The Intercollegiate Tennis Association is delighted to announce the 2021 ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame Class. The four-person class includes Diane Donnelly Stone, AnnaMaria Fernandez-Ruffels, Lin Loring, and Lisa Spain Short.
The 2021 Class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony on September 18, 2021. The ceremony will also honor the life of former chair and curator of the Hall of Fame, Millie West. West, a 1998 inductee to the Hall of Fame, was instrumental in securing a permanent location for the Hall of Fame in the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center on the campus of the College of William and Mary.
“ITA Halls of Fame continue to celebrate the memories of our great sport and those who created them as well as inspire the next generation of tennis participants and fans,” Dr. Timothy Russell, Chief Executive Officer of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, said. “We congratulate the Women’s Class of 2021 and look forward to the induction in Williamsburg, which will also honor the legacy of the indomitable spirit of Millie West.”
Every two years, the ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame Selection Committee chooses outstanding players, coaches, and contributors to women’s college tennis to be welcomed into the ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame.
Diane Donnelly Stone
Northwestern University tennis legend Diane Donnelly Stone has been deeply involved with tennis her entire life. After starting to play at age six and dominating as a junior, Diane competed for Northwestern leading the team to back-to-back Big Ten Conference titles. Alongside partner Katrina Adams, Diane won the 1987 NCAA Doubles National Championship. The Championship was Northwestern’s second NCAA title and the first for a female athlete. Diane was a three-time All-American and four-time All-Big Ten honoree. She was also awarded the ITA Unsung Hero Award.
After her four years at Northwestern, Diane played on the WTA circuit reaching the US Open Doubles main draw with Adams, but retired early due to ankle surgery. After playing professionally, Diane joined World Team Tennis eventually rising to Vice President and overseeing the nationwide recreational league. In addition to her work with World Team Tennis, Diane is the Executive Director of the Donnelly Awards — a scholarship fund that supports tennis student-athletes who live with diabetes.
AnnaMaria Fernandez-Ruffels graduated from the University of Southern California with a Broadcast Journalism degree. The former USC Trojan put together a stellar collegiate career before joining the WTA Tour. Fernandez-Ruffels helped the Trojans to back-to-back national team championships in 1979 and 1980. In 1981, AnnaMaria went on to win the AIAW Singles National Championship and was awarded the Broderick Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s best collegiate women’s tennis player. Professionally, she won five WTA titles in doubles and reached a career high doubles ranking of No. 44. In singles play, AnnaMaria ranked as high as No. 19.
Former Indiana and UCSB head coach Lin Loring has committed his life to advancing the sport of tennis. Loring started his illustrious coaching career at his alma mater before spending 40 years coaching the Hoosiers. Loring is the all-time win leader in women’s college tennis. With his 846 career wins, Loring is the only Division I Women’s tennis coach to amass over 800 wins. In addition, he coached Indiana to 16 Big Ten titles and an AIAW National Championship — the first national championship for a Hoosiers women’s program. The two-time National Coach of the Year mentored 25 All-Americans at Indiana.
Loring sat on the ITA Board of Directors for over 30 years. During this time, he was instrumental in the creation of two iconic ITA events — the ITA USTA Summer Circuit and the ITA Women’s National Team Indoor Championships. In 2000, Loring was honored with the ITA Meritorious Service Award for his monumental contributions to college tennis.
Lisa Spain Short
Before graduating from the University of Georgia in 1984, Lisa Spain Short cemented her name in the record books. Lisa became the first All-American in Georgia women’s tennis history — she went on to be a four-time All-American and a four-time All-SEC honoree. In her final two years, Lisa was almost unstoppable. She amassed a 71-7 record during her last two collegiate years and won the 1983 ITCA Riviera All-American Singles Championship. In her final year with the Bulldogs, Lisa won the NCAA Singles National Championship and was awarded the Broderick Award, which is presented annually to the best collegiate women’s tennis player in the country. To date, Lisa is one of three Bulldogs to be awarded the honor. She went on to play professionally and reached a career high WTA singles ranking of No. 63.
About the ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame
The ITA Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame is housed in the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Millie West served as curator and chairperson of the Hall of Fame, which began in 1995, until her recent death. The Hall of Fame and tennis center were made possible through a generous donation from the late Mark McCormack and Betsy Nagelsen. Every two years, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional players, coaches and contributors in women’s intercollegiate tennis. The ITA Hall of Fame Committee selects inductees from the following categories: (1) outstanding collegiate players; (2) players who attended college and later had a significant impact on women’s tennis; (3) outstanding collegiate coaches; and (4) individuals or corporations that played a major role in the development of women’s intercollegiate tennis.
About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body of college tennis, overseeing men’s and women’s varsity tennis at all levels – NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College. Serving college tennis and higher education for over six decades, the ITA continues to develop championship human beings on and off of the court, returning leaders of tomorrow. Go to itatennis.com to sign up for our newsletter, like the ITA on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.