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Meet the Staff

Jim Davis

USPTA Master Professional, Director of Tennis, and Shadow Valley Co- Owner

JD is a graduate of The University of Toledo, earning a letter all four years.  In his tournament playing career, he was ranked #1 in Men's Singles in the Midwest in 1978 and 1988.  During that time, he was ranked in the Top 10 for 10 years in a row. Jim was named the USPTA Ohio Professional of the Year in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, & 1992.  He is a managing partner of Shadow Valley Tennis and Fitness Club. Coach Davis is married to Diana and they have five children, James, Alexa, Julie, Chelsea and David.

Justin Swiger

USPTA Professional, Maumee Head Pro

Justin was first introduced to tennis through a free camp he attended in Cincinnati.  He was a nationally ranked player during his junior career.  Justin attended the University of Toledo, where he was captain all four years.


Justin joined the Shadow Valley team in 1993, working at the front desk.  He began instructing about a year after that.  He has been the head pro at Shadow for 15 years.


Justin and his wife Heather have been married 18 years and have two boys, Austin and Cameron.  Each of their children play three to four sports.  Justin also enjoys coaching youth football and soccer.  In his spare time, Justin loves kayaking and mountain biking.  He is a true outdoorsman.  Born in Columbus, Justin is a HUGE Ohio State fan- Go Bucks! 419.356.0512

John Mermer

Owner, Mermer Fitness Training; Shadow Valley Co- Owner

John played tennis in high school for St. John's Jesuit.  He went on to play for Ball State University, earning many honors in both singles and doubles. 


John has been employed with Shadow Valley for over 20 years, and has operated the private fitness area for over 15 years.  He is a multi- time City Doubles champion, and has won the State Championship title, as well as advancing to the Midwest Championship at the 5.0 level.


John is married to Belinda and they have twins, Jenna and Jessica.  The whole family enjoys playing tennis.

César Balibrea

USPTA Professional

César was born and raised in Madrid, Spain.  He started playing tennis at the age of 7, hitting the ball around with his dad and brother.  He went on to play many district, regional and national junior tournaments from ages 11 to 17.  César played in Spain's National Junior Championship from ages 15 to 17.


At age 16, César began assisting his coaches, working under the direct supervision of José López-Maeso, once ranked 75 on ATP and former Davis Cup player for Spain.  César was ranked the number 1 adult singles player in 1991 by the Northwest Ohio Tennis Association.  


César began working for Shadow Valley in 2005.  He has been married for 23 years and has two children; a son and daughter.  He has a love for music, sports, and world history.

Phillip Urrutia

USPTA Professional

Around the age of 13, Phill was introduced to tennis through the late Bob Krueger.  Under Bob's instruction and through junior clinics, Phill grew to really enjoy the game.  He played in high school at St. John's Jesuit, earning a City League championship title two times.


Phill joined the Shadow Valley pro staff shortly after high school graduation in 2005.  He still continues to play at the competitive level through the USTA leagues.  In his spare time, Phill enjoys listening to music.

Mitch Hering

Tennis Professional

Mitch graduated from Northview High School in 2013, where he was a four- year letterman of the tennis team.  He was also the recipient of the Northern Great Lakes League title in 2012.  Mitch is currently the Assistant Varsity Coach at St. John's Jesuit High School.  More recently, Mitch has become a tournament director for Shadow Valley tournaments as well as the USTA Qualifier and local Ohio high school sectional tournament.  He is also a member of the Wilson Pro Staff.

Mitch joined the Shadow Valley staff in 2015 and enjoys instructing clients of all ages.  In his free time, he enjoys competing in USTA league tennis on Shadow Valley teams.  He is a Michigan Wolverines fan and loves supporting them. GO BLUE! 419.787.7838

Susie Miller

Tennis Professional

Susie has been teaching tennis for over 30 years in the Toledo tennis community.  She has coached high school girls’ team for 25 years at St. Ursula, and currently Northview.  While at St. Ursula, Susie led multiple individuals to the state championships and competed as a team in the final four almost every year.  She coached the Northview boys for 6 years.  This will be Susie’s first spring at St. Francis De Sales as the varsity head coach.


In the 80s and 90s, Susie worked as an assistant teaching professional at Courts of Sylvania and Westowne Tennis Club with her brothers Mark and David Willingham.  Most recently, she started working at Shadow Valley Tennis Club during the indoor season and is also the platform tennis and pickleball Director at The Inverness Club.  Susie is also the Head Teaching Professional for Toledo Tennis Club during the summer months.  Additionally, Susie served as coach for multiple junior USTA Team Cup competitions.  The Miller family was honored to have been selected for the Northwest Ohio Family of the Year in 2012.

