Varsity Report 2014

Men's Blues Team (12-3)

Our strong performances throughout the season, including a 2nd place finish in the BUCS Premier South Division, gave us confidence going into the annual Varsity match against Cambridge. The singles started off well, with Chris Lim and George Heinemann both recording impressive, battling victories against two tough Cambridge players. Mike Senior also put up a valiant fight against the Cambridge Captain, in a match which could have gone either way right up until the end! Following this narrow loss, Joe Skornia, Matt Harris and Alistair Reed all recorded dominant wins over the top 3 Cambridge players. In the first round of doubles, all of the Oxford pairs won, giving us an unassailable 8-1 lead overnight.

The remainder of the doubles was played on the next day. Chris Lim and Mike Senior continued their excellent form to win their 2 matches comfortably. Despite one of the Cambridge pairs playing extremely well and recording 2 victories, Oxford were able to pick up the remaining games and win overall 12-3.

Congratulations to the team for an excellent overall performance, and a really enjoyable Varsity experience.

Joe Skornia

Women's Blues Team (13-2)

Another successful year for the women's 1sts ended with a big win over Cambridge in the varsity match. Although the whitewash was not repeated, Oxford still dominated winning 13 - 2. This winning streak looks set to continue with the addition of fresher medic Claire Weaver to the team, who placed 3rd in BUCs Individuals and won comfortably throughout the day.

Day 1 started well with big wins for Claire, Natalie Ng and Emily Giles in the singles. Then followed some much tenser games with Kathryn Hunt winning in three and Alina Geraimenko losing a close fought battle with one of the top Cambridge players. The day ended well with wins for all the doubles pairs and the team headed into day 2 having already won. On Saturday the dark blues continued their victorious sweep, only dropping one doubles match. The day ended with a painful singles win for injured captain Sarah Payne, the perfect end to a weekend in which she was very proud of her team.

Player of the match goes to Natalie Ng, for winning impeccably as she has done all year and for always keeping the team in top spirits with her sarcasm and incredibly expressive face.

Sarah Payne

Men's 2nd Team (11-4)

The men's second team recovered from a disappointing defeat last year to record a comprehensive win over our Cambridge rivals. Following a broken racquet in the warm up, top seed Jakob Pethick outclassed his opponent to win in two sets. This was followed by two extremely close matches, one in Cambridge's favour and the other in ours. Stand-in captain Josh Bappoo held his nerve to secure a first Varsity singles win, before the overnight lead was consolidated with two further doubles victories for Oxford.

The following morning saw the conclusion of the doubles and completion of a great win. David Choy paired up with Jakob Pethick and together they completed a clean sweep of victories, ensuring both players finished the weekend undefeated in all events. Jordan Seo and Josh Bappoo then combined, recording a further win and one loss. The final round saw last and next years' captains Clinton Lau and Alex Cloake complete the overall triumph, winning two matches, before a narrow defeat to the Cambridge top pair. The final two singles matches were shared between Oxford and Cambridge, with Kunz Chow winning stylishly on his Varsity debut.

Overall the weekend was a great success and all the players can be extremely proud of a strong 11-4 win.

Josh Bappoo

Women's 2nd Team (14-1)

The women's second team gave another superb performance this year, beating Cambridge once again at our annual Varsity. With lots of home supporters coming to cheer them on, the atmosphere was electric and, despite absent friends, the girls managed to pull through with a highly convincing 14-1 win. For many of the girls this was their first Varsity. Sarah Finch, Sarah Toh, Michelle Min, Robynne George, Laura McLaren, Anoushka Mehta, and Nichola Finch fought hard over the two day extravaganza, and they should all be proud of their performance. They certainly have a very proud coach and captain for the spirit and sportsmanship they showed over the course of the event.

A special mention to our player of the match, Sarah Toh, who is a truly spirited player; she put up a good fight in her singles, and has showed extreme dedication throughout the year, with highly impressive power for our littlest player! Another shout out to our lovely Laura McLaren, for whom this was her last Varsity. Winning all 4 of her games with 'swagger' certainly is a good way to go out with a bang. We will miss her next year when she'll be on her elective.

Robynne George

Men's 3rd Team (8-7)

All of the men's thirds put up an outstanding performance to clinch the first victory since the very first thirds' varsity. Excellent performances by Alistair Foo, Christian Wehrenfennig and Abhay Soorya in the singles alongside doubles victories from Abhijeet Tavare & Wouter 'the big bad' Wolf and Adam Bridgen & Joe Barker managed to set the score at 7-7. The tense final game was dominated by Joe and Adam, leading the thirds to an impressive 8-7 victory.

Ab Tavare
18 March 2014