14-year-old central to school’s transtasman Alumnae Cup side.

Baradene will host their biennial tennis exchange for the Alumnae Cup next week and at the centre of their push for silverware will be 14-year-old Isabelle Coman.

She is the school's No 1 tennis player, though she is just in Year 9, and is looking forward to the prospect of playing some of the top talent out of three visiting Australian schools.

"I haven't played it before but I think they make it quite a big deal," says the quietly spoken Coman. She leads the way in the Baradene Premier A1 team, coached by Craig Bell, which placed fourth in the Auckland competition this year.

Coman is already looking to play Caro Bowl reserves for her Remuera club. Hers is a well-trodden path between the club, her school, the Scarbro Tennis Centre in St John's, where most of her indoor winter training takes place, and home.

Advertisement

Her career highlight came last year, when she won the national singles title for her 12s age group.

Coman is a rare left-hander, as is Brooke Kenny of Westlake GHS, who has partnered her in doubles from time to time. Coman has also played a lot of doubles with Holly Stewart, now at Selwyn, who was profiled in the May 20 edition of College Sport.

"There are not many [lefties] playing tennis my age. It can be an advantage," says Coman.

Baradene has six good AstroTurf courts but, unlike Westlake GHS, they are not under cover, so they will be praying to the weather gods for next week's Alumnae Cup, which runs from Monday to Wednesday.

Coman is looking forward to the competition.

"They are from Australia and the Australians are pretty good, but I haven't seen a lot of them play."

She will be prepared physically, having trained five days a week during winter. She has four more years at Baradene before she hopes to head to the US.

The Alumnae Cup started in 1996 as a tennis exchange between the Sacre Coeur schools of Sydney (Kincoppal-Rose Bay) and Brisbane (Stuartholme) and grew to include Melbourne (Sacre Coeur). Baradene, as Auckland's Sacre Coeur school, joined in 2001.

Advertisement

In 2000, the exchange scaled back from an annual event. The competition is of a high standard. The intention was to allow for strong tennis and to build friendships and relations between the schools and students.

Along with the winning trophies, there is the Barat Shield which is presented to the school that shows the best spirit at the event. The 2013 winner was Annelise Kane of Baradene, while Stuartholme won the A and B grade competitions.

All visiting teams will be billeted with Baradene families.

2014 winner takes aim at Rio Olympics

We profile past winners as we count down to the 25th annual event.

Eliza McCartney (Takapuna Grammar) 2014Eliza McCartney was carrying all before her in the pole vaulting ranks last year, and she still has a royal chance to reach the Rio Olympics next year.

The 18-year-old was the nation's best female pole vaulter in her senior year at Takapuna Grammar and her PB of 4.45m is tantalisingly close to the Olympic qualifying mark of 4.50m. She feels it is well within her grasp over the next year.

A bronze medal at the IAAF world junior championships and a New Zealand pole vault record clinched her ASB award, the first to a pole vaulter and the fourth out of Takapuna Grammar.

"My last year at Takapuna Grammar was a real turning point in my athletics career and I absolutely loved it," says McCartney, now doing a part-time BSc at the University of Auckland.

"In 2013 I won the girls' athletics award and I remember being so impressed with the talent of the supreme award winners that year, not to mention the past winners. So it was a huge surprise and absolute honour to win the supreme award in 2014."

Her 2015 year has not been half bad either, highlighted by a silver medal at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.

"It was a huge achievement with the Games being the second largest multisport event in the world, behind the Olympics."

Nominations for the 2015 ASB YSPOTY Awards are still open. They should be submitted by September 23. Further information, along with the chart of eligibility, is available on www.collegesport.co.nz