2018 WSA Club Championship

2018 Club Championship

Despite the Nor’easter the previous day, 15 intrepid members came to the club on Saturday March 3rd to compete in the Adult Club Championship.

It was a great tournament. Notable was the fact that there were enough women participating that we could have a round robin for them at the B level (two other women played in the main draw). Beth Meister, Sabrina Maestrini, Radhika Dewan, Valerie Leger and Rokaya Hassaballa all played four matches, all best of 5. Rokaya won the tournament with Sabrina coming in a close 2nd. The best part of it is they met different members and are now playing on a regular basis.

In the main draw, we had a 10 players: Niki Abou Taleb, Hadley Barr, Tomas Bruun, Paul Lapey, Steven Lee, Phoebe Lindsey, Mark Litvin, David Mills, Bob Mulvena and Bilal Shafiq. And the Club Champion for 2018 is Bilal Shafiq ---- congratulations! Niki Abou Taleb came in second. In the consolation draw, Hadley Barr and Paul Lapey faced off in the finals --- congratulations to Paul who won in 4 games.

Thanks to all who made the effort to get here after the storm. A good time was had by all.

The Tournament Season Has Picked Up At WSA

And the Juniors Keep Playing Tournaments…….

The month of October was a very busy month for tournaments. First, we hosted our own Junior Bronze on October 14-15. It was a wonderful weekend of junior play. It was extraordinary watching the kids put their all into each match, diving and sprinting and crashing to the ground. The enthusiasm and excitement were contagious.

WSA had thirteen members participating in this tournament. For some of them, it was the first time competing in a tournament, others simply added to their previous experience. All of them performed well on and off the court. All of them showed great sportsmanship and courtesy. Well done. We are very proud of them all.

We had 6 players in the BU11. Rush Slivjanovski came in #2. He was very poised on the court and ran down everything. Ronan Cheng – Slater had a great tournament. He had a tough 4 game loss to the #1 seed. He really began to feel the court, getting a sense of where the ball was going and the best way to move there. He played 4 matches, 2 wins and 2 losses. Spencer Hammond performed well too. He had a tough first round. Then he won his second in 3 games. The first game was a tight one but he prevailed 12-10. Then he lost in a tight 4 gamer. He won the first game, let down a bit in the second, lost in a tie breaker in the 3rd and lost the 4th. Ignacio Castro had some really tough matches. He won his first one in 5 games, two of them in tie-breakers. Then he lost in 3 and went to the consolations. There he won his first match and then had to play the same boy that he beat in the 1st round in 5 for the finals of the consolations. It was a great match to watch. Both boys played their hearts out. This time Ignacio lost in the 4th but they still had a tie breaker in one of the games! Both Danyial Naeem and Jonah Baron had tough draws. It was fun to watch them improve with each match. It was wonderful to watch them try hard, be great sportsmen and enjoy the sport.

In BU13 we had Charlie Friedman and Aneesh Naresh. Charlie played 4 matches. He won 2 and lost 2.  His first loss was a close one – 5 games with one tie breaker. This was against the #1 seed. His other loss was in 4 games. Nice effort.  Aneesh had a first round win. He did it in 3 games, one of them going to a tie breaker. His next two matches were close but he just couldn’t close it out. He lost in 3 games in the 2nd match, with 2 tie breakers and the next was in 4 games with 1 tie breaker.

In BU15, Austin Kelly and Andrew Felton played. Austin played 4 matches, he too won 2 and lost 2. His wins were well fought, both 4 games and both with a tie breaker. Austin had great concentration in these matches. Andrew Felton played a great tournament. He won his first two matches. He had to dig deep in the second, but he did and put himself into the finals. He came in 2nd in the tournament. Well done!

In GU13 (we had to merge GU11 and GU13), we had Zoe Dichter and Callie Hammond. Zoe did very well. Ultimately, she lost in the consolation finals in a well fought 4 gamer.  She won 3 matches and lost 2.  Callie won the consolation play offs.  She had a couple of tough losses, both of them in 5 games. Unfortunately, she arrived to play her playoff finals and her opponent did not show up. She won by default which is never very satisfying.

