The National Secondary Schools' Tennis championships were held in Auckland last week. Each school was represented by five players and competed in six-match rubbers - four singles and two doubles. The action was hot!
St. Kentigern College was defeated by Scots College in the 2015 decider, but went one better in a 2016 final replay. The team of Sean Kelly, Connor Williamson, Liam Stoica, Freddie Cashmore-Chatwin and Sean Kelley breezed into the final.
Palmerston North Boys' High School, St. Peter's, Cambridge and Wakatipu High School were all beaten convincingly in pool play. St. Kent's beat Palmerston North 6-0 and only dropped 15 games. They accounted for St. Peter's by the same score, completing seven love sets. The doubles pair of Kelley and Stoica dropped a set against Wakatipu, but St. Kent's still prevailed 6-0.
Auckland Grammar School was expected to provide more resistance in the semi-final, but that wasn't the case. St. Kent's won 6-0 and only dropped two sets in the tie.
The final was an epic tussle. Both sides won three matches each, but St. Kent's won more games, 52-51. Kelley and Williamson completed the tournament undefeated. Kelley only dropped seven games in five matches and completed seven love sets.
Westake Girls' High School won the girls tourney. Lauren Alter, Brooke Kenny, Paige Alter, Deshma Weerapperuma and Amily Suga were the victorious team members. In pool play Westlake was only briefly extended by Kapiti College. Lauren Alter dropped a match, but Westlake won 5-1. New Plymouth Girls' High School and St. Margret's College were beaten 6-0. In the New Plymouth match Westlake won five sets to love.
In the semi-final Westlake lost the first two singles rubbers and was facing elimination. However Kenny thrashed Jordan Berry 6-1, 6-3 changing the momentum of the tie. Kenny and Lauren Alter teamed up to win the last doubles match 6-1, 6-2.
In the final Westlake sealed victory when Kenny, who didn't lose a match in the whole tournament, defeated Victoria Hockely in a three-set thriller, 6-4, 4-6, 10-6. The final score in the decider was 5-1 to Westlake.
St. Andrew's College won the mixed event. The winning team was: Vera Goesmann, Lily Bray, Edward Batt, Nic Jenkins, Holly Matson and Jamie Garbett. St. Andrew's won their two pool matches against Wanganui High School 6-0 and St. Kentigern College 5-1. In the Wanganui match, St. Andrew's won four sets to love. The semi-final against Mount Albert Grammar School was a tough tussle. S. Andrew's was down 2-1, but roared back to win. The boys doubles pairing of Batt and Jenkins won the last rubber 6-2, 6-1. In the final St. Andrew's scored an even easier win over St. Kentigern that what they achieved in the round-robin. St. Andrew's didn't drop a set in winning 6-0.
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