Daily Press (Sunday)

Local tennis community gets more sad news

- Sonny Dearth

For the second time in less than two months the local tennis community is mourning.

Joby Foley, who grew up in Virginia Beach and is considered the top men’s tennis player in West Virginia University history, suffered a heart attack and died Monday night at age

55. The 1986 First Colonial

High graduate and ’85 Group AAA state singles champion was the chief IT strategist and enterprise architect at Huntington Ingalls Industries, and

WVU released a story about his considerab­le impact on the Mountainee­rs’ tennis program.

This comes just after the tragic news of Nov. 30, when longtime area player/coach/ promoter Darryl Cummings died of a heart attack in Florida. He graduated from Norview High and coached Maury, Franklin, Norfolk State and Virginia Wesleyan, but he’ll be best remembered as a player and coach for ODU, where his memorial service was held.

(Personal note: I, a former James Madison tennis player, knew both of those fellows since we were teenagers and had played against and with them on numerous occasions.)

Deepest condolence­s to Foley’s family. That includes sons Philip and Kyle and Foley’s widow, the former Jody Carson — a former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy star who competed for ODU teams coached by Cummings and attended that memorial at ODU.

We all, plus those who knew Foley as a flight instructor, drummer, animal lover, golfer and computer whiz, will miss him.

Newport News, Yorktown products compete for U.S.:

Former Liberty field hockey standout Bethany Dykema, of Newport News, competed for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the FIH Hockey5s World Cup in Muscat, Oman.

So did former Old Dominion and York High goalkeeper Kealsie Robles, and their team finished ninth, winning the Challenger Trophy.

Dykema was one of only 10 players chosen by coach Rachel Dawson following the selection camp that took place in early January in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dykema made her Team USA debut in early December in a two-match series against New Zealand in Charlotte, which served as preparatio­n for the FIH Olympic Qualifier.

Dykema was a four-time All-Big East selection, and she was on the All-America second team in 2022 and ’23, as selected by the National Field Hockey Coaches Associatio­n. She tops the Flames’ all-time chart in assists (47) and games (97) and is 10th in goals (27).

The Americans went 4-2 in the tournament, defeating Paraguay 3-0, Namibia 6-1 and 2-0 and Australia 8-4, but losing 5-1 to Poland and 7-3 to India.

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