The University of Stirling’s high performance tennis athletes received top marks at this year’s BUCS National League Super Weekend with both the men’s and women’s team coming away with medals.
The men’s team, consisting of Scott Duncan, Robert Leck, Kieran Macarty, Scott Macaulay, Sam McNeil and Jonny O’Mara, held their nerve to secure the National League title for the first time since 2014 as they defeated Durham University (8-4) and Loughborough University (12-0) which saw them pip their Durham counterparts by one point in the overall standings.
In the women’s competition, the Stirling team of Natasha Fourouclas, Lauren Hewett, Maia Lumsden, Alessia Palmieri, Rebecca Pedrazzi and Patricia Skowronski fell short in their title challenge as, despite a comfortable 10-2 victory over Bristol on Saturday an earlier victory for top-of-the-table rivals, Durham, meant the league was secured by the North East institution with two rounds to spare. Regardless of the league outcome, the Stirling and Durham teams went on to play out an entertaining 6-6 draw to round-off the weekend’s action.
Due to finishing in the top two of the league, both teams will be rewarded with home ties in the BUCS Championship knockout competition which starts next month.
Commenting on the weekend, MSc Psychology of Sport student, Scott Duncan, said: “It was a great way to end the league in an exciting environment and everyone did their part to help us get over the line. It makes all the hard work during the year worth it, but we’re not taking anything for granted as we want to do well in the BUCS Championship as well.
“We always set high expectations for ourselves and that won’t change as we want to finish the BUCS season on a high and we look forward to getting back out on court to represent Stirling.”
University of Stirling High Performance Tennis Coach, Euan McGinn, said: “It’s been such a fantastic experience for the players over the weekend and we’re really proud of how they held their nerve in a high pressure situation.
“All of our scholars and the wider high performance squad train immensely hard throughout the season and still manage to fit their studies in, so I’m delighted their dedication, organisation and sacrifice has been rewarded with two brilliant league finishes.”
David Bond, the University of Stirling’s Head of Performance Sport added: “As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, we have a responsibility to help students of all abilities get the most out of their experience at Stirling and there is no better testament than the continuing success of our high performance athletes.
“As well as demonstrating the quality of our International Sports Scholarship Programme it shows the calibre of athlete choosing to study at Stirling and this is something we are regularly consolidating and developing to ensure our programmes continue to flourish on national and international stages.”
Full results from the BUCS National League Super Weekend can be found on the LTA’s website.
As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, the University of Stirling offers a sporting experience like no other, integrating high performance sport and academia with outstanding facilities, recreation programmes and participation opportunities for students, staff and visitors of all levels.