Then we had Katie Hennessey in the U17 (we had to merge the U15 with U17). It was not a huge draw but Katie played really well and won! Every match you play with a new opponent makes you better.   Well done.

During that same weekend, there was a Gold Tournament at Dartmouth. Maddox Moxhom played in the BU13. He had a tough first round, losing in 4. Then he played well in the next two rounds in the consolations. Unfortunately, he needed to retire during the semis of the consolation.  Then we had both Mackesy brothers competing in the BU17s. Both played very well. Tyler had a wonderful tournament.  All of his 5 matches were tough. The first round he won in 4, after losing the first game in a tie breaker, he buckled down and won the next 3 with authority. His 2ndmatch he won in 5 games, again losing the first one, then winning the next two but here he faltered and lost the 4th but regains his focus and wins the 5th. His 3rd round he won in 4 games. The semis were a well-played match that he won in 3 games, the last one in a tie breaker. Then it was the finals. Even though he lost in 3 games, each one was close, the last two, tie breakers.

Coulter also had a good tournament. He won the first round in 4. But in the second round he fell in 3. But he dominated in the consolation, winning his next three matches. The semifinals in the consolations was his toughest. He went 5 games. He won the 1st two games but then his opponent changed up his game and won the next two. Coulter figured it out and won the 5th.

Also on this busy tournament weekend, there was a silver tournament at Brunswick School in Greenwich. We had 4 members there and they all did really well. Our first was Emma Lee in the G13s. She came in 2nd, losing the finals in 4 and a tie breaker. It was a tough one. Her first two matches were well fought. She won the 1st round in 4 games and the second in 3 but both were very competitive. Well done!

In BU13 we had both Ben Korengold and James Murphy. Ben played really well that weekend. He dominated in his first two rounds, winning both in 3 games. The he lost to the ultimate winner of the tournament in 5 games with one tie breaker in the semis. It was a tough one. Then he won in 3 games for the playoffs of the main draw, so he placed in 3rd.  James also good first two rounds, winning each in three strong games. Then there were two tough matches. But he placed 4th in the tournament. Strong finish for both boys. 

William Murphy won the BU15! Awesome ---- there is no more to be said. 

The next tournament was the Regionals on the weekend of October 20th. Throughout the country, there are tournaments divided by region. We play in the New York Region which covers all of New York and the northern part of New Jersey. We had seven members participate that weekend.

In BU11 we had Zane Kohn. He did very well by placing second. He had four matches and he won three of them in a definitive manner. The finals were against the Number 1 seed. Though he lost in 3 games in this match, Zane played well --- a well fought match. Great Job!

Ben Korengold participated in the BU13 division. He had a tough first match, losing in 4. He won his next three matches decisively. One match he won 0,0 & 0. That is a really tough way to win. It takes a lot of concentration.

Christopher Laal represented us in the BU15. He played four well fought matches. All of the matches went four games. This is all really good experience.

We had three members in BU17 --- Coulter Mackesy, Anourag Shah and Nicolo Abou Taleb. Anourag played four matches. He won his first on in 5 games. It was a nice hold. Then he lost in the next round in 4 games. In the consolations he won his first round in another five gamer. Unfortunately, he lost the next round in 4. It was a lot of squash over the weekend. Niki played 6 matches. In the main draw he he had two wins and then lost to the boy who eventually won the whole division. Then he had two wins in the consols, very solid wins but lost in the semi-finals of the consolation. It was a good run for him. Coulter had a good tournament. He ultimately came in 2nd, losing to Taha Dinana in the finals.

On the girls’ side of the tournament, we had Emma Lee playing in a division above her age in GU13. She had a tough first round and lost in 5 games. It was a tough loss. Then she went on to win the next round relatively easily but lost in the semi in a tough 4 gamer, with two tie breakers. 

The next tournament our juniors played in was the Greenwich Gold on the weekend of November 3rd.  In BU 11 Zane Kohn won in his first round (8, (6), 3, 8), then he had a couple of tough losses.

In BU 13 Ben Korengold had a nice run; he had two nice wins, both in three games. Then He had two losses, one in three games and one in 4. James Murphy also had a good run - he won his first match in three, then lost. But he had two wins in the consolation – the 2nd one going five games (7,(4), (7), 12,5) and then a tough loss.

