Meriden in Sydney has been announced the champion team at the Tildesley Shield Tennis Tournament for a record tenth consecutive year.
The tournament sees the best young players from independent girls’ schools across New South Wales convene on Pennant Hills Park for two days of highly-competitive singles and doubles matches.
Day One of the tournament saw Meriden set another new record: the team took out every singles match in which it competed, putting the school in a strong position from the start of the competition.
Meriden’s singles players offered some stand-out performances on Day Two, including Year 9 student, Indiya McLeod, who played in the tournament for the first time this year, and beat her Year 12 opponent, Ellen Shanahan in a challenging match, before narrowly losing her quarter-final match 8-6 to fellow Meriden student Patricia Apisah, Year 12.
Patricia also offered consistently strong performances throughout the competition and worked her way to the semi-finals.
In another impressive performance, Year 11 singles player, Jiho Shin, won her first match of the day within 15 minutes of stepping onto the court. Jiho went on to compete in the semi-finals, narrowly losing to her opponent in a nail-biting match.
Meriden dominated the competition’s doubles matches, leading to two semi-final rounds made up of all-Meriden teams. This led to finals matches also being played between Meriden girls, with doubles players Madeleine Whip (Year 11) and Sienna Leeson (Year 8) taking on Jaide Smith (Year 11) and Sara Tanti (Year 11). Madeleine and Sienna won what was a tough match.
Overall, the school’s ten entrants into the singles events all competed up to Round 16 of the tournament, with five progressing to the Quarter Finals. Meriden’s five doubles entries all reached the Quarter Finals.
Head Tennis Coach, Ross Anton, who has led every Meriden Tennis Team to victory at Tildesley over the past decade, said the final doubles match was a highlight of the competition.
“Seeing not one, but two Meriden teams in the final round playing with such passion and skill was a great way to finish the two-day event,” he said.
“This year’s team has continued a great tradition by receiving both the winner and runner-up trophies, two titles the team has consistently brought home since 2010.”
Mr Anton said the Meriden Tennis Team has set the benchmark for excellence in girls’ school tennis in Australia.
“We consistently encourage our girls to strive to live the school’s values on and off the court, ahead of any victory. Our squad is composed of enthusiastic students and a hard-working coaching staff who have a strong sense of loyalty to, and support for each other.”
Meriden’s Tildesley Tennis Team at this historic tournament included singles players Patricia Apisah, Ayda Guler, Indiya McLeod, Sarah Rokusek, Ellen Shanahan, Jiho Shin, Kaitlin Spanoudakis, Jessica Stanmore, Subeksha Surenraj and Tia Vuk-Luboya.
The doubles players were Paris Ayoub, Dunja Dudic, Piper Freeman, Olivia Huang, Sienna Leeson, Jaide Smith, Maiki Sun, Sara Tanti, Angelina Teakaraanga-Katoa and Madeleine Whip.
Meriden Principal, Dr Julie Greenhalgh, said the players were a credit to the school.
“The school is proud of its Tildesley Tennis Team. The players exemplify what it is to be a Meriden girl: they are completely dedicated to honing the physical, mental and emotional skills they need to perform to the best of their ability but, most importantly, they understand the value of sportsmanship, treating others respectfully as both players and spectators.”
“Meriden is grateful to Coach Ross and the tennis staff whose care for and dedication to the girls is never more obvious than it is at Tildesley,” Dr Greenhalgh said.
Meriden’s Tildesley victory follows a string of successes for the tennis team. The team has won the Australian Schools Tennis Championship a record eight times and claimed the gold medal at the 2015 World Schools Tennis Championships.
Tildesley Shield celebrated 100 years in 2018 and was established to encourage team spirit, rather than individual competition. The winning school is the one with the best average score overall, so each player contributes to her school’s performance.
Meriden has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s leading schools for girls in tennis. The school continues to foster the talent of students at an elite level through its highly regarded Olympus Program, which provides specialised training in time management, injury prevention and nutrition, as well as additional tennis training.