Tennis vs Knox Grammar School

Round 8

A home fixture against traditional tennis heavyweights, Knox Grammar School, was contested last weekend. Whilst our students tried to the best of their abilities, Knox was able to win the majority of matches after a dominant display across the board.

The First IV, whilst not at full strength, provided a competitive team who were able to push Knox in certain parts of the match. This was particularly true in the doubles component of the match. Max Nguyen (11Yo) and Kevin Lin (12Sc) won their first set 6-1 after a blistering combination of powerful ground strokes and knock-out volleys. The Knox pairing simply had no answers to this first set onslaught. The Knox pairing staged a second set comeback which saw them gain victory by the narrowest of margins, and winning the second set tie breaker. Despite the close second set loss our pairing played really well providing an entertaining spectacle for those lucky enough to have witnessed it. Finn Taylor (9La) must be congratulated for playing his first ever match in the top team in what turned out to be a baptism of fire for the conscientious debutant. Despite some early nerves, Finn showed composure and maturity as well as a myriad of impressive shots, allowing him the ability to be competitive throughout the fixture. Dylan Guler (11WH) proved a mature mentor, helping Finn throughout the doubles component of the match. In the singles, all our boys tried to the best of their ability but were outplayed on the day by their quality opponents.

The 2nd IV, despite losing 2-6, played some really great tennis which was a big improvement over their first-round performance against the same team. Highlights of the day included Spyridon Konidaris’ (11Sc) 6-2 win in the singles as well as his 6-1 win in the doubles, where he combined successfully with James Kim (10Ar). James also played incredibly well in his singles and was unlucky not to win the very closely contested set.

Jeremy Dykgraaff | MIC Tennis

3rds and 4ths

It was a pleasure to host the Knox tennis team last Saturday at the Trinity Tennis Centre where the boys in green were keen to make a better showing of themselves after the whitewashing they suffered in the first round of the season. What evolved was an exciting day’s play with the 3rd IV enjoying far greater success. In fact, they won two sets and 15 games more than their last encounter up at Knox last year. The warmest of congratulations must go to Deon Kontonis (12Fo), who played a brilliant singles match and fought to the end, prevailing 7-5, and Cameron Ong (12St) who romped home with a 6-3 win. These results are a real testament to their hard work, determination, and enjoyment of the game. Reporting on the other matches, it was most pleasing to note that there were many fine rallies and some very well constructed points throughout the doubles matches. It was also pleasing to see some more accurate hitting, solid serving and improved footwork from the Trinity players – and, of course, their continuing good sportsmanship, positive energy and enjoyment of this great game. Sadly, yet again the final match tally weighed heavily in Knox’s favour despite these improvements.

Good luck to all players tomorrow as we face Cranbrook.

Jessica Spratt | 3rds and 4th IVs Coach

5ths and 6ths

The 5ths and 6ths did their best against Knox on Saturday, but their opponents just had too many weapons and were too consistent in all areas of the game. The most impressive in a losing cause were James Perkin (11Yo) and Harry Ford (11Ke) who kept their adversaries at bay for some time. The 3-6 scoreline was the best of the day. Harry maintained this momentum in his singles match and produced some attractive tennis at times. Michah Abdel Sayed (12St), playing at No.2 in the 5ths, struck some very pleasing forehands, but was unable to overcome the aggression and defence of his opponent. In the 6ths, Leo Zantides (11La) registered a significantly improved performance, and Kieran Grech (11WJ), making his début, was able to do occasional damage with his forehand.

It is hoped both teams can learn from this experience and really give it their all against less daunting opposition in the rounds to come.

Ashley Lucas | Coach

10As and 10Bs

The 10As played well and were unlucky to not come away with the win. Special mention must go to Giuseppe Barca (10Ar) who played an excellent singles match with some top-level serving. There was a great level of consistency shown with very minimal unforced errors in his match. Additionally, Marcus Lorenzato (10Fo) played extremely well and was extremely unlucky to not win his singles in a nail-biter 7-6 loss. Despite having two match points in the match, he was unable to finish the job, but he should be very proud of his efforts. Overall, the 10As struggled in their doubles matches but definitely increased their levels in the singles matches and, overall, were unlucky to go down to a strong Knox team.

The 10Bs had a very rough weekend. They did not perform at the level I know they can and made too many unforced errors to come away with the win. Benjamin Kwan (10He) got off to a strong start and was looking good but he could not maintain that high level and ultimately lacked composure by the end. Additionally, Noah Blomfield (10Fo) was very strong in the early stages of his match as well, but similarly, faded as the match went on and by the end was struggling with his groundstroke consistency. Overall, the 9Bs should be encouraged by the strong starts that they made in their matches but must improve their consistency in order for them to maintain the high levels of tennis of which they are capable.

