Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1918


page 45



During the season the University Tennis Club has been one of the most live tennis clubs in the city. The large number of women players and of men players below military age has made it possible to keep the best of all summer games from falling from favour, and from being considered a pastime that should be postponed until after the war. No reason can be found for abandoning tennis while all other sports are continued.

The committee has expended the sum of, roughly, eleven pounds in renewing the wire netting at the end of the courts, and feels that all players who use the courts early in the season approve of this action.

It is much to be regretted that the College Council has not yet been able to put in hand the concreting of the high clay banks at the end of the court furthest from the College building.

The thanks of the Club are due to the College Council for its action, in response to a request from the committee, in putting an end to the custom of all and sundry residents of Kelburn using the tennis courts as a short cut to and from town.

In view of the many unsuccessful efforts that have been made by the former committees of the College Tennis Club to obtain permission from the College Council to use the club courts on Sundays, it is worthy of note that the City Council this summer, after thoroughly thrashing out the question of the morality or otherwise of Sunday tennis, has opened the Municipal Courts at Day's Bay for Sunday play. The committee is entirely in sympathy with those broad-minded members of the City Council who faced the problem honestly and pointed out that there are many ways in with the youth of the day may, and, in fact, do, spend their leisure time—ways that are immeasurably more injurious to health and morals than the innocent game of tennis, and that these other "pastimes," if such they may be called, are checked by no control of any kind, and are not even censured by public opinion.

No inter-club matches have been played in Wellington this season, so that the committee has had to depend on its own initiative in arranging matches. Teams travelled to Otaki on the 28th November last year, and also on Anniversary Day, and on each occasion won by a narrow margin.

The Club has once more to express its gratitude to the Otaki Tennis Club for arranging for our team matches that are beginning to be considered among the annual fixtures of the club.

Later in the season, a team of College men players defeated a combined Island Bay team at Island Bay, and a team of men and ladies from the Wellington Club beat us on our own courts.

A large number of club members participated in the Wellington Provincial Tennis Tournament, which was held during last Easter on the Brougham Hill and University Club courts. It was originally intended that the tournament should be held on the grass courts at Day's Bay. This was, however, found impossible, owing to the heavy rain which fell on Easter Thursday and Good Friday. The Wellington Lawn Tennis Association Executive greatly appreciated the action of the committee in offering the use of the College courts for playing off the semi-final and final events of the tournament Congratulation is due to all members of the page 46 College Club who participated in the tournament, on their form, especially to Messrs. Howie and Leicester, and Miss M. Sievwright. R. A. Howie won the handicap singles, beating Leicester in the final by the narrow margin of four points. Leicester and Miss M. Sievwright showed great form in bothchampionship and handicap combined double events. In the final of the championship doubles, they were only beaten after reaching five games all, in the third set. This was considered by the other competitors to be one of the best displays of tennis in the whole tournament.

Blazers were awarded for the year 1917 to Misses M. Sievwright, Fenton and R. Sievwright, and Messrs. McLennan, Howie, Smith and Leicester. The committee had little difficulty in deciding the awards in the case of the women, but there was very keen competition in the case of the men.

Great improvement has been noticed in the play of the junior members of the club, and this is to no small extent due to the innovation of a coaching committee, consisting of the older members of the club.

The "Spike" committee has asked for a brief criticism of the leading players of the club.

Miss Atmore, who has for some time held the top place on the ladies ladder, was prevented by a rural sojourn, combined with the effects of an illness, from actively participating in tennis during the latter part of the season. She was, however, in good form during most of the season. She is rarely beaten in inter-club matches, and we are fortunate in having a lady player who sets such a high standard of tennis in the club.

Miss M. Sievwright sets a very high standard of play, relies more on steadiness and strength than spectacular work. She is especially good in doubles, which fact she showed to advantage by her success in the double events of the Easter tournament.

Miss Fenton, when in form, plays an excellent game, though occasionally has an "off" day. She puts a twist on the ball which rather harasses an opponent who is unused to playing her. She is a good doubles player, and has met with great success in inter-club matches.

Miss Neumann did not play very much during the year. She is hardly up to last year's form.

Miss I. Sievwright is a consistent player, and can always be depended upon to play a good game.

Miss R. Sievwright has improved enormously this season, which fact is probably due to assiduous practice.

A. J. McLennan has deservedly been first player in the team throughout the season. He usually wins when he decides that he wants to. He is sometimes too inclined to want to win a point on his first stroke.

R. A. Howie, who has for two years held the position of second place on the ladder, plays a first-class game. When in form he has a particularly strong swerve and is also most accurate in placing. He occasionally strikes bad form, and is particularly unlucky in this respect in matches, but when on his game, he is probably the best all-round player in the club.

M. M. Smith has played third man in all matches, and is, perhaps, the most consistent player in the team. He has a splendid drive, and severely punishes those who play to his forehead. He is also very reliable at net.

W. E. Leicester is a young and promising player. Few players of tennis have had, at his age, so many successful contests with older and leading provincial players as he has. He has the accuracy and endurance of a first class player, and, with a little more force in his strokes, he will be a dangerous man.

C. G. Turner plays a free game and is not cramped by a lack of knowledge of the strokes that makes good tennis. When playing his best games it is difficult to say how near the first place in the team he deserves.

Byrne and Wiren have played consistently during the year and have steadily improved their play.

Aitken has probably shown more improvement during the season than any other of our men players.

It is to be hoped that tennis during the winter months will pave the way to a successful season next year.