Originally Published: November 25, 2014 6 a.m.
It's a sad day for our Prescott area tennis scenario with one of our staunch local leaders, Liz Murrieta, taking a great new position and opportunity with the Southwest USTA Section's office as the "Adult Competitive Manger." Our loss is their gain.
Liz, who has held many titles and hats in the Northern Arizona tennis community, will get to showcase her talents on a broader base that will help tennis on a much larger scale and that's very good for tennis when looking at the big picture for Arizona and beyond.
The following Q&A will give our tennis readers the insight to what Liz has done the past two-plus years for tennis in our area and what she'll be up to with her new position.
I would like to add: You won't find a better or more detailed and personable person who can deal with most any situation, size it up and come up with the best solution to solving and turning so-so programs into very good programs. Murrieta runs with the ball in a manner and zest that most would like to think they have in them. She does! Her organizational skills are tops, and if you call her with a question there's no doubt you will have a response within a very short period of time.
Our best to you Liz. You're one of a kind.
Q: You have done an exceptional job as Co-President (with Patty Bessey) of the Prescott Area Tennis Association the past two years with helping tennis in the Prescott area, as well as Northern Arizona. Can you give us a few of your larger achievements that you've been involved with during that time period?
A: The most visible achievement that PATA has had the last two years is the partnership with YCC for the fundraising and construction of the new tennis complex. But the areas that I feel we have really served our tennis community are through our consistent and up to date communication.
We updated our entire membership database, meaning we did our best to track down accurate and correct email addresses and contact information, we switched email services to mailchimp, which was quite the task, and we send out 2-6 emails a month letting our members know what is happening in local and state wide tennis.
And by "we" I should clarify that our PATA VP, Cheryl Murrieta, is the one who made this happen. We as a board felt that our member communication was an area that we knew we needed to improve upon when we took over the helm at PATA and I think we were very successful.
Another accomplishment is that Patty and I made a conscious effort to be an active part of the NAZ USTA as well as with the other local Community Tennis Associations (CTA) in Flagstaff and Sedona and I feel we have formed some great working relationships with our tennis comrades over the last couple of years. And last but not least PATA is now on Facebook so we can reach a much larger audience and spread the word about the great tennis in the Prescott Area.
Q: Your original love growing up was softball, as a catcher I seem to remember hearing. College ball as well. What brought you into the world of tennis?
A: Yes, I started playing softball when I was very young and I played competitive club ball as well as four years in college finishing up my career at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. I'm embarrassed to say this but as a kid I had no interest in tennis, but after I graduated from college I needed a sport to fill the competitive athletic void softball had left, due to shoulder injuries continuing to play softball at the level I was in college was not an option, so my mom, Cheryl, suggested I give tennis a try as she plays and really loves it.
My mom was the driving force to get me out on the court and we should all be thanking her for where I am in tennis today. Also, how welcoming the Prescott Tennis community was really encouraged me to stick with the sport, I am not a naturally athletic person, I tend to trip on flat surfaces frequently, and when I started playing it wasn't pretty, but I was able to find my niche in the tennis community each step of the way as I improved as a player.
Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or email@example.com.