The Queen Mary’s College (QMC) tennis mixed team travelled to Aldenham School in Hertfordshire for their latest match of the knock out stages of the Senior Students competition.
The team of Luke Watts and Jordan Mosquera (pair 1) and Andrew Dingwall and Dessi Bratinova (pair 2) had a bye in their first match so needed to win this fixture to qualify for the National Finals in Bolton. Both pairs made a great start with Watts and Mosquera beating the opposing team’s top pair 6-3 and Dingwall and Bratinova defeating the second pair 7-6 (3).
The QMC mixed team who will play in the National Finals in Bolton (L to R) Luke Watts, Jordan Mosquera, Dessi Bratinova and Andrew Dingwall.
QMC PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson said “Both pairs served well in the first matches and both Luke and Jordan played well up at the net to cut off any long baseline exchanges.” she added, “Andrew and Dessi had served for the match earlier in the set but were pegged back to a tie break, but lifted their game once again to take the tie break-relatively comfortably.”
Going into the second matches, the QMC team needed just one win to qualify, Dingwall and Bratinova were the first to finish but unfortunately lost to the top pairing 6-3. Watts and Mosquera got off to a great start winning the initial few games to lead 3-0 but again the opposition fought back but the QMC pair battled on breaking serve to win the match 6-3 and securing the mixed team’s qualification for the national finals in Bolton.
Goldson said “This will be a fourth appearance by a QMC mixed team in Bolton and a sixth appearance for the College overall. This was an unexpected surprise for the QMC team this year and we have certainly made the most of an advantageous draw.”
The team along with Saul Irwin (who played in the earlier round) will head to Bolton on Saturday 11 March to compete against Millfield School, Felsted School, Ellesmere College, Strathallan School, Rugby School, Sevenoaks School and local rivals Peter Symonds College from Winchester.
“This will be a great opportunity for the players, we have nothing to lose and as such will hopefully play with a sense of freedom and no pressure,” said Goldson “All five players are certainly capable on their day and it is great that QMC have a place back in the finals after a couple of years where we have just missed out.”
The 2010 QMC Mixed Team who won the National Title and a masterclass at Totally Tennis from Judy Murray (L to R) Ben Jubin, Jack Nicholson, Steph Catlin and Aimee Paterson
The team are following in the footsteps of the QMC Mixed Team who won the National Title back in 2010. Totally Tennis performance players Steph Catlin, Ben Jubin, Jack Nicholson and Aimee Paterson were the dream team who brought the trophy home to Basingstoke. Goldson said “It may be 7 years ago but I still remember it well! I am very much looking forward to see how our players this year get on.” J
ubin is now a full-time tennis coach at Totally Tennis and Catlin is a sports nutritionalist and contributor to this blog.
The Queen Mary’s College (QMC) Boys A Team got off to a good start in the new season of this years Senior Students Competition. All the teams who are managed by QMC PE teacher Sarah Goldson train at Totally Tennis’ indoor centre and it’s also the venue for all the college’s home fixtures.
The Boys team of Loic Armstrong, Nick Dingwall, Adam Hod and Luke Watts beat Bedales 10-2. In the singles Armstrong, Dingwall and Watts all won their matches 6-2 and Hood lost 6-1. In the doubles, Armstong/Dingwall won 7-5 and Watts/Hood won 6-3.
Goldson said, “Although it was a good victory in the end, the match could have swung the other way and I was pleased to get this first match done.”
Dingwall and Watts then played in a Mixed match immediately afterwards the Bedales fixture against Collyers College with Holly Groves and Beth Lowe. Pair one Dingwall/Groves lost against the 2nd pair 6-1 and defeated the top pair 6-1. Watts/Lowe beat the first pair 6-2 but lost against the second pair 6-2 which meant a deciding shoot out! Dingwall/Lowe won the shoot out 10-4 to give QMC overall victory.
Goldson commented, “This match ended up closer than expected. Beth was by far the player of the match and I was relaly impressed with her level of play.”
