Viclanders grand final appearance

Hume Tennis Viclanders team (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Hume Tennis and Community Centre came agonisingly close to claiming its first Tennis Victoria Premier League title, just falling short in the women’s decider.

After the men’s team made the final last season, Hume entered both men’s and women’s teams in the same season for the first time.

The men’s side, the Highflyers were hit by injury, and weren’t able to repeat last season’s heroics, but the women’s team stepped up.

Called the Viclanders, the team made it through to the grand final where they were defeated by MCC Glen Iris Valley Demons, 2-4-26 to 0-1-17.

Hume tennis’ Tim Connelly said while they were disappointed that the women’s team couldn’t get over the line, they were proud with what they achieved.

He said they thought they had a really talented team coming into the competition.

“It was good, the other team had a couple of players in Seone Mendez and Jaimee Fourlis, who have both been in the top 150 in the world.

“We had two players from Queensland. Kayla [McPhee was so good and lost to Jaimee 10-8 in a third set tie breaker.”

Hume local Leann Carbis was also part of the team which was encouraging for all the local players.

Connelly said after losing their top player Dayne Kelly and with Corey Gaal restricted to just doubles, they decided to focus on giving some local players the opportunity.

“Going in our roster was pretty similar [originally].. There was the opportunity to give some of the young boys a chance.

“Arda [Karakas] lives in Craigieburn. He’s just 17 and won a match and played against players with world rankings.

“Luke [Sorensen] is 19. We didn’t win a match but we were on the wrong side of three super tie breakers, it was really close.”

Connelly said it was a massive opportunity to play against some of the biggest teams in the state.

“There were four teams that had both men’s and women’s and we were the fourth team,” he said.

“They are such iconic clubs and it’s good to show how tennis is going in Melbourne’s north. All the other teams [with the exception of Diggers Rest] are from the south of Melbourne.

“It’s super exciting for the region and we want to grow awareness of tennis in Melbourne’s north.

“Hume has a first class facility.”

Connelly said they were able to get some juniors involved and some were able to be courtside during matches.

It’s a big few months for the centre ahead of the summer of tennis. The centre will host its first UTR pro tennis event later this year.