David Lambropoulos | Coach

10Cs and 10Ds

The 10Cs had a nail-biter loss this weekend. They performed at a high level and despite finishing 3-sets-all, they narrowly lost the games score 24-27. Special mention must go to Josh Munter (10Hi) clinical in both his matches, giving away very few unforced errors and playing with a great level of consistency on his serves and groundstrokes. Furthermore, Caleb Kwan (10Ta) had an excellent win in his singles match. At one stage, it looked as if he was getting every shot back, despite his opponent playing at a very high level. Although the 10Cs narrowly lost this weekend, they should be extremely encouraged by their level and I look forward to their performances in the rest of the season.

The 10Ds had a difficult weekend. They struggled to match the high level their Knox opponents were playing at. However, Max Trigg (10We), in stages of the match, looked as if he might come away with the win but ultimately was unable to consistently maintain a high level. Additionally, Hari Pathma-Nathan (10He) played well in moments of the match, but similarly to the rest of the team, struggled with consistency. Overall the 10Ds should look at the high level of play they were able to produce in moments of their matches and look to improve their consistency so they can attempt to maintain that level and come away with the win next week.

David Lambropolous | Coach

9As and 9Bs

Last Saturday had the makings of a beautiful day at Haberfield Tennis Centre: overcast, a pleasant 22oC with zero wind – perfect tennis conditions. Some great tennis from both Trinity and Knox showed the potential of the Year 9 boys but evidently it was Trinity who were able to capitalise with an emphatic win: 5-1 on sets and 31-23 on games. Notably, Mitchell Reid-Queeney (9Ar), who is no stranger to a gutsy comeback, was able to defeat his opponent 6-4 from 3-love down; emotions running high for both players in that contest.

The Bs were quite honestly outplayed on Saturday. The games were close, but the results were one-way traffic with a 0-6 loss on sets and 8-36 on games. Aiden Chin (9Hi) was the best of the bunch, taking three games off his opponent. I am sure the boys will bounce back next week.

Kevin Batliwala | Acting 9A/Bs Coach –

9Cs and 9Ds

The 9Cs put up a valiant effort but were outdone by strong Knox opponents. We battled hard until the end but with a bunch of our core missing due to camp, it was always going to be an uphill battle. The Cs went down 2-4 on sets and 14-24 on games but Dylan Ritchley (9Ho) was able to dismantle his opponent in a 6-0 donut thrashing!

The Ds were no match for Knox’s boys on Saturday and I am sure the boys will learn from this defeat. Knox were able to muster a 6-0 victory on sets and 36-1 on games; Jaten Singh (9Mu) played well to steal a game from his counterpart. I wish the boys luck for next week.

Kevin Batliwala | Acting 9C/Ds Coach

8As and 8Bs

The Year 8 As gave it their best effort against Knox, but unfortunately were unsuccessful at securing this round. Nathan Tsang (8Du) and Maxi Tsai (8Fo) played well together during their doubles match. Nathan was very consistent during his singles; he had great foot work and movement on the court and at times he hit some fantastic ground stroke winners. He also had some very strong and consistent serves during his matches. Same goes for Maxi whose movements were great but his strongest shot this week was his serve. Christopher Lowe (8Ho) and Sam Perkin (8Yo) played some great tennis together with both boys hitting some particularly good serves. Christopher was hitting some great forehands and serves during his matches while Sam’s volleys and groundstrokes were his strongest shots this weekend.

The Year 8 Bs played well on the weekend but unfortunately lost this round against Knox. Allen Zheng (8Yo) and Isaac Latt (8WH) played well together, they had great communication and teamwork during their doubles. Allen was hitting some good serves and volleys over the weekend. While Isaac’s groundstrokes were strong and very consistent, he also hit a few very strong winning volleys. Alex Lieng (8Ar) played well in his singles match, he was quick on the court and his groundstrokes were very consistent this round.

Tristan Kontonis | Coach

8Cs and 8Ds

The Year 8C boys tried their best this round but were unable to secure the win. Shaan Mohan (8Ke) and Owen Street (8La) played well this weekend, with both communicating well during their doubles, and both having great rallies throughout their individual singles matches. Owen was particularly strong with his groundstrokes and Shaan’s serves were particularly strong and consistent. Mitchell Bowden (8La) and Andy Nguyen (8Mu) played quiet well together, hitting the ball well and with quick on-court movement. Andy in particular hit some great volleys and groundstrokes. Mitchell also played well, hitting some great serves and at times hitting some consistent ground strokes with some quick movement and foot work.

