Mini performance player Isla Hignett was part of the Hampshire 10 and under girls team that won the Aegon County Cup competition played at Hove Pavillion Avenue Tennis Club over the weekend and will now play in the National Finals in Bolton. Denominating Group F, the team of Hignett and former Totally Tennis players Eliza Wheeler and Hannah Smith along with Rina Hayamizu and Anna Vinnell won all their ties against teams from Sussex 6-2, Kent 6-2, Surrey 5-4 and Dorset 8-0.
On day one, the girls first opponents were Sussex where they won all their singles matches with Hayamizu beating Cara McCully 4-0, 4-0, Wheeler beating Olivia Venditto 5-3, 4-0 and Smith defeating Madison Broadbent 4-0, 4-0. In the doubles, Hignett/Vinnell were beaten in the third set tie-break by Vendiito/McCully 4-1, 3-5, 0-1(8) so the overall score was 6-2.
The teams second opponents on day two were the team from Kent which resulted in another 6-2 victory. Wheeler beat Alaia Rubio Perez 4-0, 4-0, Smith beat Caitlin McLoughlin in three sets 3-5, 4-2, 1-0(7) but Hayamizu lost to Katie Swindell in another three set battle 5-4(4), 1-4, 1-0(7). The tie was decided in Hampshire’s favour when Wheeler/Smith won the doubles against Rubio Perez/Swindell 4-1, 4-2.
With two wins under their belts, the girls were in a good place at the start of day two of the competition. The first tie was against Surrey where the team got off to a shaky start with both Hayamizu and Wheeler losing their singles against Leah Gonzales-Edwards 4-0, 5-4(4) and Lucy Webber 4-1, 4-1 respectively. Smith stepped up to the challenge and saved the tie, winning her singles match against Oriana Parkins-Godwin 4-1, 5-3 to keep the Hampshire girls in the running. Wheeler/Smith then needed to win their doubles against Parkins-Godwin/Gonzales-Edwards to level the tie. They came through in the very long match against two big powerful surrey girls in a tie break after being 9-6 down coming back to win 4-2, 0-4, 1-0(10). With the score at 2-2, Wheeler/Smith had to play Parkins-Godwin/Gonzales-Edwards again in the deciding shoot out and even though they were down several times at 3-1 then 6-3 they pulled it back to 9-6 up and won in a fantastic result overall 10-7.
The final fixture was against Dorset where Hignett and Wheeler both won their singles matches 4-0, 4-0 against Munashe Ingram and Carly Hunter and Smith beat Mollie Edge 4-0, 4-1. In the final match, Hayamizu/Hignett beat Olivia Harris/Sienna May 5-3, 4-0 to give the team an 8-0 victory.
The girls will now play in the National Finals in Bolton on the weekend of 14th/15th June.