Hawke's Bay's four New Zealand Secondary School Squash representatives played a strong hand in transtasman series and test match victories in Rockhampton, Queensland last week.
Playing in the five-strong senior girls squad (year 11-13) at No5, Jess Dean was unbeaten in seven singles and three doubles matches over four days of competition. Not far behind was Sam Harding who didn't drop a game in winning all of her seven singles matches playing at No5 for the five-strong junior girls squad (year 9-10), while her only doubles defeat came in the test against Australia.
The junior girls' squad also featured her twin sister Ally, and Jena Gregory. North Island under-15 champion Gregory won six singles matches playing at No2, including her test clash, and was unbeaten in doubles alongside Ally Harding, who won five of her singles matches in the No3 slot.
Coming out of a cool winter to play in temperatures close to 30C proved no barrier to the 20-strong New Zealand team, which also featured senior boys and junior boys squads.
They easily won the transtasman series contested against New South Wales and Queensland over three days. In the test match against Australia, a tougher assignment, New Zealand prevailed 7-3 in doubles, and 12-8 in singles.
Dean and the Harding twins all play out of Hawke's Bay Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, and were part of the Napier Girls' High School squad which finished second at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in Palmerston North earlier this month, while Gregory, a year 9 student and still only 13, led Havelock North High School to seventh place.
Both Gregory and Dean have been included in the Squash Eastern squad to contest the New Zealand Junior Inter Districts Team Championships in Christchurch in October.