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
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.
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.