LOCAL TENNIS Donna Schoenmaekers
Grovedale Yellow has handed Waurn Ponds its first defeat of the season in the grand final of Geelong’s top mixed tennis division.
Grovedale upset the injury-depleted minor premiers – who had not lost a single match for the season – 4-2 in Saturday’s Section 1 grand final.
Waurn Ponds was hit hard during the week with Billy Spicer going down with an ankle injury and Ben Meeke stepping up to fill the void.
Grovedale started strong with Abbie Walker and Dave Meehan winning 6-2, followed by a long tough 6-4 victory to Nicole Mullen and Jason Tomicic for Waurn Ponds.
The men’s and ladies’ sets went each way again, with Grovedale taking the men’s 6-3.
The ladies provided the closest set for the day with Nicole and Mikaela Mullen taking a tiebreaker over Bianca Duff and Walker 7-6.
Level on sets, Grovedale went into the final two mixed doubles sets with a four-game lead, and needed to hold their nerve to keep it.
The last two sets were tight, with Grovedale taking them 6-4 and 7-6 to clinch an upset 4-2 win with a seven-game lead.
In the Section 1 men’s grand final the first two sets went each way; 7-6 to Grovedale and 6-4 to Leopold.
Grovedale snuck ahead in the middle sets, winning 6-4 and 7-5, taking a 3-1 lead with three games in hand.
Ryan Lee and Braeden Lubcke sealed the victory with a 6-0 win, with Grovedale triumphing 4-2 and by seven games.
Lee and Leopold’s Taj Cayzer continued their rivalry facing off at number one for their teams, with Lee winning his three sets on the day.
In the Section 1 boys minor premier Wandana Heights Blue came out hard against Geelong Lawn Green taking a dominant 5-1 victory.
Lawn won the sides’ previous round 13 encounter by just one game, but the Wandana boys were fiercely competitive in the grand final.
Jack Henry and Jarrod Zanardo started the team on its path to victory with good serving and solid ground strokes.
Aaron Hanson continued the team’s good form with a strong 6-1 win, and the only blemish on the scorecard was Rupert Sever taking the fourth singles for Geelong Lawn against Austin Batty 6-3.
The first doubles match was tight with Wandana winning 6-4 to secure the flag.
Batty then atoned for his singles loss taking a convincing 6-0 dead rubber win with Hanson in the second.
In the Section 1 girls minor premier Geelong Lawn dominated the opening sets with Katie Alderton and Klara Nuc-Kraljak winning their singles matchups 6-1 and 6-2 respectively.
The middle sets were much closer with Geelong Lawn’s Shylah Tucker winning 6-4 and Highton’s Matilda Puckett taking a tiebreak 6-5.
Trailing 1-3 and by 10 games, Highton faced an uphill battle needing to win both doubles sets by a total of 10 games to force the draw.
Highton won the first in a tiebreak but Alexandra Tidlacka and Tucker won the second comfortably 6-1 to claim Geelong Lawn’s second Section 1 girls premiership in three years.