Tennis: Applecross SHS foursome helps WA to runner-up place at Pizzey Cup

Applecross SHS Pizzey Cup representatives Hayley Burton and Tara Gilich. Picture: Jon Hewson
Applecross SHS Pizzey Cup representatives Hayley Burton and Tara Gilich. Picture: Jon Hewson

FOUR Applecross Senior High School tennis tyros have helped WA to a second-place Pizzey Cup finish for the first time in 14 years.

Hayley Burton, Tara Gilich and Luna Jokanovic formed nearly half of the state’s girls team while Tyler Mizuhata carried the baton for the boys.

Played in Victoria over a week at the start of May and featuring the most talented high school students in the country, the 2017 Pizzey Cup came down to a day six stand-off between WA and NSW.

Both teams entered the fixture undefeated and WA prevailed in both the doubles and boys singles but could not withstand the firepower of NSW in the girls singles, losing all six rubbers to slip to an 11-7 overall defeat.

WA rebounded to beat traditional powerhouse Queensland narrowly on the final day of the tournament to clinch the silver medal.

Luna dropped just two singles sets the entire tournament to be the only WA girl to earn a spot in the Australian Merit Team.

Applecross SHS specialist tennis program co-ordinator Lee Jarvinen said the result was an improvement on last year’s third place finish.

“WA doesn’t have the depth in number of some of the eastern states so we are definitely punching above our weight,” he said.

Historically, Applecross SHS is a strong contributor to WA’s Pizzey Cup team and last year finished second in the National Schools’ Tennis Championships.

“Our tennis program has been running since 1996 and currently caters to around 130 students who train four hours a week during class time with optional after school training,” Jarvinen said.

“The four students selected for the Pizzey Cup are all ranked within the top six for their age groups in WA.”

The school boasts former Australian Davis Cup representative Brydan Klein and current fifth-ranked US women’s college star Astra Sharma among its alumni.

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