Fantastic Tennis season for the 1st Team
The St Stithians First Tennis Team have ended the 2016 official schools tennis season unbeaten.
During the past weekend, from 27 to 30 October, Saints won the Grey College Tennis Festival for the first time against the other top tennis schools, beating Grey College in the finals. Paul Roos defeated Affies to end the tournament in 3rd place. The other competing schools included Pretoria Boys’ High, Waterkloof, Glenwood and Paarl Boys. The festival produced some great tennis, with 8 of the top 10 ranked U18 Boys in SA heading up the competitors.
During 2016, the Saints first tennis team won every league and Tournament or Festival they played. Starting inJanuary, Saints won the St Benedict's Festival, then the Gerrie Berner Paul Roos Festival in February where arguably the top 12 tennis schools in SA competed – Saints beat Grey in the finals, with Paul Roos ending third. In April they won their own St Stithians Easter Sports Tennis Festival. During June they went on to win the Gauteng Central High Schools Tennis Challenge, then in September the Hilton Doubles and Mixed Doubles Festival and now the Grey College Festival. During the year, Saints’ first team also won the Gauteng summer and winter tennis A leagues.
The current Saints team is captained by SA U18 number 1, Bertus Kruger, with Richard Thongoana (SA U18 ranked number 4) as vice- captain. Other players include Justin Liebenberg (SA U16 ranked number 1), Kyle Johnson, Matthew Vercueil and younger players like Thabo Ncube and Tinashe Taruberekera, all playing a huge role in the most recent successes.
Previous provincial players like Ryan Liebenberg, Dylan Walters and Reece Robey formed part of the success at Saints, but are now no longer available for the team as they are completing their matric year.
Tennis Coach, Mr Marius Masencamp, has been instrumental in tennis at the school for over 11 years and insists on total focus to the sport. The support from the Head of the Boys’ College, Mr David Knowles and other senior staff at the school, including MIC of Tennis Mr Basie Viljoen, remains a fundamental contributor to the success of tennis at Saints.