Team (l to r): Claire Godber (capt); Anna Buckley ; Jasmine Ramsden; Millie Wileman; Amelia Rajecki; Eva Shaw; Olivia Corfe; Evie Mae Lopez; Jane Stokes (Capt)
Notts were in Division 4b, playing at Taunton.
We were four players down, Millie Mae Matthews with a back injury, Anna Kirk with a stress fracture, and Jessica Spencer and Ellie Fitzsimmons skiing, also the day before we left Jasmine Bhardwaj had bells palsey, so she was unable to come.
The first round of matches on Friday was against Somerset, a strong team with three players at Milfield School. Millie Wileman and Evie Lopez played the first matches at 5/6 respectively. They played well, but were against girls four years older, with more strength and experience, sadly they both lost in straight sets.
Oliver playing at number 4 had the same problem, Eva strong for her age, and with the experience of playing abroad put up a good fight but went down 2-6, 2-6. Anna playing Bethany Lacey played a tight first set, with Bethany just more consistent she won 5-7, 2-6. The match of the day went to Amelia, three hours of high class tennis against Grace Piper went to three sets. Amelia lost the first 4-6, won the second 6-4, with the third going to a tie-break, which Amelia won 10-8, she deserved it.
Going into the doubles 1-5 down is always difficult, Jasmine and Millie lost in straight sets, as did Anna and Olivia, Amelia and Eva played well together winning the first set on a tie-break 7-4, but with confidence took the second 6-2.
Somerset took the win 7-2.
Saturday found us against the rivals Derbyshire, with most of the girls knowing each other it is always tough.
The match of the day went to Evie who took Chantel Griffiths to three sets, winning the third 6-3, again Millie was against a stronger older girl, losing in straight sets. Olivia played well, she lost the first set, but worked had to get back into the match, taking Mae Fitzgerald to a tie-break, sadly losing it 2-7. Eva a played a solid first set winning it 6-1, with her opponent fighting back hard Eva lost the second 5-7, but again she played the solid tennis to come back 6-0. Anna was again Marleyna Trifunovic, it was a very close match, with some great tennis, but Anna went down 3-6, 6-7. Amelia was against Millie Devey-Smith, knowing each other’s game it turned out to be quite a battle, which with more strength and consistency Amelia won 6-2, 6-4.
Going into the doubles a 3-3 was everything to play for. Amelia and Eva played a great match, winning the first set on a tie-break 7-1, going on to win the second 6-3. Unfortunately we lost the other two matches.
Derbyshire won 5-4 a very close match.
Sunday the final day was against Gloucestershire.
Today Millie Wileman was the star to take her single win 6-3, 7-5, well played. Evie lost hers as did Olivia, both against older players. Eva had a very uncomplicated match, playing solid tennis she won 6-1, 6-0. Anna also had a great win 6-1, 6-1, Amelia’s was a tougher match against Olivia Rook, but she kept her head and won 6-4, 6-1.
This took us into the double 4-2 up.
Amelia and Eva won their doubles, it was a great match to watch with some mature tennis played, it was not easy but they won 6-3, 6-4, with Anna and Millie also having a solid win 6-3, 6-2. Olivia and Jasmine played well but sadly lost again to the more experienced older girls.
I am pleased to say this gave the Notts girls a 6-3 win to keep them in Division 4b next year.
This weekend was a learning curve for the younger players, but great experience.
My thanks go to Claire Godber for her help, and to Kate Buckley for helping with the transport to Taunton, and to Sarah for her support on Sunday and transport home.
Jane Stokes (Captain)