|Hopetoun will defend its Dimboola and District Tennis Association premiership title after making its way to the grand final with a strong semi-final win over Antwerp on Saturday.
The reigning premier dominated the contest to win four points, 13 sets, 140 games to one point, five sets, 106 games.
At Anzac Park, the first semi-final saw Warrack Gold keep its season alive when they claimed a powerful 13 sets to five win to knock Arkona out of the finals race.
On the Health and Fitness Centre courts in Dimboola, Hopetoun dominated the mixed and mens sections to claim a clean sweep of sets to set up its day.
Jacob Holm and Zali Brown started a run of six straight wins with a 9-3 win in the opening set before Taylor Donnan and Dana Schache won 9-5.
The remaining four sets were all hard fought wins to Hopetoun with three sets being decided 9-7 and another win 9-6.
Hopetoun led 54 games to 35 after the mixed doubles as the opening Men’s and ladies sets were played out.
The remainder of the day was evenly matched in sets as Hopetoun claimed all Men’s sets and Antwerp won five of the six sets in the ladies section.
Holm and Mal McLean claimed the opening Men’s set 9-5 before Abbey Greig and Sammy Baker won their side’s first set for the day 9-4 in the opening set of the ladies.
A commanding 9-0 win to Anthony Schache and Nathan Williams went against the flow of hard fought wins as Kellie Laverty and Emily Polack responded to claim a 9-2 win in the second of the ladies sets.
Two more Hopetoun wins in the Men’s section, 9-7, 9-6, were matched by the Antwerp ladies who claimed a tense tie-breaker and a 9-3 win to continue the pattern of play of sharing sets.
A 9-5 win to Taylor Donnan and Mal McLean saw Hopetoun claim its fifth win in the Men’s section, but when Dana Schache and Remy George won a convincing 9-1 win in the fifth ladies sets, the trend was broken as Hopetoun marched its way to victory.
A sixth win in the Men’s section, 9-2, completed a clean sweep of sets for Hopetoun, while Antwerp’s Emily Polack and Lucinda Newton claimed the final ladies set 9-6 to give their side five wins in the ladies.
The Men’s section saw Hopetoun win 54 games to 25, while the ladies section saw Antwerp claim its point for the day five sets, 46 games to one set, 32 games.
Antwerp’s preliminary final opponent will be Warrack Gold who claimed a commanding 13 sets to five win despite relinquishing three sets at the start of the day.
Gold was only able to field five men which saw one mixed set and two Men’s section forfeited 9-0 which saw Arkona start the day 27 games in front.
But Gold was able to put itself in the contest with a strong showing in the mixed doubles which saw them win all completed sets.
Phil Huebner and Emma Koschitzke started the day with a strong 9-2 win before Scott Stewart and Rikki Nitschke claimed a 9-5 win in the second set.
A 9-6 win to Cameron Clyne and Lauren Kellett was followed by a 9-3 win to Dave Nitschke and Wendy Hewitt to have the first four sets as Chris Kellett and Carolyn Morcom closed out the section with a 9-4 win.
The forfeited set saw Gold win the mixed section five sets, 45 games to one set, 29 games.
Gold’s ladies were favoured to win their section and did just that but giving up two sets in the Men’s section was going to trouble the home side.
But a 9-2 win to Phil Huebner and Cameron Clyne in the opening Men’s set saw Gold continue on its way as Emma Koschitzke and Lauren Kellett teamed for a 9-4 win in the opening ladies set.
Arkona claimed the second Men’s set 9-3 when John O’Dywer and Gordon Klinge combined to keep their side in the contest but when Huebner and Scott Stewart teamed for a 9-3 win and Wendy Hewitt and Carolyn Morcom won 9-3 in the second ladies set, Gold had claimed an important ninth set for the day.
And when Koschitzke and Rikki Nitschke won the third ladies set 9-1, Gold had secured the day with a 10th win to see them through to the preliminary final.
