Strong play in the off season

August 05, 2017

Purple pride: Lachlan Fisher, Sienna Burke, Remi Serra and James Ross were the chosen four to represent the Goulburn Region at the Frank Sedgman Cup.

Doing the region proud: Ellie Mifka, James Nethersole, Giselle Andrew and Robbie Mifka placed second in the Bradtke Luczak Cup.

It might be the depths of winter but that has not stopped the Goulburn Region’s finest young tennis players from plying their trade across the state.

The 15-and-under side finished second in the Bradtke Luczak Cup as James Nethersole (Shepparton Lawn), Giselle Andrew (Seymour) and twins Robbie and Ellie Mifka headed to Traralgon for the event.

While Goulburn Region went on to lose the final to powerhouse Central Gippsland, it was proudly the only side able to gain a set on its competitors during the group stages.

The team won two sets against Central Gippsland, which claimed its fourth consecutive title as the dominant side won all four singles sets in the final while rain threatened play.

Team manager Carol Mifka said the four teenagers were thrilled with the silverware they returned with, having been one of seven country regions to contest the event.

‘‘It was absolutely fantastic, the kids all played beautifully and to the best of their ability,’’ she said.

The foursome is keen to improve on tennis with Andrew and the Mifka twins part of the Bendigo Tennis Academy where they receive specialist training each month.

Robbie and Ellie Mifka, as well as Nethersole, were also members of the Goulburn Region’s drought-breaking inter-regional side this year.

With players having to umpire their own matches, Mifka said they all received high praise from the Tennis Victoria official patrolling the matches.

‘‘The tournament referee said that despite the hundreds of sets of tennis there was not a single dispute he had to get involved in, everyone accepted the line calls and it was played in the best spirit of tennis — so, credit to the country kids to play in the spirit of sportsmanship,’’ she said.

Last weekend was a big one for tennis with the 11-and-under Frank Sedgman Cup also on.

Lachlan Fisher (Kialla Park), Remi Serra (Shepparton Lawn), James Ross (Kilmore) and Sienna Burke (Cobram) were Goulburn Region’s representatives who put in their best effort at Bendigo.

Playing against some strong metropolitan sides, the team’s one win of the tournament fittingly also game against a Gippsland outfit.

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