The Queen Mary’s College (QMC) team, who train at Totally Tennis, competed in the AOC South East Regional Singles tournament played at the indoor centre on 12th November. Both the boys and the girls draws were round robin groups, where the top two progressed to the semi-finals. The boys draw has fourteen players and the girls draw seven players.
QMC was represented by Totally Tennis performance player and assistant coach Harry Feast and Matt Berry and in the girls event, former Totally Tennis player Aisling McGrane, who was the top seed.
The boys event had some great matches in the early group stages, Berry gained an early victory 4-0, 4-0 against one of the Bexhill players but subsequently lost his second match against Mironovic from Havant & South Downs 3-4 (6), 1-4. In his last group match Berry beat the Richard Collyers player, 4-2, 4-1, to earn himself second spot and progression to the semi-finals.
QMC PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson said,”Having watched Matt play in a number of matches at College during his first year, this was unquestionably the best tennis I have seen him play in competition. He served exceptionally well, and was aggressive throughout, it really was an impressive level of tennis.”
Feast only had two group matches due to the withdrawal of one of the players prior to the start of the competition. He had a comfortable win against Taylor from Richard Collyers which effectively put him in a good position to qualify, with his second and final match in the group against the seeded player in the group. He lost this match 2-4, 1-4 but his level was improving, and he ultimately played his best tennis in the final stages.
In the quarter finals, Berry was beaten by the number 2 seed, 4-2, 4-0 but Feast had a highly competitive match against Mironovic which he won 4-2, 3-4 (6) and 1-0 (10). This was a great match from Harry, his defensive skills in particular where excellent and he continued to play aggressively in the deciding tie break, despite the disappointment of losing a close tie break in the second set. His next opponent, was the number one seed, James Ardley from Peter Symonds, and Feast was disappointed to lose the match having started well and found his form and lost in a ten point tie break. The final was contested by the two Peter Symonds players, which Milan Bharadia won in two tie break sets.
Goldson said’ “I was really impressed with how Harry played.”
In the girl’s event, McGrane (pictured left) won through to the final comfortably with the loss of just a handful of games. In the final, she faced the Peter Symonds player, Magda Konicjzuk and although the initial set was close, with McGrane taking it on a tie break; she raised her level in the second set and closed out the match 4-0 with some excellent serving.
Goldson said, “It’s great to have someone of Aisling’s calibre representing the College at the regional competition and we look forward to see how she gets on at the National Finals in Nottingham.”
AoC Sport, formed following the merger of British Colleges Sport, English Colleges FA and the Association of Colleges sport policy team, is the membership organisation for colleges, leading the development of sport and physical activity in 16+ education. Sport and physical activity are essential components of college life, giving students significant advantages in education, employment and health. The AoC vision is for every college student to participate regularly in sport or physical activity and their purpose is to promote, support and deliver college sport and physical activity.
Read more about AoC sport on their website www.aocsport.co.uk