In BU 17 we had Justin Barr participating. He had a tough first match, losing in four games. Then he had a great win in the first round of consols: (8), 9, 7, (5), 6). Then he lost the next round.

For the girls, we had Emma Lee playing in GU13. She played very well in an age group up from her actual age. She lost in the first round, won the second and then lost 2 five gamers. It was two tough losses. We also had Katie Hennessey playing in this division. She had a tough first match and she lost in three. Then she won in 4, lost in 4, won in 3 and lost in 3.  It was a great experience for everyone.

Next up is a Bronze Tournament, the weekend of November 11 at Squash Alley in Stamford. In BU11, we have Spencer Hammond and Ronan Cheng-Slater participating. Spencer lost his first match in 3 games but he clearly was figuring out his opponent by the third game because it was a close one. Ronan won his first two matches, both in 3 games but each game was not easy.

Charlie Friedman and Daniel Hochberg represented us in BU 13. Charlie ended up winning the Classic Plate. Congratulations! He won his first round in three games but lost the next. Then in the Classic Plate he wins the next two in three games. Great weekend of play. Daniel had a tough first round win in four long games – 12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6. Then he had two tough matches in a row, losing both in three.

Austin Kelly played in BU15. He lost his first match in four games. Then in his second, he lost in three but clearly improved as the match went on because the games were tight. And then disappointingly, his 3rd opponent defaulted. That is never very fun – you are at tournaments to play squash! 

On the girls’ side, our lone representative was Callie Hammond in GU 13 and she won her division! Congratulations. She won her first match in 4 games. She had lost the third game in a tie-breaker (13-11) and oftentimes it is hard to shake it off and close the match but she did in the 4th – 11-3. Then she wins her next two matches, both in five games. And the most impressive is in both of them, she lost the first two games but she figures out the weaknesses of each opponent and wins the next three. Well done!

Good Luck to everyone in the next tournament.

Junior League Recap for 2017

There remains a lot of excitement over the matches being played by our juniors against other clubs in the Junior League.

Our next match was against City Squash on Saturday October 28th. We played the match here. We won 6-3. There were some wonderful matches and everyone seemed to really enjoy the competition as well as the camaraderie.  Our ladder consisted of Daniel Hochberg (3-0); Luke Stronski (3-1); Aditya Singh (3-0); Zoe Dichter (3-0); Danyal Naeem (1-3); Jonah Baron (3-1); Anika Shah (1-3); Ali El Moselhy (1-3) and Kamilla El Moselhy (3-0).

The following match was on Saturday November 4 away at The Master’s School against Masters PPS. It was fun to see a different venue and we won 6-3. Our team on that day was Aneesh Naresh (3-0); Daniel Hochberg (3-0); Austin Kelly (3-0); Sammy Spiegel (3-0); Ronan Cheng-Slater (3-0); Ignacio Castro (3-0); Leo-Paul Leger (3-0); Lily Shaaban (1– 3); Jonah Baron (2-3); Nate Smith (3-0) and Spencer Baron (0-3). The one match of note is Jonah Baron’s. He went five games. In the 5th game he was down 8 – 2 and he clawed his way back only to lose in a tie breaker, 11-13. He showed great perseverance. Well done to all.

Thank you to all who planned to play in the next match scheduled for November 11. We were able to pull together a full team but unfortunately, neither of our opponents could gather a full complement. The match is postponed with the date to be determined.

On Saturday Nov. 30, we’ll have a home rematch against Bronxville Field Club.

Good luck to all!

Jr. League Match WSA vs City Squash.jpeg
Jr. League Match.jpeg

Abou's Cup Kicks Off for the 2017-2018 season

The Abou Cup competition has begun! The first match was held on Thursday October 26th. The Nicks took on The Vikings. Despite the small numbers, the matches were exciting. The Nicks won 3-0. For the Nicks, Phoebe Lindsey took on Mark Moore. Phoebe prevailed in 4 games. Then Nicolo Abou Taleb took on Mike McManus. The first game was a close one, ending in a tie breaker. Niki won the game and then held on tightly and won in three. The last match was the nail biter. Mike Weinbach played against Tomas Bruun. Mike won the first game easily but then Tomas changed gears and the match became exciting. Mike won in the 5th, 11-1,8-11,11-6,9-11,11-2. The next match was on Thursday November 9 – The Heartbreakers against Above the Tin.  The match ended in a tie: 2-2. In the first match Bilal Shafiq took on Ian Lapey. Bilal won in three games. Then JB Sarkar had a great match against Eliza Mills. Eliza won in three games but the games were close. It was fun to watch. In the next match, Mark Litvin played against Fred Leger. It was Fred’s first league match and he played well despite his loss. Valerie Leger won by default. After the matches, everyone mixed up the opponents just to have more play. A good time was had by all.

