Queen Mary’s College (QMC) PE teacher Sarah Goldson run the annual Association of Colleges (AoC) Tennis – South East Regional Singles Competition earlier this week at Totally Tennis’ indoor centre in the War Memorial Park, Basingstoke.
This event has been hosted at Totally Tennis for the last ten years and QMC have always been well represented and this year was no exception. Alex Wood and Andrew Dingwall played in the boys event and the girls event was contested by QMC’s top female player Kelsey Mosquera. Each college is permitted two singles entries in each gender category and this year a total of fifteen boys and thirteen girls signed up to play. The tournament was played in the FAST4 format as requested after it was introduced at National Level in 2015, this year the National finals will be held at the Nottingham Tennis Centre for the first time.
(L to R) QMC’s Andrew Dingwall and Alex Wood
Top seeds in both competitions were Freya Davies and Austin Gwilliam who were both representing Peter Symonds College from nearby Winchester. The boys event was played in four groups with the calibre of play was extremely high. QMC’s Wood played really well beating Matthew Robinson (Reigate) 4-0, 4-0 and Ryan O’Leary (Havant) 4-3(0), 4-0 but lost against Tom Woodcock (Barton Peveril) 4-2, 4-1 to finish second in his group but unfortunately due to time restrictions only the group winners progressed to the semi-final stage. Dingwall had a hard task with top seed Gwilliam playing in his group, he beat Serhan Dogan (Worthing) 4-0, 4-1 but lost to Gwilliam 4-1, 4-0 and then also lost against Harry Orrin (Farnborough) in a close encounter 4-2, 2-4, 9-10 (sudden death nine points all as per the FAST4 format) so missed out on the runner-up spot. In the final Gwilliam beat Ryan Young (Worthing) 4-0, 4-1 to be crowned the overall winner.
Overall Boys winner Austin Gwilliam from Peter Symonds College
Mosquera defeated Lauren Suter (Farnborough) 4-0, 4-0 and Abigail Downham (Worthing) 4-2, 4-1 to win her group. In the semi-final, she came up against eventual winner Davis whose greater weight of shots and increased consistency was better than any of the opponents she had faced in group stages. Unable to sustain her own game at a high enough level to win the match Mosquera lost to Davis 4-0, 4-0 and she went on to win the final against Helen Skingley (Worthing) 4-0, 4-0 and give Peter Symonds College both victories and two National finalists.
Goldson said “I had high hopes for Mosquera who as expected went for all her shots from the outset, dictating the majority of the points in her group matches from the back of the court.”
(L to R) Overall Girls Winner Freya Davis (PSC) and runner-up Helen Skingley (Worthing)
AoC Sport is the lead organisation for college sport and physical activity in this country funded by Sport England, the vision is that every college student has the opportunity to participate regularly in sport or physical activity. Regional tournaments in thirteen different sports are open to students in AoC Sport member colleges and are held in the autumn term. The best teams and individuals qualify for the National Championships where they compete individually both for their college and their region.