On Thursday 8 June, the Senior Girls' Tennis team travelled to Marlborough School to compete for a place in the National Championships of the Aberdare Cup in mid-July. The team, captained by Taysie Gujral (Upper Sixth, Queen Anne), knew the match would be the toughest yet. The team of Taysie, Chloe Elliott (Second Form, Vanbrugh), Evie Phillips (Lower Sixth) and Alex Boardman (Upper Sixth, Vanbrugh) began the first round of the tie, which was singles.
All of the girls had tough battles wherever you looked on the courts, Chloe played against someone rated higher than her and managed to put in a really solid performance but unfortunately came just unstuck against her older more experienced opponent on this occasion. Taysie led with a captains performance against someone also rated higher than herself, managing to take the first set very comfortably and held her nerve to close out the second set in a tie break. Evie playing at third singles played a very solid aggressive match and won very well in two comfortable sets. Alex came up against someone who was played extremely consistent tennis, and in tricky conditions was unable to get the win.
This put us in the precarious position of being tied at two all after the singles, and with the doubles to go on we needed to win at least one to go to a shootout. Winning both games meant we won the tie, but losing both would mean we would be out and not going to Nationals.
The girls refocused and after a pep talk from Mr Clarke, they began the doubles. Chloe and Evie played at doubles pair one, with Taysie and Alex playing at doubles two. Both doubles matches showed fantastic elements of tactical play, along with lots of physical strength, and the girls communicating well throughout and being positive with their play. Chloe and Evie against Malborough’s one and two singles showed great fight and determination however lost narrowly in two close sets. However Taysie and Alex managed to get the doubles win for Cokethorpe showing greater doubles understanding winning in two sets.
This set up the shootout for a place at Nationals, Malborough decided to put in there one and three, and we decided on Chloe and Alex to hopefully get the job done. The girls got off to a slow start losing the first few points, but as the shootout went on, our greater understanding and consistency got us to an all important 10 - 8 win!
Congratulations to the whole of the squad - Taysie Gujral (Captain), Chloe Elliott, Alex Boardman, Evie Phillips, Hannah Craig (Fifth Form, Gascoigne), Saffy Gujral (Fifth Form, Queen Anne) and Holly Craig (Second Form, Gascoigne).