The Year 8Ds tried their best over the weekend but did not win this round against Knox. Louis Lusty (8Sc) and Nikhil Akula (8La) played well this weekend during their singles matches. Louis’ serves were very consistent this weekend with his ground strokes also being particularly accurate. He was close to a win, losing only by a few points in a tie-breaker. Nikhil was also consistent with his shots and also played a great game of singles. Waylon Liu (8Yo) did well over the weekend.  hitting some good groundstrokes and being very quick to the ball.

Tristan Kontonis | Coach

7As and 7Bs

On a beautiful afternoon at the Haberfield Tennis Center the 7As came up against one of the strongest opponents they are going to face this season. Kang Nguyen (7WH) and Ishaan Sharma (7Ar) both played a very good singles match, with the score line of 0-6 being no reflection of how much they were in the game. Unfortunately, they were unable to finish off the more vital points. Noah Figliuzzi (7Fo) played against a representative tournament player and although he found it difficult to return some of his opponent’s shots Noah held his own, hitting some beautiful ground strokes. Hugo Newman (7WJ) played a great singles match, and with his unique technique, Hugo won some interesting points with his great spin.

The 7Bs had a much better round this week, with the boys managing to take out a set. Alessandro Re (7La) and Alejandro Molina (7Ke) had a tough day out on court, with both boys showing potential with some amazing forehands. However, their opponents just overpowered them in both their singles and doubles matches. Hugh Williams (7St) and Dara Ritchley (7Ho) played a great doubles match, losing 4-6 but showing some real potential for the next couple of weeks to win a match together. Dara continued with the same score line in his singles, almost taking out the set for himself after being up. A big congratulations to Hugh for winning the only of set of the day, Hugh played very consistently with minimal errors.

Danielle Calvi | Coach

7Cs and 7Ds

This week the Cs and Ds faced a dominant Knox side, and despite the efforts made by all the boys, the Cs lost overall by a mere 2 games (Trinity 3 (24) – Knox 3 (26), whilst the Ds came short, losing 2 (21) – 4 (30).

In the Cs, Ashvin Nagaratnam (7Yo) and Julian Grehan (7St) played fiercely and were unable to overcome the stronger Knox side, losing 4–6. Lucas Christou (7St) and Toby Zuzzo (7Ho) worked co-operatively and communicated very well, which helped them win 6–4 against a consistent opponent. In the singles, Ashvin Nagaratnam (7Yo) was unable to find the confidence to attack the ball, which forced him to play on the defence, allowing his opponent to overwhelm him. Julian Grehan’s aggressive play and consistency allowed him to grab a win 6–4. Lucas Christou (7St) dominated his opponent with strong groundstrokes and great movement around the court, winning 6–0. Due to several double faults and the lack of a powerful first serve, Toby Zuzzo (7Ho) was unable to hold his service games, which allowed his opponent to come away with the win. In the Cs, all players will need to begin to develop confidence and consistency in attacking tennis, placing themselves in advantageous positions to win points.

In the Ds, the Knox side had a very strong doubles performance, where despite the efforts of Sasha Ratnavadivel (7Du) and Axel Lee (7Yo), they  were unable to come away with the win. Similarly, Leo Wong (7WJ) and Joshua Lubke (7Ta) played strong consistent tennis, but the lack of experience and communication resulted in many unforced errors, which allowed their opponent to overcome them 6–4. In the singles, Sasha Ratnavadivel displayed great tennis abilities with his consistent ground strokes, winning 6–2. Similarly, Axel Lee played dominant tennis with his powerful groundstrokes, overwhelming his opponent 6–4. Leo Wong competed well, but due to the lack of consistency in his groundstrokes, he allowed his opponent to grab the win. Joshua Lubke (7Ta), despite being unable to pull away with a win, displayed impressive skills considering this is his first official match of the season.

Overall, both the Cs and Ds played very impressive tennis against a very strong Knox side and all the boys should be proud of their efforts. To further develop their skills, the boys should focus on honing both their first and second serves, utilizing them as a weapon in their service games. The boys who played very consistently should start to become more court aware, which will allow them to recognize more chances to attack the ball instead of playing passive tennis, whilst the boys who play strong attacking tennis with strong groundstrokes should focus on consistency in their technique.

Edward Lai | Coach

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