The next match is on Thursday November 30th at 7:30. The Nicks (Team A) are taking on The Heartbreakers (Team C)

Westchester County Adult League (May 22, 2017)

On Monday May 22, four Bronxville players travelled to WSA to try again to defeat us. The matches were long and fun but we prevailed once again.

In the #1 position Mike Weinbach took on Nick Burgin. The points were long and there was a lot of running. Both men had some great shots. But Mike wore him down and won 11-9, 11-9, 11-6. Then Bilal Shafiq played Bill Allen. This was a rematch from earlier in the season. It was a closer match this time but Bilal was still victorious, 8-11,11-1,11 -4, 10-12, 11-5. Bilal plays a very smart game. He holds his stroke long enough that it is tough to see where he is going to place his shot. He keeps his opponent on his heels. Third spot was David Mills against Paul Ranieri. The first game was close. But David held on 13 – 11. Then he gained his stride and won the next two games, 11-4 and 11-5. In the 4th spot was Tomas Bruun. He played Ranjit Bhatta. Tomas played well. He lost the first game 9-11 but then held on 11-6,11-8,11-4. Sasha Dichter came to play as well and he got a shot at Nick Burgin as well. He played two games and won both, 11-7 and 11-8. Afterwards, the men did a bit of a round robin and then ate pizza before heading home.

This has been a fun battle between the clubs this season. They have played each other 4 times. We are hoping to continue this friendly rivalry next year and hopefully we plan to include more clubs. It is enjoyable for both sides to be playing different people and in a competitive environment.

Westchester County Adult Squash League

WSA played its first interclub match on September 28 against Lifetime Fitness. Both teams were prepared with five players and although we played competitively and well, we lost 4-1. Fun was had by all with food, drinks and lots of laughs. We are currently second in the league and look forward to playing in other interclub matches against Pyramid, Westchester Country Club and Bronxville Field Club.


On Wednesday November 9th, the WSA Warriors took on Lifetime Fitness over in Harrison. It was the second time for a matchup between these two teams and our team was on the hunt for revenge. And revenge they got……. winning 3 matches to 2. The first time they met up with Lifetime, we lost 1-4.
Philip Spoerri, Sasha Dichter and Mike Weinbach all won definitively 3-0. It was a particularly sweet win by Philip since he lost to the same opponent the first time around. David Mills lost a tough one in 5 games. He lost the first two games, then figured out his opponent and won the next two only to fall in a close 5th game 11-8.
It appeared that everyone enjoyed themselves. We look forward to playing Westchester Country Club and Bronxville Field Club in the near future.

There have been three matches played so far in the Westchester County Adult Squash League. The first match was held at Westchester Squash Academy where Lifetime won 4 -1. The second was played at Lifetime where Westchester Squash Academy prevailed 3-2 and the third match was held on Monday, February 13 at the Bronxville Field Club where Westchester Squash Academy won a very close match 3/2. Bilal Shafiq won in the top spot, 3-1, Tomas Bruun had an epic battle in the 3rd spot and he won, 11-5,11-9,5-11,12-14,11-9 and Keith Hope won 3-1 in the 4th spot. Mike McManus lost in 3 but went on to play another match just for the fun of it. Michael Luskin also had a tough match but lost 14-16,8-11,11-3,11-7,7-11. Interestingly, both teams had the same total of points. After the games were done, they shared some food, drink and some good stories, particularly about Adham and his legacy at BFC.