Arkona’s Mitchell Jorgensen and Russell Hunter claimed the final Men’s set 9-7 as Gold closed out the ladies section winning the next two sets 9-3, 9-4 before Morcom and Brodie Hallam won a final set tie-breaker to claim a clean sweep of wins in the ladies section.
Arkona claimed their point in the Men’s section with a four sets, 41 games to two sets, 28 games as Gold ladies took out the section 54 games to 23.
The final score saw Gold win the day four points, 13 sets, 127 games to one point, five sets, 93 games.
With no tennis scheduled for the Labour Day Long Weekend, the preliminary final will be played at the Health and Fitness Centre courts in Dimboola on March 17.
Hopetoun 4 points, 13 sets, 140 games d Antwerp 1 point, 5 sets, 106 games.
Mixed: Nathan Jorgensen, Kellie Laverty lost to Jacob Holm, Zali Brown 3-9, Tim Jorgensen, Abbey Greig lost to Taylor Donnan, Dana Schache 5-9, Don Clark, Heather Jorgensen lost to Mal McLean, Remy George 7-9, Chris Avery, Emily Polack lost to Anthony Schache, Jonti George 6-9, Shane Bond, Lucinda Newton lost to Nathan and Bridget Williams 7-9, Nathan Albrecht, Samantha Baker lost to Alex Kovoor, Nicole McLean 7-9.
Men: N. Jorgensen, C. Avery lost to J. Holm, M. McLean 5-9, D. Clark, S. Bond lost to A. Schache, N. Williams 0-9, N. & T. Jorgensen lost to J. Holm, T. Donnan 7-9, D. Clark, N. Albrecht lost to A. Schache, A. Kovoor 6-9, T. Jorgensen, C. Avery lost to T. Donnan, M. McLean 5-9, S. Bond, N. Albrecht lost to N. Williams, A. Kovoor 2-9.
Ladies: A. Greig, S. Baker d Z. Brown, R. George 9-4, K. Laverty, E. Polack d J. George, B. Williams 9-2, A. Greig, H. Jorgensen d Z. Brown, D. Schache 9-8, K. Laverty, L. Newton d J. George, N. McLean 9-3, H. Jorgensen, S. Baker lost to D. Schache, R. George 1-9, E. Polack, L. Newton d B. Williams, N. McLean 9-6.
Warrack Gold 4 points 13 sets, 127 games d Arkona 1 points, 5 sets, 93 games.
Mixed: Phil Huebner, Emma Koschitzke d Nick Pietsch, Meaghan Pohlner 9-2, Scott Stewart, Rikki Nitschke d Russell Hunter, Elizabeth Klinge 9-5, Cameron Clyne, Lauren Kellett d Mitchell & Tracey Jorgensen 9-6, Dave Nitschke, Wendy Hewitt d John O’Dwyer, Kaylene Pietsch 9-3, Chris Kellett, Carolyn Morcom d Gordon Klinge, Petra Wolthuis 9-4, Jonty & Karen Hunter 9-0 (forfeit).
Men: P. Huebner, C. Clyne d N. Pietsch, R. Hunter 9-2, D. Nitschke, C. Kellett lost to J. O’Dwyer, G. Klinge 3-9, P. Huebner, S. Stewart d N. Pietsch, M. Jorgensen 9-3, J. O’Dwyer, J. Hunter 9-0 (forfeit), S. Stewart, C. Clyne lost to M. Jorgensen, R. Hunter 7-9, G. Klinge, J. Hunter 9-0 (forfeit).
Ladies: E. Koschitzke, L. Kellett d M. Pohlner, T. Jorgensen 9-4, W. Hewitt, C. Morcom d K. Pietsch, P. Wolthuis 9-2, E. Koschitzke, R. Nitschke d M. Pohlner, E. Klinge 9-1, W. Hewitt, B. Hallam d K. Pietsch, K. Hunter 9-3, R. Nitschke, L. Kellett d E. Klinge, T. Jorgensen 9-4, C. Morcom, B. Hallam d P. Wolthuis, K. Hunter 9-8.