Local teams progress in State Champs

SLC Grovedale 8B: Riley Robertson, Ebony Paull, Ella Hill, Maddison Mohr, Jaylen Sach.

LOCAL TENNIS with Donna Schoenmaekers

With local competition still in hiatus over the school holidays, Tennis Victoria hosted 72 premiership teams from across the state for the third annual State League Championships at Dendy Park, Brighton and the new Monash Tennis Centre in Glen Waverley.

The teams qualified by winning their local competition premierships and were graded by their respective UTRs and split into nine grades each with two sections, playing qualifying rounds this week, with the winners of the sections of each grade playing off for the title of State Champions at their level.

Tennis Geelong had nine of its premiership teams over the last 12 months put themselves forward, with Moolap (2023 Winter 2 Open) in 5B and Clifton Springs/Drysdale (Summer 3 Mixed) in 9A winning through to next week’s final, while a number of teams just missed out.

Wandana Heights (Summer 2 Open) were placed in pool 3A and came very close to making the final going down to eventual finalists Sale by only one game, and Sale having a one set advantage. Moolap (Summer and Winter 1 Mixed) also came second in pool 4A, with two wins but Moe proved too strong for everyone.

Grovedale (Summer 4 Mixed) and Surfcoast Bellbrae (Summer 5 Mixed) were both in pool 8B, and faced each other in the first match of the day. There was no difference between the teams with the teams each winning a set 8-6 then 8-4 resulting in a draw.

By the end of Sunday, Grovedale finished second only one point behind Gisborne and Bellbrae in third.

Moolap’s fourth team was in pool 9B and were 2023 Summer 7 Midweek premiers. The team had some good matches with some close sets, and while things weren’t great on the scoreboard, they were the last to leave. Some of the teams looked at the opportunity as a bonding experience, spending the weekend away with the team.

Teams were impressed with the brand new facilities at Monash Tennis Centre (Glenvale TC) and some took a while to get used to the porous surface at Dendy Park but with beautiful weather over the two days, the weekend was an enjoyable experience for everyone, and highly recommended to participate if you get the chance, and are extra keen to do well in the next 12 months for the chance to compete again.

This Saturday will see the finals for each grade played at Royal South Yarra (RSY) and Kooyong followed by a Player Party at RSY for all the participants once the winners have been crowned.

Tennis Geelong’s representatives Moolap will play Leo-pards 2.0 from Overport Park TC in the Grade 5 final and Clifton Springs/Drysdale will face Macedon Jaguars in Grade 9.

Both teams have been in good form and will relish the chance to play at one of Victoria’s premier venues, and be named State Champions.