November is arguably one of the busiest months of the squash season. From the beginning of the College Squash season, to School squash commencing, to consecutive PA Silvers followed by the middle JCT… All of which arrive before Thanksgiving! It’s a whirlwind 3 weeks and Scozzies past and present started the process in style this past weekend. 15 Scozzie’s competed at the PSC Silver, 7 were at Greenwich Gold and 15+ were active in CSA’s first weekend of action including past Scozzie’s representing All 8 Ivies at the Ivy Scrimmage weekend at Yale.
The PSC Silver saw Scozzie strive on Super Saturday, with 10 semi finalists by mid afternoon and finished the day with 4 finalists from the 7 age groups. The incredible feat was made more impressive as each finalist was split between all divisions – U13, U15, U17 and U19. Our U13 finalist – Ethan Lee was in unstoppable form on route to the final. Unfortunately he faced another Ethan L in the final and came off second best in a well contested match up. Wynne C was next up and looked desperate to lift Scozzie’s first trophy of the weekend. Desperate facing an opponent 2 years her senior and with a 0.3 rating advantage, Wynne staged a huge comeback in Game 3 to claw one game back and keep the dream alive. She couldn’t have given any more effort and by the end of game 4, the energy reserves were slowly running down. It may have been a 3/1 defeat, but Wynne did herself proud and gained some tremendous experience from her first U15 finals.
The buck was then passed to U17 finalist, Nikhil, who just like Ethan and Wynne earlier came up against the number 1 seed. Surely it was going to be 3rd time lucky?! Unfortunately not. Nikhil had sensational structure throughout, but as the match progressed, he occasionally missed the finishing touch. 3 games went to extras and the match was 75minutes long. Desperate a 1/0 lead and game ball opportunities in games 2 and 4, it wasn’t to be for the young EA Sophomore. A tough loss, but unquestionably, Nikhil will bounce back stronger and continue his impressive improvement. Finally, our U19 representative – Nick P! After 3 heartbreaking final losses, all the pressure was presented to Nick who carried Scozzie hopes and dreams on his shoulders. The young man came through a tricky division in devastating fashion and had a signature weekend making a huge statement to his rivals and peers. Seeded 2, he upset the odds and won the division without dropping a set. The 16 year old sensation looked in top form throughout the weekend and is peaking at just the right moment with the hectic tournament schedule ahead. Finally the coaches could rejoice… a weekend of hard work and a champion to show! To add to his achievement, Nick is also our Scozzie of the Week for going 4-4 as a U19 and is still undefeated in the division!
As well as our 4 finalists, we had an additional 6 players competing in 3/4 play offs on Sunday. A huge congratulations to our podium placing 3rd Place players; Lindsay, Corey and Jeff who had impressive victories in the bronze medal match ups. 4th place finishes and some hard earned US Squash ranking points were awarded to Bella, Nayan and Michelle. Trophies were also collected by Aru and Sean who won the U13 and U15 Consolation divisions. Match of the tournament went to an All Scozzie match up of Aru vs Jake, who played out an epic 5 gamer at 9am on Sunday and both Scozzie’s represented themselves very well and competed like true sportsman. The Scozzie coaches were very proud of everyone throughout the weekend, lots of learning experiences to take and move forward with before next weekends AIS Silver.
Although the PSC Silver went roughly to seeding, elsewhere in US Squash, upsets became the norm (did we mention the Eagles scoring 50+ on Denver D yet?!)! Matt W had not 1, not 2, but 3 upset victories on route to a career highest 5th place finish at the Greenwich Gold. Seeded below, rated below and having lost to all 3 players in their previous 2017 encounter… revenge as truly sweet for the young Haverford freshman. At the same event, Gwen had her first top 8 finish at U19 Gold event with a 7th place finish and Kristen made the U17 Consolation Final despite only recently aging up. Finally in CT – Gio took game 1 off the number 2 seed before succumbing in 4 fiercely contested games and Charlotte stormed to a U13 Consolation semi final.
Scozzie’s personal highlight from the weekend was receiving all the pictures from Scozzie graduates across the country, catching up and competing against one another in the opening weekend of CSA match ups. All results can be found on the CSA website (http://collegesquashassociation.com/). Ivy Scrimmages didn’t count as officially fixtures, but our personal favorite was Sean vs Max and Harvard vs Brown, as two of our all time favs battled at the number 2 position. Sean came out victorious this time 11-8,11-7 in the best of 3 and Harvard ended up sweeping Brown in Max’s freshman season.
Other congratulations go to Mike, who is playing number 1 at Navy and almost had a huge win over top 10 ranked Ontario, as he went down in 5 games and Navy, along with fellow Scozzie Owen, went down 7/2. Vince was the hero for Dickinson as they had their biggest win in history, with a massive 7/2 win over the highly anticipated UVA team. Impressively, UVA and Justin Shah bounced back to defeat F&M the following day. Everyone needs to come along for Thanksgiving morning on November 23rd, where our annual Scozzie Turkey Bowl will be contested between the Alum vs All-Stars. We have a record turnout from our college Alum and it is definitely a day not to miss!
Final thing. Carson Wentz and the Birds. 8-1 heading into a bye week! Although the Eagles potential Super Bowl isn’t until February, Scozzie has next weekends AIS Silver to immediately prepare for! A big week ahead, stay tuned for all the latest news and updates!