Redwood City, California was indeed the home to US Squash’s 3rd JCT of the season. As is the monthly convention, the best and brightest of each age group bounded into action in pursuit of points, competition and excellence. 16 Squash Tigers members and three coaches made the trek across the country, with three of the group competing in their first ever JCT! Long story short, the crew made us proud, with six of the team making quarter finals or better, and our three “first timers” winning at least one match each in their introduction to “the big time”!
Anywaaaaay, before we do a deep dive into the results, for those new to the scene, let’s start at the beginning with a reminder, on what a JCT is…
"the highest level of junior tournament, which attracts the best players from around the entire country. US Squash accredits 5 JCT tournaments each year and each event is played over the course of three full days.”
Long story short, the best 32 players from each age group get together and test each other out roughly once a month in season… it doesn’t get more fun than that! In context, the October JCT was conducted in the hallowed courts of UPenn in Philadelphia, and constituted a tremendous success for our players. A re-read of the breakdown tells you exactly how well the squad performed and it set the scene for the West Coast!
Firstly to the highest achievers of this particular event. JJ and Meredith were our two semi-finalists in the event in the BU15 and GU13 respectively. Both enjoyed their highest finishes of the season and played awesome squash throughout. JJ’s quarter final produced possibly the greatest rally of the event and you should really take a moment to look at our clip on Insta - three back walls boasts, enormous heart and he forced an error to win a pivotal point! The very embodiment of never give up!
Our remaining quarter finalists were Colton, Alex, Yiden and Isabella. Colton and Alex in the BU17 both enjoyed excellent quarter final victories before losing out to the eventual finalists. They fought on through the draw and played off for 5th, with Colton proving too strong on this occasion. Both boys will be looking forward to the US Open and making a big run through the draw. Isabella was her usual bouncy self and recovered from a quarter final loss to waltz through to 5th and Yiden continues to keep on keeping on with his top 8 in the BU11.
Our final three top ten places went to Parth (BU17), Claire (BU17) and Eric (BU13). It says a lot about all three players that they would be more than a little annoyed to have not traveled further in the main draw, but should all be proud of their perseverance in the consols and a top 10 finish at this level is an achievement of which to be proud. Parth’s comeback from 2/0 down in the consol final was one for the ages and Claire ran through her respective back draw relatively effortlessly - bigger things ahead for two of our hardest workers.
We had three players, Evan (BU11), Chloe (GU13) and Jonathan (BU15) who negotiated their debut in JCT competition with both skill and excellent levels of effort. Evan and Chloe both won matches, which is quite an achievement in their first time at this level and Jonathan was outstanding, fighting through two five game victories and showing enormous promise for the rest of the season. The first JCT for these three, but there are definitely bigger things ahead for them all.
Finally we had Maryam flying the flag in the GU19. As always, Maryam was an outstanding example to our younger players of sportsmanship and effort. It is such a breath of fresh air to have a senior still improving and still so enthusiastic about the game and continuing to improve - UVA Squash is getting a solid recruit with Miss Mian, but first let's have a couple of big wins to end junior squash in style!
Next big event on the calendar will be the US Open in December where the world’s best will gather and the players will once again get to test themselves and their progress! Can’t wait to see everyone there!
For the time being our focus goes to preparation. A reminder that our Thanksgiving Camps are right around the corner, kicking off next Monday and open to visitors and that TRAINING ALWAYS RUNS - so there's no excuse to not get your work in!
See you at training - bigger things ahead!