Millie makes her mark

Category: Sport, General, Pupil Achievements

On the final day of the School Rackets Season, Millie McKelvey (EL Hu) successfully defended her National Schools U16 Girls Singles title. Master in Charge of Rackets, Simon Ellis, provides the rundown of a memorable day…

Quarter-Final v Cheltenham

The standard was immediately as good as, if not better than, last year's final. After some tense early exchanges, the Cheltonian raced to a seemingly game-winning 13/4 lead and the pressure was all on Millie. Point by point she clawed her way back into the game and forced a set to 5 at 13/13. By now her awkward left handed service was hitting a good length and she closed out the game 18/13. Her opponent was clearly rattled by such a fantastic comeback and Millie quickly established an 8/0 lead in the second game. The match was far from over, however, and, as the rallies got better and better, the score got closer and closer. Millie kept her composure and took the second game - and the match - 15/9.

Semi-Final v Rugby School

Millie soon found herself under an entirely different sort of pressure as her opponent came out all guns blazing. When she got her chance to serve in the first game the score was a worrying 0/7. Some excellent play saw her level the scores in one hand and eventually take a very well contested game 15/10. By now Millie was flying and she raced to an 11/0 lead in the next game. Despite her opponent's best efforts - and they were very good - Millie won that game 15/2 to put her through to the final.

Final v Cheltenham

Another Cheltenham girl now stood between her and a successful title defence. By now Millie was firing on all cylinders and she dominated the first game winning several excellent rallies 15/2. At 8/0 in the second game one might have forgiven the engraver for getting on with the task of etching Millie's name on the Beryl Danby Cup for a second time. Her opponent had other ideas and forced Millie to play her best rackets yet. This she did and eventually triumphed 15/8. A successful title defence was hers!

Congratulations to Millie and to Rob Wakely who has coached her to another win at Queen's.

It just remains for me to thank all the players for their commitment, Rob for his boundless enthusiasm and expertise, and the parents for their continued support - particularly one who drove from Somerset to London and back four times during the week!

Simon Ellis
Master in Charge, Rackets
Twitter: @MCol_Rackets

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