The squad set to represent Men’s Tennis for Melbourne University at the upcoming University Nationals could not be better placed, coming off Premiership success last week.
Melbourne’s men’s team, which competed in Pennant 3 in the Tennis Victoria competition for the 2018 season, lost only once during the 18-week season, on their way to a dominant victory in the final last Saturday.
The victory came at the perfect time, as the men are set to compete together again on the Gold Coast in Intervarsity competition. Though the team really only came together this year, Team Manager, and coordinator of University Tennis Academy, Nick Gissing was thrilled with their recent success, and is certain they can continue their good form moving forward.
“They are all very talented players. Throughout the year they have continued to bond and foster a really strong team culture,” Gissing said. “We have created a real high-performance environment with Melbourne University Tennis, which has been reflected in the results.”
Competing in Division 3 this year, Gissing was quietly confident that the team would perform well and was pleased to see it all come together on court for the duration of the season.
“We were a bit unlucky to miss out on Division 2 selection, so the team had a bit of a point to prove. It was really pleasing that they could execute the way that they did for the whole 18 weeks.”
An added bonus for the squad as they head to the Nationals next week, is the continuity and cohesion that comes with a season of playing and training together. Gissing points out that perhaps this has been lacking in Melbourne’s tennis teams at Uni Nationals in years gone by and is excited to see what impact this shift will have on their performance.
“Keeping the team playing and training together this year has been fantastic,” he said. “The extensive preparation with an eye to the Nationals has been a primary focus for us, for sure.”
Currently, the squad are training twice a week, and the team also played a warm up competition against Deakin and La Trobe Universities last weekend. The competition provided invaluable match practice and ensured the men are primed to face the best in the country on the Gold Coast.
The University Nationals will see up to 350 student-athletes represent the University of Melbourne across 32 men’s and women’s teams and takes place on the Gold Coast from the 22nd-27th September.
The 2017 Men's Varsity Tennis team. Photo: Sam Thompson