Athletics Review: March 15, 2009

Grade 9 Girls Basketball
On Tuesday, the Grade 9 girls basketball team faced PCS in the Victoria City final. After a tightly contested regular season encounter against PCS, the game started at a competitive pace. By the end of the first quarter, the teams were tangled in a 7-7 tie. In the second quarter, SMUS faced some early foul trouble and found themselves down 20-14 at the half. The girls fought hard in the second half to minimize the PCS lead.

Sara Taylor pulled down some clutch offensive rebounds to propel the team with her second chance opportunities. A standout performance came from Madison Hadfield, who led the team with 16 points. Ali Pollen was able to hit some key baseline mid-range jumpers to bring the game back to within 2 points. At the end of the game the result was a 39-35 – a PCS victory. However, the SMUS team pulled together a true team performance and finished off a season to be proud of.

Squash
Some outstanding squash was seen and played by our Senior team at the BC Junior Closed Tournament in West Vancouver (Feb. 6-8, 2009). The tournament usually has the best youth players in BC. Five girls and five boys represented SMUS this year.

Except for Nicole Bunyan, the girls played in a round-robin for their category, so that each athlete played a total of five matches over the three days. With most of the round-robin play between SMUS athletes, the girls had a chance to demonstrate a lot of the skill and tactical play they have been practising over the season. The best matches were between SMUS girls. Emily Feng gave it her all but fell a little short in most of her matches; however, she had some great points and showed improvement in her match play. Lisa Evans lost a close match to Charmaine Niewerth. Lisa won the first set but Charmaine’s consistency and power helped make her victorious as the match progressed.

Lisa did play well against two unfamiliar opponents in the round-robin; she had some great serves to their backhand and she hit consistent deep drives which really set her up well during most points. In a nail-biting match to decide 1st and 2nd place, Samantha Dark and Charmaine battled to five sets. The two girls played their best squash of the season as they exchanged long, intense rallies, especially in the last three sets. Despite leading 6-4 in the final set, Charmaine was unable to hold the lead to the end and Samantha prevailed.

For the boys, Justus Koenigs had very competitive, close matches all weekend. Playing someone he had lost to 3-2 at the PNW tournament earlier this season, Justus was determined to win. Many rallies were long and hard fought but unfortunately, Justus lost this semi-final match in four close sets. In the following match for 3rd/4th, Justus went five sets but lost in the fifth. Despite losing these last two matches, Justus played well overall and gained much match experience. Cole Turner, as a fifteen year old in the Boys U17, battled illness and tough competition in all of his matches. As with all of the other players, Cole gained some invaluable tournament experience and observed some inspirational squash. He finished in 3rd place in the Boys U17 “B” Bronze Plate.

Lachlan Glen displayed much courage and never gave up despite being very ill all weekend. His constant coughing and lack of energy prevented him from winning any matches the first two days. On Sunday, playing in the Boys U17 “B” Silver level, Lachlan won his final match in five sets, showing a deadly drop shot and good deep drives to win points with efficiency. Tyler Olson had a good run through his portion of the draw. As a fifteen-year-old, Tyler played opponents who were at least one or two years his senior. Not dropping a set until the final, Tyler faced a seventeen-year-old opponent new to BC. In a superbly played match going five full sets, Tyler came up short in the fifth set, losing 11-9. The gallery gave the two athletes a resounding ovation at the conclusion of the match. Each point was quite often won with rallies lasting over thirty or forty strokes; some amazing drop shots and effective lobs highlighted many points. Here is a summary of the results for the team:

Event Result
Girls U19 and U17 1st place (Nicole Bunyan)
1st place (Nicole Bunyan)
Girls U19 “B” 1st place (Samantha Dark)
2nd place (Charmaine Niewerth)
4th place (Emily Feng)
5th place (Lisa Evans)
Boys U19 and U17 1st place U17 (Tyler Olson)
2nd place U19 (Tyler Olson)
Boys U17 “B” 1st place (Lachlan Glen)
3rd place (Cole Turner)
4th place (Justus Koenigs)
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