QMC team endure mixed fortunes

Basingstoke Gazette: Stan Brown and Liam Church. Stan Brown and Liam Church.

QUEEN Mary’s College Tennis teams, managed and trained by PE teacher Sarah Goldson enjoyed mixed fortunes in their latest matches as part of the Senior Students Competition.

The Boys A side of Loic Armstrong, Ali Olrog, Liam Church and Stan Brown enjoyed a good win beating Rikkyo School 10-2, which was a key match in the team’s group.

They made a good start in the singles, winning three of the four matches thanks to Olrog (6-2), Church (6-3), Brown (6-3), while Armstrong lost 6-4. The boys continued the good run of form in the doubles with Armstrong/Olrog winning 6-3 and Church/Brown (6-2).

The team now face Cranleigh School in their final fixture in the group stages, an important match that dictates their potential place in the knock-out stage of the competition.

In a disappointing turn of events, the Mixed team, playing on home turf at Totally Tennis, lost 5-4 to Kingston College after a tense 10 point shoot out.

QMC won the first two matches indoors thanks Armstrong and Steph Higgs (6-2) and Olrog and Zoe Arden (6-1).

A change of scenery had a dramatic effect on the match with the second two singles matches played on the outdoor courts. Armstrong/Higgs lost in the tie-break 7-6 and Olrog/Arden (6-4).

This tied the match so it went to a deciding 10 point shoot out, which Olrog/Higgs lost 10-6.

Goldson said: “This result was a real disappointment for the team who won the first two matches comfortably (indoors) but the opposition played significantly better outside and despite having a match point, the opposition levelled and took the match to a shoot out.

“The team was clearly rattled at this stage and we lost the initial three points of the tie break and then just failed to recover in time. A win in this match was crucial to progress to the knock out stages.”

The team currently has one loss and one win in their group with South Thames College (Wandsworth) left to play The Boys B team of Jon Lamport, Jordan Hughes, Harry Evans and Stuart Locke lost at Bedales 8-4.

Only Lamport won his singles match very convincingly 6-0, while Hughes lost 6-1, Evans (6-0) and Locke (6-4). In the doubles, the pairing of Lamport/Hughes recorded a 6-1 win but Evans/Locke lost 6-3.

Goldson said: “It was a strong performance by Jon in both the singles and doubles, but his teammates struggled on serve even if they had some better groundstrokes.”

The Girls team of Higgs, Arden, Katie Parkinson and Laura Jones lost their home fixture against Bradfield B 8-4.

Higgs won her singles match 6-1 but the other three girls were not so lucky all losing Arden (6-3) Parkinson (6-2) and Jones (6-1). It was still all to play for in the doubles and Higgs/Arden won their match 6-3 but Parkinson/Jones lost 6-1.

Goldson said: “Despite the loss, this is the best performance from a QMC girls team for some time.

“Steph played superbly throughout in the singles and doubles, serving really well and hitting many winners – the best matches I have ever seen her play.

In summary Goldson said: “A win in the final match in the group against Cranleigh School would see QMC Boys A team through to the knock-out stages for the fourth year in a row.

“Although, they lost our girls team played so well, the best team performance the college girls team for a while, but a great effort nonetheless so a good day that made up for the mixed defeat.”

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