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AJ Szozda

USPTA Professional, Central Head Pro

AJ is a graduate of the Ferris State University Professional Tennis Management Program. He has been teaching tennis for 20 years and is also the Boys Head Coach at Southview High School.  AJ has developed a college national champion, several state qualifiers and numerous juniors that have achieved top 50 rankings in the midwest and that have gone on to play college tennis.

Lisa Bialorucki

Tennis Professional

LB has been teaching tennis for over 25 years in the Toledo area. She enjoys working with adult and junior players of all ages and levels.  Lisa is the Director of Tennis at the Inverness Club during the summer months and is a teaching professional at Shadow Valley Central during the indoor season.  She also is the head girls tennis coach at Central Catholic High School and has earned "coach of the year" honors twice.


As a collegiate player, she played both singles and doubles at The University of Toledo.   More recently, she was a member of the 2004 national championship 10.0 mixed doubles team.  Lisa is a member of the Central Catholic Hall of Fame and in 2003 was inducted in the Toledo City Athletic League Hall of Fame.

Jeff Harst

USPTA Professional

Jeff began playing tennis when he was 10 years old and went on to play in high school.  He started his tennis teaching career after high school and earned his USPTA certification at age 19.  He joined the Shadow Valley team originally in 1991.  He has also been the Director of Tennis at Stone Oak Country Club and Toledo Tennis Club. 

Jeff joined the team at Shadow Valley Central when that location opened over 10 years ago.  He is  is currently the Director of Tennis at Sylvania Country Club in the summer and has been there for the last 9 years.  Jeff has two boys, Colton and Braxton.  In his spare time, Jeff enjoys watching football.

Jeff Turner

USPTA Elite Professional

Jeff began playing tennis as an adult in 1974.  He founded Dudley's Raqcuet Shop in 1984 and has been in the tennis retail business for 30 years.  Jeff has earned his USRSA racquet stringing certification. 


Jeff began working with Shadow Valley in 1999.  When not on the court teaching, Jeff can be found in the pro shop stringing racquets for First Serve.

Carol Wiener

Maumee Manager, Shadow Valley Co- Owner

Carol, one of the SVC Managing Partners, has been involved in tennis in Northwest Ohio since 1984. She started working at the Courts of Sylvania Tennis Club and then at Central Tennis & Fitness.


Carol arrived at Shadow Valley in 1992 and has managed that location for 22 years. She also is involved in all Adult and Junior Tournaments from the local level to the National Championships. Carol was also NWOTA USTA League Director for 10 years and has run many Ohio State Adult Championships.

Kari Ewersen

Central Manager

As a sophomore in high school picking the racquet up for the first time, Kari fell in love with the game of tennis.  She and her doubles partner were the first girls from her high school to advance to district playoffs in seventeen years, and also the first to bring home a first place award from an invitational event.


Kari was hired as Assistant Manager at Westowne Tennis Club the summer of high school graduation.  Kari began working for Shadow Valley in 2008 as manager at the Central location.  She loves  being around tennis and continues to play.  In her spare time, Kari loves crafting and upcycling furniture or working in the yard.

Matt Gargas

Tennis Professional

Matt graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 2015 where he lettered in Football and Tennis all 4 years.  He finished 3rd in the State in Doubles with his brother Tyler his senior year.  Matt was introduced to tennis at a young age at Laurel Hill Swim and Tennis Club.  Matt currently studies Finance and Spanish at the University of Toledo. He also plays on the Club Tennis team at UT.  He coaches Boys and Girls Tennis at Ottawa Hills High School as well.


Matt joined the Shadow Valley team in 2015 and enjoys teaching clients of all ages and abilities.  In his spare time, Matt competes in USTA leagues and watches football.  Go Browns!

Zach Barden

Tennis Professional

Zach played tennis at the University of Toledo where he served as team captain his senior year. He has taught and competed around the world, including in Spain, where he trained with and coached world- ranked juniors.  Zach is a member of the 5.0 State of Ohio Championship team.

In addition to his love for all things tennis, Zach is obsessed with languages, soccer, and poker.

Zach holds a MBA from the University of Chicago and is the co- founder of Informed-U, which provides sexual violence prevention on college campuses.

Jonah Carter

Tennis Professional

Jonah joined the Shadow Valley team as a junior in 2013 and has been working part time ever since.  He graduated from St. John's Jesuit in 2014, where he lettered all four years.  While in high school, his team captured the TRAC title every year, and Jonah won his individual flight his senior year.  His team also reached the state team finals all four years, and he was an individual state qualifier his senior year.


Jonah was offered a scholarship to play at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, where he played all four years.  He graduated with a degree in Communications and Business Marketing.  He currently works full time as Director of Marketing at Automation & Control Technologies in Perrysburg.

Jonah continues to play and compete and holds the City Doubles Champion title from 2016.  He enjoys playing competitively in local leagues and on Shadow Valley teams.  Jonah enjoys playing other sports and being outdoors.  He is also an avid Red Wings and Lions fan.

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