The famous Newport Steamer event returned to the US Squash calendar for the first time since 2015. The highly popular event was held between Portsmouth Abbey and St Georges around the highly illustrious town of Newport. The total entry was close to 300, the largest number of participants at a Gold event in 2017 and after a huge summer of competition, this tournament was the penultimate summer gold for the new 2017/18 season. Huge ranking points were on offer, with the kids desperately seeking valuable points hoping to make the final cut off before Septembers JCT in Ohio. 17 Scozzie’s made the trip to the Ocean State and on Sunday, we all drove back with a weekend of memories to reflect upon.
The GU17 draw had our deepest representation, with Alexis, Lauren, Zoe and Margo all flying the Scozzie flag throughout the weekend. Lauren and Alexis both had great R1 victories, which set up an All Scozzie R2. Alexis was in the form of her life after gaining a one in a lifetime experience representing Team USA in Israel at the Maccabi Games last month and beat Lauren 3/0 in an extremely high quality match. She then went one step further and won her 3rd successive 3/0, this time upsetting the #3 seed to reach her first U17 Gold Semi Final. The number 1 seed was a little too good in the semi’s, but Alexis bounced back to defeat the #2 seed in the 3/4 play off and seal a memorable 3rd place finish.
Margo went on a great run to win 3 matches in a row 3/0 and won the Plate. Lauren made it to the Consolation Semi Finals on Sunday and Zoe had a good run in the consols, before losing to a tough opponent. It’s a huge season for our U17 girls as they begin their junior year and college recruiting process. This event was a great learning experience indicating improvement factors to get our girls ahead of the rest of the division. August is going to be a huge training month before the summer Finger Lakes Gold and we can’t wait to begin implementing the key tools to that elusive top 32 ranking.
Our other 2 semi finalists were Devon (GU15) and Elliot (BU11). Devon has just aged up and had the best win of the year, avenging a 3/0 defeat in R2 of Gold Nationals, but reversing the scoreline this time around against her higher seeded opponent. It was the perfect example of a targeted focus towards the learning experiences of a disappointing defeat and after implementing all the fixes across the 4 training months post Nationals, to then come back and reverse the scoreline within 6 months. Great stuff Devon. Unfortunately she lost out in a hard fought semi final 3/1 to the eventual winner. Elliot had a very challenging draw and had to dig deep in R2 and then the quarters to win 3/1 on both occasions and match his 3/4 seeding. His semi final opponent had 30lbs and 4 inches on Elliot and he struggled to neutralize his opponents power. A 3/0 defeat was a tough pill to swallow, but he gained many valuable learning lessons into how to absorb power and contrast game plans before he moves up to U13 later this year.
Matt Kang become a fan favorite over the course of the weekend with his relentless energy and effort. It’s incredible to think that Matt only started squash less than 10 months ago and played his first ever Bronze event at the start of the year. Fast forward 6 months and he’s a couple of points away from upsetting the #1 seed in the quarter final of a Gold! His 6th place finish was his highest finish of his career and should propel him into the top 40 of the rankings before the season kicks of officially in 1 month time. His name sake – Matt Wang, also made some headlines in the BU15. After a big R1 victory, he was drawn to face the #1 rated 14 year old in the world – Sam Todd, British Open Champion from England. Matt relished the experience and put together some fantastic rally construction, which was capped with some stunning winners. Definitely a moment he won’t forget anytime soon!
Other highlight results included;
-Alex W 2/0 down comeback victory in 5 in R1 -Chase vs Ethan All Scozzie match up in Bu13 Consolation -Nick P and Chris L first round victories against higher ranked opponents
Hope everyone had a safe trip back from Newport and avoided the dreaded beach traffic. Less than one month out from Finger Lakes summer concluding Gold event, let’s make August the biggest improvement month yet this summer! Stay tuned for all the Scozzie press releases regarding next season, lots of exciting additions to be announced very soon! Can’t wait to catch up with everyone tomorrow and kick off Day 1 of Block 3 Summer in style!