adult match february.jpg

On Monday,April 17th,a second match was played against Bronxville Field Club at Westchester Squash.Our WSA team had a terrific win,3-0.The first match was Robert Fitts against Barry Kaplan.It was a long first game which went to Robert, 14 – 12. Then the next two were, 11-3, 11-8 to Robert. The second match was Tomas Bruun vs Paul Ranier.Tomas lost the first game 811,then got his rhythm and won the second game 11-9.The third game was a tough one but Tomas held his ground and won 16 -14. Tomas won the match 3-1 by winning the last game 11-9. It was a real battle. The match of the night was played between Bilal Shafiq against Nick Sheumack.Bilal had a comfortable 2-0 lead,each game relatively easy 11-5,11-6.Then Nick got his lob to a better height and started to anticipate Bilal’s shots and won the next two games 12 – 10 and 11-5.But in the last game,Bilal’s endurance and fitness became obvious and he won, 11-5. It was a great match to watch. It appeared everyone had fun.Most of the participants continued to play after their matches and shut the club down with great cheer and good sportsmanship. Congratulations to Westchester Squash Academy for winning the first season of the Westchester Squash Adult League. Hopefully we can continue to develop it next year with more players and more matches.

On Monday May 15, 4 of our members travelled to Bronxville for their 3rd competition against the Field Club.  And for the 3rd time, WSA was victorious. Bilal Shafiq played in the #1 spot. It was a good match with long points and great shot making. Bilal prevailed 3-1. David Mills was up next. His short game was very precise that night and he won 3-1 as well. Tomas Bruun played #3. He took control of the match from the beginning and won 3-0. Then he played a 2nd match because Bronxville had an extra man and Tomas won again 3-1. Robert Fitts played in the #4 position. He had the longest match of the night. It went 5 games and the points went on and on and on. Robert lost 2-3 but fought a good battle. Bronxville is coming here on Monday May 22 at 7:30. Come to play or come to watch. It should be a good match.

 

A Sports Psychology Partnership

Westchester Squash Academy has partnered with Dr. Alex Diaz of Sports Mental Edge to offer three sessions to help with your squash game.

Sunday, January 8 at 5:15PM
Developing Focus to Win
Our first session will be an introduction of Sports Psychology. It will focus on understanding triggers that lead to loss of focus, introduction of “concentration lapse” experiences, use of self-talk to facilitate re-focusing and use of practical exercises.

Sunday, February 12 at 5:15PM
Establishing Pre-During-Post Match Routines
The second session of our partnership will follow up on self-talk exercises, create a mental pre-game routine, development of a strategic mental map to address different game situations and use of a chart to guide athletes to track their pre-during-post experiences.

Sunday, March 12 at 5:15PM
Incorporating Mindfulness into Your Squash Game
Our third and final session will follow up on strategies discussed the previous two weeks and introduce the topic of focus awareness, practice of breathing relaxation exercises and use of chart to track breathing and mindfulness exercises.

Each session will be one hour and is open to junior and adult players of all levels and ages. You can sign up at the club or by emailing info@westchestersquash.com. For more information about Dr. Diaz please visit http://www.dralexdiazconsulting.com.

Sports mental edge.png

 

 

Congratulations to Emma Lee!

Emma player of the month.jpg

Emma has shown great improvement this season and has represented herself well in the tournament scene. In October Emma participated in the GU11 Halloween Silver Tournament at Pyramid squash and won division.
In November Emma played in the GU11 Lifetime Athletic Silver tournament and won division as well.
Emma continues to do well on the courts and recently came in first place in the GU11 division of the 2017 New York Regional Jr Championship that was held at Lifetime Fitness. We are very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to seeing more of her success on the courts.
We expect to see more great things from Emma who continues to improve each time she steps on court!

