Rehearsal Tournament #3, our Thanksgiving Tournament, played out this past Saturday, with five divisions of our best, brightest, newest and most experienced players battling it out over four hours. The event ran the full gambit, with over a dozen players having JCT experience, right down to several players at the start of their competitive journeys, there was a home for everyone. As it always is, the day was a great mixture of skill, fun and sportsmanship all over the draws. Many thanks to the coaches for their above and beyond the call of duty day, with Coach Claire masterminding the draws, and Jamie and Colin maintaining the smooth running of the day - we’re lucky to have them all!
Our usual preamble, for those of you new to the Squash Tigers world, as background, Rehearsal Tournaments are:
“ … in-house events conducted at SQUASHTIGERS! For the 2023-24 season (Sep 2023 thru May 2024), the Rehearsal Tournament Series comprises 9 tournament events. The Rehearsal Tournament Circuit attracts entries from top juniors. It also provides a great home for beginners to gain rehearsal before they step out into the US Squash ranking world. Players play a minimum of three and a maximum of four matches on a Saturday, commencing first thing and concluding early afternoon. The event does not count towards rating or ranking, so players may be 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!
Premier Division saw Alex emerge triumphant, defeating Lily, JJ and Parth on the way to the trophy. It was a long week on the courts for all the players, having put in a solid training block during our Thanksgiving Camps to prepare for the rigors of the season to come. Parth and Sean played perhaps the match of the tournament, with an epic five game semi-final. In the battle for 5th, Shrikar was the last man standing, with Lily, Eric and Arman rounding out the championship placings. Shoutout to Arman and JJ on their marathon five game quarter which candidly didn't leave much in the tank for the rest of the day, but was in itself an awesome contest to witness.
D1 was strong… waaaay strong. Jonathan, fresh from his JCT debut in San Francisco bounced back from a qualifying loss to JJ to defeat Claire in the final with Edward and Moeed rounding out the top four. As if that doesn't sound like a rough D1, Pragun defeated Humzah, who appears to be recovering well from his injury, in the race to 5th, with Ty and Sid rounding out the bracket. Wow, what a draw that one was… Well done all, bigger things ahead!
D2 saw one of our guests, Cooper, defeat a quickly improving Dhruv. Allen was in third after having his own run through the draw, with Kaylee 4th. Kaylee always impresses, and the National #1 GU11 looks to be a champion of the future. A slightly injured Vaibhav toughed it out to achieve fifth over Jayden, with Leo defeating Mimi for seventh.
D3 saw Anika defeat Evan in the final. Anika, fresh from a semi final in the Pingry Silver, played a solid event, and Evan, also fresh from a good run of late showed the benefit of his San Francisco JCT experience. Neil and Dev were the losing semi-finalists, with Julian, Ronnie, Sriya and Matthew rounding out the draw. In many ways our D3 crew, as a group, have been some of our most improved this season. Good rally length, sound volleying, solid serve and serve return exchanges and high standards of sportsmanship all came together to give the coaches a good degree of satisfaction. Well done to all!
Jessie emerged the champ in D4 defeating Ethan! Siddhi defeated Brady in the 3rd place play-off with Ansh, Alison, Yohan and Ava rounding out the draw. Four match days are enough to test anyone, and they were running strong and competing hard until the very end leaving some very impressed coaches!
D5 was filled with characters and was played with good character! Azeem won out in a big round robin, with Dean in second, Dennis and Riya finishing the podium places! Shoutouts to Yaseen and Vincent, who are improving all the time and certainly demonstrating a greater understanding of the sport. Our real thanks to Coach Colin who patiently spent much of the day reinforcing high standards of marking and refereeing - not only is it important to be able to play, but certainly days like Saturday give a perfect opportunity to teach the rules.
Overall a golden event, with high standards of sportsmanship and skill. Special thanks go to Coach Claire who masterminded the draws and made the event run smoothly! A reminder that full season members do need to confirm their entries the week of the event to make organization a little easier! :)
Our next Rehearsal Event of the 2022/2023 season will be December 30 and our New Year's Event - which draws attention to how quickly the year has flown past! As always, the events are perfect opportunities to get matches, matches and more matches to prepare for the rigors of US Squash Junior Circuit competition. There are few junior US Squash events of note on that particular weekend, so please be aware that we cap our entries at the first 50 players to register - almost exactly the number we had this past event - so if you intend to compete, sooner rather than later is the best way to avoid disappointment!
For our Rehearsal Tournament crew, see y’all in December for the next installment in the odyssey… and for our regular Squash Tiger crew, see you at training… bigger things ahead!