ACG Parnell made history recently with a boys and girls tennis team competing at the New Zealand Secondary Schools (NZSS) Tennis Cup, during the annual School Sport New Zealand Summer Tournament Week. With a strong team and highly ranked players, it was the first time that an ACG Parnell College tennis team entered the Tennis Cup.
The national tier 2 event is an annual competition that brings together some of the best college tennis players from around the country and as first timers at the event, the ACG Parnell boys and girls teams saw pleasing results.
The boys’ team consisting of Year 11 Leo Li and Year 9 Ethan Ning, exceeded expectations, qualifying for the semi-finals as the best second placed team following pool play, while the girls team made up of Tanvi Kidiyappa (Year 13) and Claire Bedford (Year 11) played off for 5th-8th place.
In the semi-finals, the boys team faced a daunting task when they competed against the top ranked team and eventual champions, New Plymouth Boys High School. Despite their hard work and determination, they ended up finishing in fourth place after narrowly going down 2-1 to Hamilton Boys High School in the bronze medal match.
“All week the boys were up against bigger, stronger and older opponents who had more experience than them,” says Steph Trowill, ACG Parnell Sports Coordinator. “Nevertheless, it was an amazing achievement for the boys to have reached that far in such a competitive event.”
The girls team also had an exciting week of competition, with many of their individuals and doubles matches going to the third set showing just how close the competition was.
After a long week of travelling to and from Hamilton every day, the girls’ play-off matches saw a win against Rangiruru and a loss to Napier Girls to finish in sixth place.
“I was very impressed with the way the girls persevered all week to achieve what is an admirable placing,” says Steph. “They had some incredibly long matches following some very early morning starts to reach Hamilton on time, but still gave it their all right to the very last point."
ACG Parnell girls’ tennis Captain, Tanvi Kidiyappa, said the tournament experience was a perfect way to finish playing school tennis as a year 13 student.
“I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of competing at the NZSS Tennis Cup. The camaraderie amongst both the boys’ and girls’ teams and the support shown on the side-line helped me get through some close matches.”
“It was my last time playing for ACG Parnell and I could not have been more thrilled with this last experience and the outcome of the tournament.”
Steph echoed Tanvi’s thoughts saying the positive environment created by the students certainly played a part in the overall results.
“The success throughout the tournament was due to a combination of factors, not only did the boys and girls come together as one, but they all showed a strong work ethic and a deep love for the game.”
“The players are committed to improving their skills, and they took every opportunity to learn from their mistakes, refocus and challenge themselves to do better in the next game.”