Karim Najdi, Director
Karim has been in charge of the St. Albans Tennis Center since August 2005, when he transitioned from NCS after 7 years as its' Head Tennis Coach. In the midst of winning I.A.C. titles with the Bulldogs from 2011-2016, he has also directed the Summer Programs department and has recently added Asst. Athletic Director to his portfolio. Before his work on The Close, Mr. Najdi taught at the Bolletteri & Hopman Academies and earned his "High Performance" designation for the USTA and his USPTA "Elite Professional" certification. Karim is a graduate of Drury (B.A.) and Marymount (M.A.) Universities and continues to participate in professional development inititives. (*Coach Najdi is not available for lessons at this time.)
Angela McDowell, Asst. Director
Ms. McDowell began at St. Albans in 2006 as an tennis office attendant and has risen to not only her current status with the St. Albans Tennis Center, but as Asst. Director of Summer Programs. A native Washingtonian, Angela graduated from H.D. Woodson SHS before obtaining her B.A. for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A viewer and participant in tennis since her youth, she can be found participating in many facets of the business including management, coaching, and hitting the court with members on ocassion. Angela is our head stringer and a member of the United States Racquet Stringers Association.
Andrei Bacalu, Asst. Director & Head Professional
Andrei first came to St. Albans as a coach during Summer Tennis Camp for 5 summers and in 2016, became Asst. Director and Head Tennis Professional. Andrei is a PTR Performance Coach, has competed in ATP/ITF events, and has taught at public facilites and schools. Though a native of Moldova, he is a graduate of Whitman High School in Bethesda and moved on to obtain degrees in Economics and Russian from Penn State University. In addition to helping manage the Tennis Center (where he also strings racquets), Andrei is the Head JV Tennis Coach and assists with the St. Albans soccer and wrestling programs.
Mehdi Maida, Asst. Head Professional
Entering his 11th season at St. Albans Tennis Center, Mehdi was the 1991 Moroccan Junior Champion and represented Morocco in multiple international tournaments and championships. Mehdi also competed in ITF tournaments as well as ATP Futures and Challengers. While gaining his Bachelor’s in Business Administration at Radford University, Mehdi played Division I college tennis and received multiple awards while representing The Highlanders from 1991 to 1995. Mehdi also holds a MBA from The University of Oklahoma, which he currently uses in the banking industry. He resides in Northern Virginia.
H'Cone Thompson, Teaching Professional
H’cone is a certified USPTA tennis professional. He joined the St. Albans tennis staff last September. For the past 17 years, H’cone has taught private, semi- private, and group lessons. Prior to joining St Albans, H’cone was the director of junior tennis at Woodmont Country Club. He has worked with children and adults, beginners to world class players, ranging from ages 3-90. H’cone has coached teams, and conducted a variety of clinics including cardio tennis, singles, doubles, and introduction to tennis clinics. H’cone graduated from Lafayette College where he Played #1 singles and doubles and holds the record as the winningest player in singles history. After college, H’cone played Davis Cup for the Bahamas and competed on the futures circuit. He has been stringing tennis rackets for over 20 years. H’cone enjoys working with players of all levels and would love to get you on court!
Sorin Cherbetiu, Teaching Professional (Spring Only)
Sorin comes to us for his second spring as an assistant coach with the St. Albans tennis teams; however this time, he will add teaching lessons and clinics at The Tennis Center. The University of West Florida is a big part of Sorin's growth in two ways: as a person, graduating with a B.A. in Sports Science and M.A. in Communications, and as a teaching professional gaining his intitial coaching expericence as an assistant with the Men's program. Since his first coaching days in 1997, Sorin has gone on to coach collegiately at the University of West Georgia and many International Tennis Federation Champions, including two who reached the Orange Bowl International Junior Championship and several who have competed inall Grand Slams. He has also directed tennis at a promeninet club in Connecticut for many years.
Lisa Rosales, Office Attendant
Lisa will assist the Center with marketing, scheduling and retail, as well as general customer service. She is a communications marketing and operations professional with experience in media and broadcasting. Lisa previously worked at the Public Broadcasting Service as the Assistant Director, Station Strategy and Support. She is a proud alum of Syracuse University.
Dana Wood, Office Attendant
Dana is a native Washingtonian and began working for the Tennis Center in 2017. She enjoys working here, especially seeing the children play tennis and improve over time. Dana is honored to continue being apart of our staff.
Eduardo Mendoza, Court Maintenance
Since 2009, Eduardo has been an instrumental part of our staff, helping to ensure that our courts and facilities are well maintained. A native of El Salvador, Eduardo has been in the U.S. for almost twenty years and recently gained his full citizenship. When not at the Tennis Center, he works in the Banquet division of the renowed Hay Adams hotel. He is a big Real Madrid football fan.
Carlos Cruz, Court Maintenance
Carlos is entering his 3rd season as part of our court maintenance staff. He has been a District resident for about 10 years, coming to the States from El Salvador. He is a proud father, helps run his family’s Mexican restaurant in Southeast and enjoys soccer and basketball.