Elmira sib­lings put on a show in tennis tour­na­ment

Ian and Iso­bel Speiran com­bine for nine ti­tles across sev­eral un­der-12 cat­e­gories to close out sea­son in South­hamp­ton

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - ALI WIL­SON

AN ELMIRA SIB­LING DUO tore up the court at the pres­ti­gious Southamp­ton Tennis Club’s Cup Days last week­end to take home a com­bined nine cham­pi­onships.

The Southamp­ton Tennis Club, lo­cated on the shores of Lake Huron, hosts the cup days cham­pi­onships to fin­ish up a month-long round robin cov­er­ing more than 40 cat­e­gories across all ages, in­clud­ing both sin­gles and dou­bles draws.

The Elmira sis­ter-and­brother duo of Ian and Iso­bel Speiran cleaned up at the event to round out the month of August.

Iso­bel, 10, took home U12 girls’ sin­gles, girls’ dou­bles, mixed dou­bles, wall cham­pion, brother/sis­ter dou­bles and over­all fe­male cups day cham­pi­onships. Her older brother Ian, 12, took home U12 sin­gles, dou­bles and the other por­tion win of the brother/sis­ter dou­bles.

The sib­lings, who have been play­ing there since they were four, par­take in 45-minute lessons every busi­ness day for eight weeks dur­ing their sum­mer hol­i­days.

“It’s a phe­nom­e­nal ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Scott Speiran, their fa­ther. “It was just a very spe­cial day to see them ac­com­plish that on the week­end. It was pretty amaz­ing given the com­pe­ti­tion and the his­tory of the Southamp­ton Tennis Club – it was pretty neat for us to see.”

The 61-year-old club is home to some 1,200 mem­bers, who mostly at­tend dur­ing cot­tage sea­son, trav­el­ling from Oakville, Toronto, Ni­a­gara, Lon­don, Bar­rie and even the UK.

“Tennis is a huge deal there,” he said.

Al­though the two both came away with huge per­sonal suc­cesses, Iso­bel’s day ended with a few firsts that helped to push her over her fel­low com­peti­tors in two unique cham­pi­onships.

The Wall Cham­pi­onship is an open com­pe­ti­tion for any­one up to the age of 18 to take their draw at pound­ing the ball, unan­swered, at a wall with a white line to sim­u­late net height. The male and fe­male in­di­vid­ual who re­turns the ball the most con­sec­u­tive times is the win­ner.

“I got 562 con­sec­u­tive – it takes a lot of pa­tience,” ex­plained Iso­bel, not­ing it was more than enough to take the cham­pi­onship.

To put this num­ber into per­spec­tive, Iso­bel went first and took her two turns one after the other. First, re­ceiv­ing a score of 272 and a sip of wa­ter later pound­ing off the win­ning 562 hits. Best­ing her last years score of 120 by a whop­ping 442 hits.

“This year I got a lot bet­ter,” she joked. “I’ve never done that be­fore, ever.”

Her other unique suc­cess came as a re­sult of the points she ac­cu­mu­lated from her over­all five cham­pi­onships in the form of top fe­male.

“It was a re­ally feel-good day. They played amaz­ing tennis. It was phe­nom­e­nal,” said Scott.

How­ever when asked, Iso­bel said the high­light of the cham­pi­onships for her came dur­ing her sin­gles match.

“I played very, very great in that match, and I had al­ready played my op­po­nent be­fore,” she ex­plained. “The first time I beat her 6-3, the sec­ond time I beat her 8-4 and then this time I beat her 8-0, so it was a big ac­com­plish­ment.”

“I think she might have missed one fore­hand shot in that en­tire game. She played awe­some,” Scott added.

For Ian, his high­light came in the sin­gles game as well after be­ing de­feated by his chal­lenger in the games prior to the cup.

“It was nice to beat him 8-2 in the cup, in the one that ac­tu­ally mat­ters,” he said.

While mom Ch­eryl and Scott aren’t tennis play­ers, they en­joy watch­ing the suc­cess their kids have had in the sport.

“As par­ents we like to see our kids play in that sort of en­vi­ron­ment. Wins and losses and all that stuff are im­por­tant, but be­ing a good per­son and a good per­son to your op­po­nent and a good per­son to your sib­ling when you’re play­ing is im­por­tant. It was great to see them do so well,” he said. “It was a pretty spe­cial day for all of us.”

Look­ing for­ward, Ian is back to play­ing hockey and Iso­bel to swim­ming, al­though they are ea­ger to pick up the rac­quets next sea­son.

“They play tennis for eight weeks. They work very hard at it and they are very ded­i­cated and com­mit­ted to it,” ex­plained Scott.

Both of the Speirans com­peted in the un­der-12 cat­e­gory and ju­nior for dou­bles. While Ian moves up to the next level next year, Iso­bel gets to re­turn to de­fend her ti­tles.

[ALI WIL­SON / THE OB­SERVER]

Ian and Iso­bel Speiran took home a col­lec­tive nine cham­pi­onships at the pres­ti­gious Southamp­ton Tennis Club’s Cup Days Cham­pi­onships last week­end.

The sib­lings have set down their rack­ets for the sea­son, but are ea­ger to get back on the court again next sum­mer.

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