Points week-long competition, with Team Fresh 2.0 dominating the abbreviated format match-play in the afternoon and then fielding the top two doubles teams in the Friday morning doubles tournament. Coming from down 13-8, Team Fresh 2.0 ended up winning the competition 26-22.

Individual honors for the camp went to Taylor Kleine and Luke Williams, both of whom were models of competitive drive and sportsmanship.

Taylor won a number of doubles matches with different partners throughout the week and helped make the difference for his team on the last two days, going undefeated in singles and doubles play, earning himself MVP honors. Luke was our Coaches’ Award recipient, in part because of his strong play throughout the week, but even more so because he was a go-getter. Luke was ready to be challenged and to compete every day and was a total class-act in victory or defeat.DSC06066

Harrison Fell and Ben Newton put on a spirited hat competition all week, something that has become a sort of tradition at Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp. Who will be top hat next year?Harrison Fell and Ben Newton Hat Competition at Camp

We ended the camp with our customary pizza party and then moved on to the team award. As part of the team competition, the winning team got to take a photo with their coach in the owl suit, and despite protests from the losing coach, Tristan and I lined up for one round of “butts up,” during which not a single camper dealt a glancing blow. Luckily for us, not even coach Ben hit his mark. Maybe next time, guys!DSC06044DSC06055DSC06061

On behalf of my staff, I ‘d like to thank all the campers, celebrity coaches and celebrity players that participated in our second Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp. We’ll see you next year!
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Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis Camp 2015 Group Photo

Team Anti-Fresh Takes Commanding Lead, but Team Fresh 2.0 Not Worried

DSC05930In an interview following the day’s events, in which Team Anti-Fresh swept the point-earning opportunities to go up 8-2, Coach Ben of Team Fresh was quoted as saying, “I’m not worried.” When pressed on the matter, Coach Ben explained that his team was conserving its resources in order to make a final push during the last two days of camp. Coach Tristan declined to comment for reporters about his team’s dominance thus far, but it is widely held that the presence of his dog Boo at today’s camp may have made the difference for Team Anti-Fresh.


In reality, today’s Owl Points were earned by the narrowest of margins. Team Anti-Fresh won the early-morning footwork relay race by one stride and followed up with a narrow victory in Around-The-World just before lunch-time.

In the afternoon, Team Fresh battled back from a 5-9 deficit in sets to reach 8-9 before succumbing 6-3 in the final set of our high school format dual match.

Then, during DJ Conrad’s guest music set, everything was up for grabs until the last possible moment, with the mini-tennis tournament points changing hands in the ninth and final round of the day.

Here are some photos of the day’s action:



















An ITA Hall-of-Famer Celebrity Coach + Anti-Fresh Takes Slight Edge in First Dual Match

Barbara Hallquist DeGroot Celebrity Coach Laguna Blanca Summer Tennis CampAnti-Fresh has taken a 6-4 lead in the first of two dual matches to be held this week. The match will be completed tomorrow afternoon to break the 2-2 tie in the week-long competition for Owl Points.

In the morning, Team Fresh 2.0 put in a dominant performance untangling themselves from “the human knot” to take a 2-1 lead, but Team Anti-Fresh countered with a win during the footwork relay race.

During the early-day court rotations, we had the pleasure of welcoming celebrity coach Barbara Hallquist Degroot, arguably the most successful female player in USC history. After becoming the first female athlete at University of Southern California to receive a scholarship, Barbara went on to lead USC to four consecutive national titles, and another as a coach several years later.DSC05643After her stellar college career, Degroot went on to reach #30 in the world after a quarterfinal performance in the US Open. She also reached the quarters twice as a doubles player.

Needless to say, the slice and touch-volley court featured a very talented and experienced celebrity coach today. I had the pleasure of coaching with her at Cate School for five seasons so it was great to be on the court with her again! Continue reading