Taking four teams to the ESTTA Team Championships Regional Finals would be an achievement. Having all four teams win is entirely different.
London Academy students represented the school in the Boys’ Under 11, Girls’ Under 11, Boys’ Under 16, and Girls’ Under 16 competitions against teams from across the south of England.
Each team competition pitted four teams against each other in a league format. Team fixtures were made up of 8 individual matches. The only exception to this was the Girls’ Under 16 competition where there were only two teams.
The Girls’ Under 16 team was comprised of Sienna Jetha, Alisha Dutta, Mauli Shah, and Tadeea Aparaschivei. Their sole match saw them face off against Bromsgrove School from Worcestershire.
They won 8-0 for the quickest victory of the day.
The Girls’ Under 11 team were matched against teams from Essex, Devon, and Buckinghamshire. Despite losing Inayah Zasella to illness, the team of Soraya and Serene Rhahmani-Walentynske, Assil Sarri, and Ruby Gandi Bamidele proved far too strong for the opposition.
They won all of their matches 8-0, and did not drop a single set through the day.
The Boys’ Under 11 Team faced off against teams from Hertfordshire, Worcestershire, and Devon. The first fixture was a straightforward 8-0 victory for Yacoub Rahmani-Walentynske, Zack Sarri, Lewis Macsween and Korey Samuda over the boys from the Littletons CE First School from Evesham.
In the next round Stefan Pop and Adam Riadi stepped in to take on St. Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery from Totnes. The result was another 8-0 victory without a single set dropped. The final round saw Yacoub, Zack, Stefan and Adam facing off against the similarly unbeaten King’s School from Harpenden, needing one final victory to qualify for the ESTTA Nation Finals.
The match was tight in the early stages with London Academy holding a narrow 3-2 lead after the first 5 matches. But in the end the overall quality of the London Champions’s squad proved too much for their Hertfordshire rivals. Stefan, Zack and Adam won the last three matches to make it 6-2 and sealing a fine victory.
The Under 16 boys, Fernando Frandes, Parsa Yamin, Shahuraj Nimse, Devan Shah, and Ilyes Djeraoui, had the stiffest opposition on the day.
Their deciding match against Buckingham’s John Hampden was tight to begin with, but eventually the London side’s greater strength in depth showed through with Shahuraj, Parsa and Ilyes coming through in the final three matches to seal victory.
All four teams will now go the national finals In April.