MAGS nets a na­tional ti­tle

Central Leader - - Sport - By Scott Mor­gan

It’s been al­most a decade, but a girls team from Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School has fi­nally earned a na­tional ti­tle.

The school’s five-mem­ber ten­nis side went fur­ther than any other team since it started en­rolling girls in 2000, winning the secondary schools ten­nis com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier this month.

Mt Al­bert Gram­mar ten­nis man­ager Al­lan Sang­ster isn’t sur­prised they came away with the win.

“I al­ways knew they were go­ing to be very strong,” he says.

The tour­na­ment was an in­tense phys­i­cal bat­tle for the team af­ter beat­ing St Mary’s from Christchurch, Waikato Dioce­san, Tau­ranga Girls Col­lege, Ran­giruru Girls School and lo­cal ri­vals Ran­gi­toto Col­lege in just four days.

Sang­ster says the team spent plenty of hours on the court prac­tis­ing.

“They showed a lot of com­mit­ment.

“You don’t just pick up a ten­nis rac­quet and de­cide to play in the na­tion­als.”

The team also found plen- ty of ways to cel­e­brate.

“We got a cake made out of the MAGS sym­bol,” team mem­ber Kate Parker says.

Fol­low­ing the win, some of the girls found it hard to con­tain their ex­cite­ment.

“I just wanted to go and hug the cup,” says Ioana Teu.

“We were so ex­cited to win it for the school.”

All of the team mem­bers play in in­ter­club ten­nis com­pe­ti­tions such as the Caro Bowl and Chelsea Cup, which gen­er­ally have a higher stan­dard be­cause many ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers com­pete.

But Frances Askew says play­ing in the school team en­vi­ron­ment adds an ex­tra di­men­sion.

“You feel like you want to do it for your­self and the team.

“It makes it more fun when you win,” she says.

The Mt Al­bert Gram­mar boys ten­nis team just missed out on match­ing the ef­fort of their fe­male coun­ter­parts, go­ing down to St Peter’s from Cam­bridge in the tour­na­ment fi­nal.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Ground break­ers: The Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School girls ten­nis team be­came the first girls side at the school to win a na­tional sports ti­tle when they took out the secondary schools ten­nis com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier this month. From left: Olivia Isby, Ioana Teu, Frances Askew, Kate Parker and Kasey Ni­hill.

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