Blair Metrailler and Loren Dinger holding tennis trophies they won growing up at Apawamis Club.
By Robin Jovanovich
The fact that their mothers grew up next door to one another and have remained lifelong friends didn’t necessarily mean that their daughters would follow the same path. But Loren (Smith) Dinger and Blair (Endresen) Metrailler are the first to tell you that they are “joined at the hip”.
They’ve been partners on the tennis court since the age of 9 when they won the Apawamis Club Championship in their age group, and opponents on college squash teams; Loren played for Yale and Blair for Harvard.
“We decided early on that this would be fun,” said Blair.
Both young women went to Rye Country Day School where they studied hard and were sports standouts. After ninth grade, Loren quit the tennis team to focus on squash; Blair played tennis all four years, as well as squash outside school. Rye Country Day didn’t have a squash team — until Loren and Blair started one their senior year.
“Every year we begged our parents to let us play ice hockey,” Loren recalled, “but there were no girls’ ice hockey teams back then. We helped build one.”
Growing up, the friends played a variety of sports and excelled at all of them. They credit their parents for never pushing them into one sport or denying them a chance to test their wings in many.
“Sports are important to us, as they are to our husbands,” said Loren. “And we’re excited that our children are already fine athletes who love skiing as much as they do racquet sports.”
Their daughters won the 9-and-under doubles tournament at Manursing this summer. Blair’s 13-year-old son won the club championship in his age group at both Apawamis and Manursing Island Club.
After college, Blair continued to play squash singles in New York City and started the Lehman Brothers Squash League. One weekend, while working at Lehman Brothers, a colleague asked her if she knew any “smart, attractive, and athletic” women. Blair introduced Michael Dinger to Loren, who also worked in finance before earning an International Master’s degree at Johns Hopkins. He proposed to her on the ski slopes at Vail. They moved to Rye in 2010. Blair met her husband, Edouard Metrailler, in college. They moved to Rye in 2012.
Loren is grateful that she could pick up a tennis racquet again as an adult and end up playing for a USTA team as well as the Apawamis A team. Blair never stopped playing tennis and even drove up to Rye when she lived in Manhattan to play in the Westchester MITL (Metropolitan Interclub Tennis League). “Peter Briggs was running the tennis program at Apawamis then, and he was one of our biggest supporters throughout our tennis and squash high school and college years.”
After returning to their hometown, Blair and Loren became winning tennis partners again, until Blair had shoulder surgery that forced her to stop playing for a time.
Both will tell you that the best thing about sports are the friendships you make through them, and, more importantly, that their lifelong friendship has grown even stronger as they raise athletes of their own.