Fine effort from tennis juniors

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The North Otago tennis juniors produced a credible display at the Southern Junior Quads in Dunedin over the weekend with an overall fifth place finish.

The North Otago under-10 contingent finished in fifth place, winning 16 matches in total.

Coach Steven Dries said the event offered newcomers to the sport competition experience and praised the efforts his younger players.

“All players put in a great effort with Megan Dodd winning all her singles games and newcomers Hamish Dodd, Max Tauwhare and Jorja Belt playing their first quads – all winning matches,” he said.

“All eight team members put in 100 per cent and importantly gained lots of experience. Amelia Newlands, Jordyn Phillips, Lachie Voyce McCulloch and Bailey Borst all gained valuable experience.”

The under-12 group also placed fifth with a tally of 15 matches won.

Mackenzie Phillips produced a sterling performance, stepping up to number one and losing just one match in the singles competition.

Abigail Schaeffer stunned some higher ranked opponents while Simone Hamilton Rebecca Dodd and Storm Voyce McCulloch showed vast improvement.

The under-12 boys, consisting of Duran Cooper, Angus Ruddenklau, Jake Gilchrist, Jaden Kaempfe and Angus Plunkett also performed well amongst strong competition of mostly older opponents.

The under-14 team notched 10 wins in all for a fifth place finish.

The local players faced physically stronger second year players, who exploited their power, but handled the occasion well.

“Josh Eckhold played exceptional tennis at number one, convincingly winning 6-1 6-2 against Otago‚Äôs number one,” said Dries.

“Jack Newlands, Issac Tauwhare and Callum Bayne gained a lot from this event and will make them stronger for February quads.”

Southern 12’s rep Brylee More played above of her age group in the girls section but held her own, playing some exceptional tennis throughout the weekend.

Mikayla Sutherland produced a ruthless display for a convincing win over South Canterbury’s number two 6-0 6-0, while Sarah Dodd and Georgie Laurenson showed steady improvement.

Dries said the progress of his players is pleasing and the group represented North Otago well.

” Whilst finishing fifth, the improvement of players was very satisfying with juniors playing their very first competition game and most juniors moving up to their first year of the age group,” he said.

“As coach winning or losing the most satisfying is seeing players improve and each player that represented North Otago achieved this, what more can a coach ask for?”

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: SUPPLIED – Georgie Laurenson, Kayla Sutherland, Brylee More and Sarah Dodd of the under-14 girls.