Northumbria University will yet again call on their Stan Calvert secret weapons as they look to win the cup for a third successive year.
Tennis coach Sean Damer and captain Sam Archer will argue it’s no coincidence that since their participation in the event, Northumbria not only put stop to a six-year-losing-streak but also managed to retain the cup by a mammoth 29 points.
“My first taste of Stan Calvert was the 2014 success so it was a great start for me personally,” said Damer. “The women lost that year but that’s the only defeat I’ve had in the seven ties we’ve played in my time.
“It’s a great start for me but also for tennis at Northumbria because before the last two years we had a poor record.
“I know that in particular the game two years before I became coach we got humiliated and that seemed to have been the norm for years before that.
“Now if we look at it, we’ve got two really strong sides, the men’s first team are two leagues above Newcastle’s and the women haven’t lost a game in two years.”
The double act were at it again when the 2016 Stan Calvert M1 Tennis match was moved forward to Valentine’s Day which saw Northumbria record another 12-0 win in the competition.
Captain Sam Archer said: “I’ve loved playing in both Stan Calvert games so far and to beat them the way we have done in the last two years is brilliant.
“I don’t know what it is but I feel like I play better when it comes to Stan Calvert. I enjoy playing in front of a crowd and hearing the noise while on court.
“I actually like the fact that we played our game early because now the pressure is off, we’ve got the points on the table and now we can just support the women and the men’s seconds.”
Not one to be trumped by his coach’s achievements, Archer, who tops the stats in the Northern 2B league, boasts his own impressive Stan Calvert record.
“In the two years I’ve played, our team (M1) have won without losing a single rubber and in my own games I’ve not dropped a set,” added Archer.
“But I know it’s a team effort and hopefully the women will win and then it’s down to the (men’s) seconds to get a full house.”
By Austin Orton