In the Girls fixture against St Catherine’s School, Guildford the newly formed girls team of Lowe, Groves, Sarah Winkle and Frankie Turner played well even though the final scoreline told a different story. Top player Kelsey Mosquera was unable to compete due to her high rating preventing her inclusion in the team.
In the singles, Lowe lost 6-1, Groves lost 6-3, Winkle lost 6-2 and Turner lost 6-0. In the doubles, Lowe and Groves won 6-4 and Winkle and Turner lost 6-0 so the team lost overall 10-2.
Goldson said, “We have not had a girl’s team for a couple of years, so it was good to get a team in this year. Although Kelsey unable to play as rated too high so our fourth player is really a Badminton player. The girls really did well though and despite the scoreline the games were well contested.”
The Boys B team of Matt Rennie, Joseph Lane, Chris Yarney were joined for Watts who stood in for an injured player, lost against Lancing College 12-0. In the singles, Rennie lost 6-0, Watts lost 6-3, Joseph Lane lost 6-1 and Yarney lost 6-0. In the doubles, Rennie/Lane 6-1 and Yarney/Watts lost 6-0.
Goldson finished “We have a very good record in the Senior Students Competition, particularly the Boys A Team and Mixed Team and it was good to get wins in the first group matches for these two teams.”
The Senior Students Competition is an annual tennis tournament to encourage players in Years 11 – 13 to play competitive tennis and provide teams with an opportunity to compete in a National Final. The entry period runs run June to September with local league matches being played from October to December. Winners of the local leagues progress through to the knockout rounds from January, with the National Finals taking place in March next year at Bolton Arena.
The QMC players have a busy schedule after half-term with more matches in the Senior Students competition, the Association of Colleges competition (formerly British Colleges) and the South East Regional Competition singles tournament run by Goldson at Totally Tennis with Loic Armstrong and Kelsey Mosquera representing the college.
The Queen Marys College (QMC) Boys A team were beaten in the Glanvill Cup 8-0 after fielding a team missing a fourth player who failed to show up leaving the team at a disadvantage before a ball had even been hit. Loic Armstrong played well and started strongly breaking his opponents serve in the first game but was unable to keep up the consistency so eventually lost to Miles McDowell 6-2, 6-2. Nick Dingwall, who came back strongly in the second set was unable to hold off the force of Taylor Vane, losing 6-0, 6-4 .Ali Olrog battled in a three set match but also lost to Hallam Doney 6-3, 5-7, 14-12 and the quality of the match was not reflected in the scoreline and Olrog was unlucky to lose a match point due to a net cord from his opponent. Unfortunately, with the fourth player unavailable and losing all three of the other singles matches QMC were unable to win and due to court time the doubles was not played either.
QMC PE teacher and tennis team manger Sarah Goldson said “We were aware this was always going to be a big ask for the boys with Peter Symonds probably having one of their strongest teams for some years (players rated between 2.2 and 4.1). The difference in ratings between our players and theirs was not always reflected in some of the matches and as always the boys gave it their best effort.”
Mixed Doubles team Lowe, Olrog, Dingwall and Jones
In better news, the Boys A team were declared the Hampshire Boys Doubles champions after the final was unable to be played as Peter Symonds were unavailable to play on the arranged day. The team of Ali Olrog, Nick Dingwall and Loic Armstrong (fourth player Adam Hood not pictured) collected the trophy with PE teacher Sarah Goldson.
Lowe and Olrog in action
The Hampshire Mixed Doubles event was held at Totally Tennis with teams from QMC, Alton and Farnborough competing for the title. QMC were represented by pair one Nick Dingwall and Laura Jones and pair two Ali Olrog and Beth Lowe. Farnborough were the overall winners, Alton were runners-up and QMC were third.
Lovely sunny day for the Mixed Doubles event
Goldson said “Ali and Beth have partnered each other all year but in the absence of a second girl for our mixed team, Laura had only played a handful of times and as such struggled to produce consistent enough tennis during the afternoon. Ali and Beth improved as the matches went on but a slow start meant they were unable to make a significant impact for the QMC team.”