BATHURST'S Grace Schumacher and Tayla Brasier may have been unable to help NSW secure an 11th straight Pizzey Cup victory but the former player didn't walk away empty handed from the Adelaide courts.
Schumacher was named in the Australian merit side for the third consecutive year at the under 18s teams tournament and won the Pizzey Cup Individual Event as the second seed, defeating top seed Lexie Weir 6-1, 6-4 in the final.
The Bathurst players and their NSW team knew they were in for a challenge in the Pizzey Cup when they had to play fellow title favourites Queensland in the opening round.
The northern rivals were just a cut above in a hard fought 10 rubbers to eight victory.
That contest would ultimately prove the difference as both state teams went on to win all their remaining ties.
"It would have been good to have another Pizzey Cup win but we were very unlucky to get Queensland first up. That was two seeds playing against each other," she said.
"They had a really good team and they deserved the win. I was very happy to get the individual win though."
Schumacher didn't have everything her own way through the latter stages of the tournament.
After blasting through the opening rounds she had to fight through a tough opening quarter-final set against eighth seed Eloise Swarbrick, but emerged a 7-5 winner before finishing the second set 6-2.
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Schumacher won the opening set of the semi-final 6-3 against sixth seed Jasmine Adams but found herself down 4-1 in the second set.
The Eglinton player turned the set on its head by winning the next five games and booking a place in the final.
Incredibly, Schumacher found herself in an identical situation during the decider - once again fighting hard to win the last five games of the match to win the tournament without dropping a set.
"In the final she wasn't missing for a while, and I got broke, but that was alright," Schumacher said of the last set.
"When I was down 4-1 I regrouped at the change of ends, I just made that one more ball, she started missing a few and I started to get back on top."
Brasier also took part and had a strong 6-3, 6-1 win to start her tournament before going down in straight sets to ninth seed Ruby Fraser. Inclement weather prevented Brasier from playing in the consolation draw.
Schumacher will now play in the Nan Ying Cup International Junior Championships being held in Taiwan starting on May 28.