Our Final Rehearsal Tournament of the 2022/2023 Season was played this past weekend. The end of a ten event circuit, the June RT was our best and brightest, with 50+ players, 4 current and former US Squash #1 ranked players and 18 kids who qualified for at least one JCT. It was a spectacular day, leaving us with great matches, some great memories and the promise of a bigger and better series next season! You can check out the great pics of the day via our Facebook Page.
Reflecting back on the season, our inaugural Rehearsal Tournament Series was a huge success and one of the real pillars of the Squash Tigers world. Our in-house events were conducted on the first Saturday of every month and featured over 120 different players from throughout the United States. The 10 event series attracted entries from some of the countries top juniors while providing a supportive environment for beginners to gain “rehearsal time” before stepping out into the US Squash ranking world. Players all enjoyed a minimum of three and a maximum of four matches on a Saturday, commencing first thing and concluding early afternoon. The events didn’t count towards rating or ranking, and players were relaxed enough to develop their games in a friendly environment, yet serious enough so that they will be ready for the wider world when they get out there!
Our final Rehearsal event was a great culmination of the season, with the undisputed highlight being the big win by Princeton Assistant Coach Alan Clyne who defeated our own resident Touring Professional, coach Jamie, in a well contested final. If you missed the match, video highlights can be found here via our Instagram account, and our thanks go to both coaches who are great role models, on and off the court. Alan’s participation brought back great memories for me in particular, having first coached him as a junior back in my days as Scottish National Coach, and then watching him achieve a top PSA ranking of #24 in the world before retiring and going on to Coach at Princeton.
Due to the auspicious nature of the event, we renamed our top Division our Super Bowl Division, and beyond the final, it also delivered great squash, with Parth and Alex deserving semi-finalists and delivering a high standard 3 / 4 playoff, despite the academic stresses of the past few weeks. Very proud of the young men. Rounding out the 5 / 8 were a distinguished quartet, James (everyone’s favorite Philadelphian?), Will (winner of the US Squash Silver Champs Sportmanship award, JJ (who made #1 in the BU13 this season) and Shrikar (Mr. I moved my rating 0.8 in a season). As I said, a distinguished crew.
Premier Division was won by Evan Chen, (no, not that Evan Chen, the other one!), defeating Anika G in the final with our National GU13 Champion Isaballe rounding out the podium! Anika in her first RT was awesome throughout, bouncing back from her qualifying defeat to Shrikar to defeat Arjun and Isabella in tight matches.
D1 was won by Jude, also making his RT debut. Jude bounced back from a qualifying loss to Moeed, who had a storming event, and defeated Jonathan in the final and 3rd place Lily in a semi. Well done Jude! Jonathan and Lily also both had excellent events, with Jonathan defeating everyone’s favorite player Eric T in a high standard qualifier!
D2 saw Eric bounce back from the aforementioned hiccup to defeat Sid in the final. Madeleine defeated Andrew in the 3 /4 playoff. Eric, National BU11 #2 during the season and currently BU13 #12 despite being, well, not huge, is quite the prospect and it was great to see him in action. Madeleine on her behalf has been working hard on her technique of late and played some very neat squash.
D3 had National #1 GU11 Kaylee defeat Leo in the final. It was an age group of GU11 warriors, with US Squash ranked #15 Chloe causing somewhat of the upset in the 3 / 4 playoff, defeating #6 ranked Mimi. Much more to come from these two in the future!
D4 saw Evan rebound from an earlier disappointment to win yet more silverware! In all honesty between Evan and his brother Edward, they have more trophies out of the series than you’d believe (well done boys!). Anika was the losing finalist, with Sriya defeating Raymond in a solid 3 / 4 playoff match.
Finally D5 had Ethan, Dean and Ansh making up the podium places. All three players are getting better and better each week and certainly demonstrated a greater sense of court awareness and consistency in this event than we have seen from them before! Well done kids!
The event concluded our inaugural Rehearsal Tournament Series. Our final event was certainly the best, with 50+ entries, and everyone from Alan (a former world #24) through to kids yet to play in their first US Squash events, it was just perfect. Small additions, such as the on line draws, nifty new t-shirts and a never ending supply of bagels just made things better and better.
For now, Summer Camps kickoff - you may find all details here - and they will have a “built in” Rehearsal Tournament component, with the Series again resuming in Spring! See you all at the club soon!