Amherst mixed doubles pair has strong showing in WECSSAA and SWOSSAA tourney

Gillian and Trent Sparling

Special to the RTT

The WECSSAA and SWOSSAA Tennis tournaments were held in October.  The mixed doubles team of Trent and Gillian Sparling had a terrific run for the General Amherst squad.

In the qualifying round they really found their groove with very smart strategies and excellent execution.  Gillian was the rock on the baseline, using her speed and steady ability to hit either stinging groundstrokes or well-placed lobs to keep the opposing net players ineffective.  Trent garnered many aces with a thundering serve and got to the net quickly with strong approach shots enabling him to put away many volleys emphatically.

The local duo lost only one match in the quallies but won the rest very one-sidedly to place third in their half of the groupings which qualified them for the play-off round.  Third place appeared to be a mixed blessing as this slotted Trent and Gillian up against the Riverside tandem who defeated them two days prior.  Vindication was to be realized however as the Sparlings rose to the occasion, showing they had figured some things out from their previous meeting.  With aggressive but clean execution and relentless vigor they thoroughly thumped Riverside 8-3.

It took two more well played but tense matches, including an 8-6 comeback win over Kingsville to reach the WECSSAA final.  The championship match saw them playing a more seasoned Belle River team.  In a seesaw affair the Nobles eventually prevailed 8-5 but the Bulldog siblings put in a spirited effort to come close, earning a WECSSAA silver medal in the process.

Trent and Gillian made a very strong showing at SWOSSAA, winning the Consolation Division.  This result earned them the chance to play for the second and final berth to OFSSAA.  Their only loss earlier in the day came to a Holy Names duo who led General Amherst 7-1 before the Sparlings roared back in a valiant comeback effort that just fell short by an 8-6 score.

The final was against the same Holy Names team and was very tightly and hotly contested throughout with some questionable calls swaying the balance.  Down 5-7, the Bulldogs got to 6-7 but fell behind love-40.  Again they came back to 30-40 but unfortunately a debatable call by the opponents cost Trent and Gillian the opportunity to rally any further.

Still, Trent and Gillian are only in Grades 10 and 9 and have a bright future and can be very proud of WECSSAA silver and SWOSSAA bronze.

One response to “Amherst mixed doubles pair has strong showing in WECSSAA and SWOSSAA tourney”

  1. Vic DiNardo says:

    Congrats ..how proud we are of you two. Your picture brought a smile to my face.

    Mr DiNardo
    St Theresa