Over the holidays, Somerset College Tennis players were active in many competitions around the country. In December, Somerset College Tennis Captain Yukimaro Ii was invited to compete in the “December Showdown”, an event gathering the best age group players in the country to compete for the title as Australia’s best player.
Yukimaro competed in the 16 and Under event, ranked 191 in Open Men in Australia drew the number 6 seed and despite a valiant effort was beaten in three sets. To put into perspective the quality of this tournament, the winner will now play at the Australian Open Junior tournament.
January sparks the “Summer of Australian Tennis” with the start of the Brisbane International. A tournament which boasts many of the top 10 players in the world. Having qualified some months beforehand were Jack Newman, Luke Shirley, Oliver Yang, Luke Buker and Hamish Kennedy for the Brisbane International Schools Challenge State Final. The team had qualified for the Orange Ball competition (for those in Year 5 and below) by winning the regional qualifying event on the Gold Coast.
The BI Schools Challenge offers a unique opportunity for the qualifying teams to play on the courts alongside the top end of touring professional tennis players. Leading into the event, Luke Shirley suffered a wrist injury which ruled him out of the competition, making way for Year 3 student Hamish Kennedy to compete for the team.
Arriving early on Day 4 of the tournament, the Somerset Team started slowly, losing by three games against their first opponents in the pool for the Round Robin format. The nerves were soon cast away and their true abilities came to the fore, comfortably winning each of their remaining matches. As a result of the comprehensive victories and some other results going their way, Somerset College finished top of their pool, allowing them to playoff for first and second place.
With possibility of rain looming, the team took the court to play Brookfield for the title. Despite some very long matches, Brookfield proved too strong and took the title. Somerset College in second place for the State title. Oliver Yang was nominated as the best sportsperson at the event and drew praise from the parents of those whom he played. Congratulations to Jack, Luke, Oliver, Luke and Hamish for representing Somerset College with such success.
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