Squashing the Competition: A Mid-Season Review

SMUS_squashes-the-competition

by Chris Hanebury, coach

The 2014-15 SMUS squash season started with a number of amazing results. In November, four members of the team traveled to Yale University to watch the Ivy League Scrimmages. Hedvika Suchankova, Madison Liew, Robert Fisher and Euan Hannigan were able to witness the top collegiate squash players and explore the breathtaking Yale campus. Many of our squash team alumni have gone on to compete at American universities and this trip gave some of our top players the opportunity to see what their future squash and academic careers could look like.

Leading the way, once again thus far, is Grade 11 student Grace Thomas. Grace began the year finishing second at the Shawnigan Lake Tournament, first at the Alberta Jesters, third at the Canadian Junior Open and also recently won the BC Junior Open. Grace will also represent Team BC at the Canada Winter Games next month. Hedvika joined the team from the Czech Republic and has also had some fine results. She finished third at the Shawnigan Lake tournament and at the BC Junior Closed Championships. Madison Liew moved up age categories this season, but has also had some impressive results, including a second-place finish at the BC Junior Open; while Senior Uma Hallea had a good start to her season, as she won the Shawnigan Lake silver event.

On the boys’ side of things, new team member and Grade 9 student Nathan Von Hagen has enjoyed the most success. Nathan won the silver division at the Shawnigan Lake tournament, finished third at the Alberta Jesters and second at the BC Junior Open. Euan has improved steadily throughout the year and displayed his fine form by having two good wins at the Canadian Junior Open to reach the Round of 16. Jason Yoo has had another strong year to date. He finished third at the Evergreen Junior Open, third at the Alberta Jesters and fifth at the BC Junior Open. Lucas Galloway enjoyed a successful tournament at the Evergreen Junior Open, where he won the boys’ under 15B.

Our team has lots of young up-and-coming future squash stars, too. This is evidenced by the success of our Junior boys ISA squash team, which includes Lucas Galloway (Grade 8), Seung Choi (Grade 7) and Christian Yuen (Grade 5). Lucas, Seung and Christian joined forces with Euan and Nathan to win the Junior boys’ category at the ISA Team Championships. Seung clinched the match, overcoming a two-games-to-love deficit and down a match ball to win in extra points in the fifth and deciding game. Our girls team had another strong showing. The team, consisting of Grace, Hedvika, Madison, Uma and Sun-Eui Choi, won all of their matches to capture their second consecutive title. Our Senior boys team, made up of Robert, Jason Yoo, Ryan Cui, Leif Skogland, Matthew Wong and Phillip Sing, finished an impressive third in a very competitive division.

Also up-and-coming is Alex Brown (Grade 5), who finished third at the Alberta Jesters and won the under 13 division at the BC Junior Closed Championship. The SMUS squash program is getting stronger and deeper each year!

There are still a number of big events and titles to be claimed this season. The Pacific Northwest Juniors Squash Championships are here in Victoria (including some games at SMUS) from February 12-15, which draws many of the top juniors from across the country. The Provincials are in March, and the Nationals are in April in Calgary. Follow the team results and updates on Twitter at SMUSsquash, and come out to support the team in the local upcoming PNW tournament.

For more information on our comprehensive squash program, go to our website.

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Kyle Slavin
Kyle Slavin is the school's storyteller. Through words and photos, he shares with the community all the amazing things that happen on campus.

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