The team pictured from left to right:- Etianna Whitaker, Amy Harrold-Vaux, Alice Hill, Jennifer Rees and Callum Chivers (Capt)
Looking at the team sheets at the start of the weekend, Notts were not the favourites to go through to the finals and a tough weekend was on the horizon, the facts were half right…
We were to start off against on paper, the strongest team, Warwickshire. With an impressive win over a higher ranked opponent from Alice Hill and a great show of grit and determination from Amy Harrold-Vaux, we found ourselves 2-1 up after the singles matches. When it came to the doubles, the two players combined to give Notts the win against strong opposition. Also on Saturday, we took on Northants, where we managed to get through all of the singles matches with minimal fuss, allowing Jennifer Rees and Etianna Whitaker to take to the doubles court. After putting in a lot of effort they were eventually beaten in the match deciding tie-breaker. At the end of the day we knew we were in a good position, but the job was far from over.
Sunday would turn out to be just as we expected, a hard day’s work, especially as the girls had to battle the intense heat as well as their opponents on court. First up was Leicestershire, and after Amy just missed out 13-11 in the third set tiebreak and Jennifer lost in similar fashion to a girl that refused to make errors, it put a little more pressure on our number one to get us in a position to salvage the match, and she did just that. Battling a few nerves early on playing against a training partner, Alice managed to come out with some outstanding tennis to reduce the deficit to 2-1 with the doubles to play. After playing some high quality doubles we were back at 2-2, with a tiebreak shootout to come. Alice and Amy stepped up to give us the win we needed, knowing that if we were to beat Lincs, we would make it through to the finals. Solid wins from Alice and Etianna put us in a good position; however Amy came up against an opponent with a little too much power on the day. This meant that the unbeaten doubles pairing of Alice and Amy again had the task of pushing us over the line, which they managed to do, playing some smart tennis when it really mattered, meaning Notts had won against every county throughout the weekend!
After an exhausting weekend for all, the Notts girls did everyone proud by reaching the finals in Bolton in two weeks time. With the team full of confidence and in good form, hopefully we shall do Notts proud again!
Nottinghamshire bt Warwickshire 6-2
Nottinghamshire bt Northamptonshire 6-2
Nottinghamshire bt Leicestershire 5-4 (shootout)
Nottinghamshire bt Lincolnshire 6-2