Steve Ondish, Director of Tennis
Steve Ondish is the Managing Partner and Director of Tennis at MRC. Steve grew up in Cranford and was a top 10 USTA Eastern junior player. He went on to play his collegiate tennis at Temple University and after graduating college, he followed his passion for tennis by developing a concept called Tennis Systems. Tennis Systems incorporates tennis-specific fitness with tennis to produce the optimal results in a budding tennis player. Steve is leading the charge in trying to change the way tennis is taught and he is currently training many highly ranked and blue-chip tennis recruits. In addition, listed below are juniors who were trained and coached by Steve on a regular basis over the last 25 years:
Jennifer Tuchband: University of Virginia (#474 WTA ranking, 1998 NJ Girls High School Singles Champion)
Vinay Bhamidipati: Columbia University. (2002 NJ Boys High School Singles Champion)
Jackie Wu: Vanderbilt University (#1 Singles Player, 2010 NJ Girls High School Singles Champion)
Michelle Yuan: Columbia University (2007 NJ Girls High School Singles Champion)
Matthew Bartok: Tufts University
Owen Bartok: Hamilton University
Anni DiMuro: Binghamton University
Jacob Feldman: Columbia University
Sarah Hall: University of Delaware (#1 Singles Player)
Ashley Hess: Dartmouth University
Jon Holtzman: Wesleyan University
Philip Rehwinkel: Swarthmore College
Gabbie Serrate: Farleigh Dickinson University
Matthew Slowinski: Holy Cross College
Luke Smith: Washington University
Emma Taylor: Emory University
Justin Wang: Bowdoin College
Joanna Zalewski: Wake Forest University
Stephanie Zilberman: Columbia University (#1 Singles Player)
Tom Clear, Assistant Director of Tennis
Tom Clear joined the MRC staff in 2017 and he is our Assistant Director of Tennis. Over his 30-year career in tennis, Tom has worked with ATP & WTA professionals, top rated college players and highly ranked national & international juniors. He has a wealth of experience working in High Performance programs including his stint at the USTA Player Development East Training Center at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In addition, Tom has served as the head coach for the Eastern Section 12’s National Zonal Team, USTA/Eastern High-Performance Camp, USTA National Talent ID Camp, and is a member of the USTA Eastern Section Coaches Commission.
Tom has the unique ability to understand the mental aspect of tennis which allows him to connect with his players. His deep understanding of tennis strategy and tactics has helped his students reach their goals and achieve great success.
Howard Sherman, Director of Junior Development
Howard Sherman grew up in Basking Ridge, NJ and was trained as a junior by Steve Ondish. Howard attended Rutgers University and graduated with a degree in Accounting. Howard decided that he enjoyed tennis more than the corporate world, and he was the first pro hired when the club was purchased in October 2015. Howard has been responsible for establishing our 10U program, and its current growth and success can be attributed to Howard’s hard work. Additionally, Howard works with many of our top juniors on a daily basis.
Steve Lee, Tournament Director and Staff Pro
Steve Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea and eventually, he and his family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Steve began his college tennis playing career at California Baptist College before transferring to the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs where he earned a degree in Business Administration/Marketing.
Steve started teaching tennis after graduating from college, and became a certified USPTA Professional in 1998. From 2000 to 2002, Steve coached the men's team at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Over the last twenty years, Steve has worked for country clubs and tennis facilities in Colorado, Texas, and New York where he successfully coached several USTA women's and men's teams to local, regional and sectional playoffs.
Alex Altman, Master Pro
Alex Altman was an accomplished USTA junior player, who achieved a high USTA Eastern sectional ranking as well as earning a USTA National ranking. Alex continued his career playing Division 1 Tennis for Quinnipiac University where he played singles and doubles. He helped Quinnipiac University finish undefeated in the NEC conference and the team finished 65th in the final NCAA Division 1 team rankings in 2004. Additionally, he was named for two straight years as a first team, all-NEC conference singles player as well as being the Quinnipiac University Athlete of the Month in April of 2004.
Alex has coached numerous players throughout his 15-year career ranging from beginners to High Performance junior players at several prominent clubs throughout the New York and New Jersey area. He brings a wealth of experience and passion for tennis to MRC.
Ariana Rodriguez, Staff Pro
Ariana Rodriquez grew up in New York City and was consistently ranked in the top 4 as a USTA Eastern junior. Additionally, she was a highly sought Blue-Chip Tennis Recruit and was ranked as high as #21 in the nation. Ariana attended the University of Louisville where she held top singles and doubles positions for all four years and was ranked in the top 60 in NCAA Division 1 doubles. She also represented Puerto Rico in Fed Cup competition where she played alongside Monica Puig, who won the Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. After graduating from college, Arianna became a tennis pro at Stadium Tennis Center in New York City. In the summer of 2020, Ariana decided to bring her tremendous playing skills and joy of tennis to MRC.
Brittney Labruna, Staff Pro
Brittany LaBruna began playing tennis at 3 years old, and continued playing throughout her childhood. She was a successful USTA junior player and became a four-star college tennis recruit. She enrolled at William Paterson University where she played first singles for her entire four-year career. She was a two-time All-American and finished with a 67-6 career singles record. In addition, she won the ITA regionals twice and she received the New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Year award for four consecutive years. Brittany became the first female student-athlete in the history of the NJAC to accomplish this feat in any sport!
After graduating, Brittany worked as an assistant coach at William Paterson University before coming to work full-time at MRC.
Ramy Rizk, Master Pro
Ramy is no stranger to the tennis world. After playing #1 at MIT and competing in the ATP Satellite Circuit he has learned exactly what it takes to make you a great tennis player. Ramy has 20+ years of tennis teaching experience and is currently teaching around Westfield and the neighboring areas. After working with Steve for longer than he cares to admit, he has a great understanding of the Director’s Tennis Systems. Ramy’s deep love for the game has allowed him to continually improve and learn as both a coach and a person and is eager to share with you what he has learned, including Steve’s Tennis Systems.
Bret Cadena, Fitness Trainer
Bret has been be doing sports specific training and personal training for nearly a decade. He grew up playing football and finished his playing career at the collegiate level. During his time as a trainer Bret worked under the guidance of a former NFL Strength and Conditioning coach. Bret brings his knowledge to MRC in hopes of giving the kids the best chance to reach their physical potential. Not only does Bret do the the fitness for the kids he does personal training as well. Bret is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Personal Trainer (C-PT). He works with kids and adults of all ages ranging from 7 years old to 80 years and anything in between. Focusing on balance, functional strength and basic weight training for older adults helps to improve their everyday life along with improving bone density and cardiovascular endurance.