The final summer Gold before the 2017/18 season commencement occurred over Labor Day weekend at a split venue – Cornell University and Hamilton College. Scozzie’s were out in force as close to 20 families made their way north for the event. Unfortunately, a high proportion of Gold Level players had a similar idea making for a record summer entry, with more top 10 ranked players competing than any previous Gold event. Crucial point were on the line, as many kids aimed to improve their divisor before the Cincinnati JCT in 2 weeks time and with expectations high, it made for a weekend filled with excitement.
The summer system allows players to enter as many Gold events as possible, with the caveat that you only need to take your best 2 results for ranking points. This event provided many with a ‘nothing to lose’ perspective, presenting many challenging opponents who came in with a fearless mentality. Our Scozzie’s were more than ready for the challenge after 13 grueling weeks of summer camp and with the adrenaline running high, began round 1 on Saturday ready to make headlines with some signature wins.
Hamilton – Coach LP tells the tale
Hamilton hosted the younger divisions (U11, U13 and U15’s). Scozzie representation was strongest in the BU13’s, with 5 entrants. Winston, Albert and Matt K were all seeded 5-8 after significant ranking improvements over the summer and came into the event with a point to prove. All three were disappointingly waitlisted for the first JCT and wanted to proof themselves good enough to represent a top 32 ranking. Albert was the star of the show and won the MVP award from Coach Lyall for his performances. After dropping the first Game in R1 and R2, Albert never looked back and played his best squash of the season storming to the semi finals with a 3/0 victory in the quarters. In the semi’s, he faced a top 6 ranked opponent and the number 1 seed who was yet to drop more than 5 points in any game. Albert gave him the shock of his life and despite going down 3/0, was within 2 points in every game and knew if he’d sneaked 1 game, the result could have been very different. He then closed out his tournament with an epic 3/2 thriller in an All Scozzie 3/4 play off against Alex.
Matt K and Winston made it an incredible Scozzie 3-4-5-6 in the BU13’s with their own epic performances en route. Matt had a great 3-1 victory to reach the quarter finals and then won back to back 3-0 matches to win the Classic Plate. His opponent was Winston in the 5-6 play off and after a grueling 16-14 first game, Winston had nothing left in the tank. Rick C completed the BU13 success with a comeback 3/2 (2-0 down) in the Plate 2 Final! In the GU13’s, Lindsay was our sole representative, but had 6 matches to make up for it! The marathon girl had a rollercoaster ride ending up in the Plate final, before succumbing 3/1 to a player rated significantly higher. A great weekend for all the U13’s, some great results on top of some incredible performances… the coaches are very proud!
Matt and Arjun were in a very tough U15 draw, but had several highlights across the weekend. In R1 Matt defeated a higher rated opponent in an upset win and played very well against the number 2 seed in the second round. Arjun had a grueling 5 gamer in the Plate and was extremely unlucky to lose out in a tie break.
Cornell – Coach Paul elucidates
We move officially from Summer to Autumn or Fall later in September, the 22nd to be precise, however upstate New York didn’t get the memo and the last Summer Gold, didn’t feel, in an environmental sense, like a summer gold… Fall came early in Ithaca in what was a grey weekend off court… fortunately it was a stunningly bright weekend on court for the Scozzie crew.
Standout Scozzie in Ithaca was Lauren in the GU17, who reached her first Summer Gold semi-final. Lauren defeated three excellent players while progressing through the draw, including Maya and Alexis in high level encounters. Although losing out in the semi-final to the Hong Kong #1, (small world, but I’d hate to paint it) Lauren then recovered to take 3rd position in a ridiculously athletic and skillful play-off match. Shout outs to Maya, playing up-up to the GU17 in her down year at GU15 … as did Devon who had her own epic matches…. and to Alexis, who finished in a creditable 6th position playing solid squash and pushing the #1 seed hard in the Classic Plate final.
The boys had a host of Scozzie representatives, but none seeded in the top 8 with Big Dog and BU15 Shaam playing up in the BU17 division.
Just like the proverbial mailman, the BU19 saw Ted delivering in his first BU19 Gold after aging up. Firstly Ted defeated a 3/4 seed to gain revenge for a Newport faux pas and then defeated another top 8 seed to win 7th position. Hitting hard, moving quickly and nattily dressed (obviously inspired by his coach), our man never ceased to impress. Bring on EA next weekend!
Shaam played superbly, looked cool as the other side of the pillow and exhibited silky smooth skills throughout his matches – losing a tough match against the eventual winner and going on to get some valuable match play. Ohio watch out when he’s back in his own age division…!
Charlie showed the benefit of diligent training and impressed myself and Sam and a tribe of onlookers. Competing hard despite having a blister on his foot the size of a medium size iguana, Charlie should be proud. Overall, the breakthrough win wasn’t to be this weekend, but it will come and we’re all looking forward to watching. On the theme of breakthroughs, young Tom Hogan was awesome. Awesome, a word used far too frequently, could not be used enough to describe the big guy‘s awesome improvement. Faster, fitter and gradually adding more weapons to his renowned determination, a metaphorical small plate trophy was a fitting reward. Awesome, just awesome.
On a personal note, it has been 17 years since I was last in Ithaca, accompanying the Dartmouth teams to a handy win… and I was gratified to notice that not only don’t I think I’ve changed since 2000… but certainly neither has Ithaca.
Overall it was a whirlwind Labor Day weekend in Upstate New York. For Scozzie it wasn’t exactly veni, vidi, vici – perhaps a little more vestis virum reddit (in Ted’s case 😉 – but sincerely more forest, fortuna, adiuvat! Congratulations to the Scozzies who were certainly the brave, especially Lauren and Ted who showed the benefit of hard work, kept the faith and won big matches. Proud of ya!
The 7th Season of Scozzie awaits. Every year we have players step up to that next level of achievement, that higher echelon or ranking and those titles that may have previously been beyond reach. It’s go time! Phase 1 starts today, the first Gold of the season is on home soil at EA this coming weekend and then we make the trek to the wilds of Ohio (note Scozzie Coaches fav. song about Ohio) for the first JCT event of the season.
What the mind can conceive and the heart can believe, you can achieve! Let’s make some memories and write some new chapters in Scozzie history!