Like Father, Like Son

In the beginning of November Adham travelled to Cairo to accept an award on behalf of his father A. A. Abou Taleb. The Egyptian Squash Association honored him for his achievements in world competitions. The award was presented at the end of the Egyptian Open at the Wadi Degla Club.
Abdelfattah AbouTaleb, better known as "A.A. AbouTaleb", or simply "AbouTaleb", was a squash player from Egypt and won the British Open three times during the 1960s. AbouTaleb’s story starts from humble beginnings. He started out by sweeping the courts at Cairo's National Sporting Club, where his brother was the tennis professional. In the beginning, he had to make do with discarded broken rackets and burst balls.
AbouTaleb reached the final of the British Open for the first time in 1963, when he lost to Pakistan's Mo Khan in a five-set final 9-4, 5-9, 3-9, 10-8, 9-6. The British Open was in effect, the world championship of the sport at the time. AbouTaleb then went on to win the British Open title for the next three consecutive years. In 1964, he beat Mike Oddy of Scotland in the final 9-3, 9-7, 9-0. AbouTaleb's win that year marked the end of 13 years of Pakistani domination of the British Open men's title. The following year, AbouTaleb beat his fellow Egyptian player Ibrahim Amin in the final 9-0, 0-9, 9-1, 9-6. His third and final British Open title came in 1966, when he defeated Pakistan's Aftab Jawaid in the final 9-6, 5-9, 9-3, 9-1.
If you want to see an old video of AbouTaleb winning the British Open in 1964, go to YouTube and enter A.A. Abou Taleb and you can see a snippet of the match. It looks a lot different than today’s game. In many ways, it was a lot harder to play the game back then. Notice how small the head of the racquet is. That is a very small sweet spot! You could not win through sheer power alone; a lot of finesse was required.  Perhaps we should ALL practice a with those wooden racquets to improve our games!
It is wonderful that players of the past are recognized for their contribution towards today. Thank you to Adham’s father for blazing a path for squash players all over the world. It was honor for Adham to accept the award on behalf of his father.

Picture 1: Adham with Joey Barrington, commentator for Squash TV. Adham's father, AbouTaleb, played with Joey's father, Jonah Barrington.
Picture 2: Adham with Nicole David who is an eight-time World Champion

The Abou Cup Has Started!

It was a perfect start to the first annual Abou Cup when The Vikings played Above the Tin on Wednesday, October 19th. Each team fielded four players and the matches started with David Mills and Philip Spoerri. In their first game David defeated Philip 11-2. Philip came back winning the next three games 11-5, 11-6 and 11-6 demonstrating some great squash skills on the court and getting team Above the Tin off to a good start. The second match played was Keith Hope and Mark Moore where the Vikings made a comeback. In a four game match Keith and Mark battled it out 11-2, 11-2, 7-11 and 11-4 and evened the score between the teams. In the third match, Matthew Ratner defeated Donald McLauchlan 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 bringing The Vikings to a lead. In the fourth and final match, with everyone gathered around to see how this match would end, Karim Samy beat Dennis Jones 14-12, 11-4, 11-6. Overall, The Vikings won with a 3-1 victory. It was a great night filled with good squash, lots of laughs and tons of support from every team member. The next Abou Cup match will be on Saturday, November 5th when The Heartbreakers and The Vikings take to the courts at 2:00PM at WSA. 

Summer Camp 2016 Kicks Off at WSA

Our nine-week summer camp is off to a great start! Beginning June 27, juniors of all levels headed to the courts for a morning of skills sessions, practice, physical fitness, drills, supervised match play, and fun. Hitting pros Dennis Jones (pictured below) and Hadley Barr have been assisting Adham with the camp since June. 

Hadley Barr is a rising junior at Bronxville High School. A U.S. Squash Scholar-Athlete, she has been playing tournament squash since age 12 and has trained with Adham Abou Taleb for much of that time. She is now ranked nationally in the GU17 division and has been on the Bronxville Varsity Squash Team for the past two years. She has attended training camps at Harvard, Williams, and the College Showcase at the International Squash Academy. 

Dennis is a 17-year-old rising junior at Avon Old Farms School in Avon Ct.  He lives in Rye and began playing squash when he was 9 at the Westchester Country Club.  He has been ranked in the top 10 in the country in the U11, U13 and U15 divisions and was ranked in the top 20 in the U17 division. He has played for the New York and New England junior squads.  As a freshman he played number 4 for the Avon team which finished 3rd in the US and as a sophomore he played number 2 for the team which finished 4th in the US.  Dennis also enjoys lacrosse and golf. 

Space is available in the upcoming weeks for our summer camp which concludes on August 26. Please contact the club at 914-698-0095 or info@westchestersquash.com if you are interested in participating. For more information, visit the squash section of our website.