Monday, January 5, 2015

As Day 3 begins...

Day 3 begins and we'll bring you up to speed from Day 2 (apologies for the lack of blog posts, internet connection issues), and what a day it was. The heart strings were pulled with three epic encounters where Team USA were on the wrong end of 3-2 losses in round of 16 matches to make it into the last 8 of the BJO. Dana Santry, Conner Stolz and Marina Stefanoni - who was 2-0 up against the #1 seed) - deserve a special mention for the way in which they represented their country under extreme pressure.

Along with those players, we've had some fantastic individual performances from all of our player's over the course of the first two days. Emily Schuster saved a match ball in the 5th to pull out a 13-11 win. Andrew Barr came within a whisker of upsetting a Malaysian junior falling short in the fifth and Timmy Brownell followed up a disappointing loss to his USJO final opponent - another intensely close five games - by beating an up and coming English player to proceed.

We have named but a few, we have 3 BU15's playing off for 17-20th place, and the same with the GU17's. As first times go, this has been a great showing from the U.S. Team.

Monday sees Day 3 and the day in which our places will place. Some have one match, others two, but with some tired bodies and minds, the coaches will be doing all the can to motivate and inspire, not that it takes much work given how proud they've been to wear Team USA on their backs this week.

Continue to follow the action on twitter @TeamUSASquash

Saturday, January 3, 2015

BJO 2015 - Day 2 Update

Team USA were rolling again this morning winning 12 out of 18 matches. Notable performances came from Conner Stolz and Dana Santry who are the only two U.S. players to be left in the main draw and play again this afternoon.

Of the other matches, a majority of those that came up short yesterday were able to turn around their fortunes and get back to winning ways. For some it's a case of finishing as strong as possible, ensuring they finish at or above their seeding and gaining as much experience as possible.

Coming up against some of the highly seeded English, Egyptian and Malaysian players has been a great experience, and we're hoping it won't be long until Team USA will be able to break into that group more frequently.

More matches to come this afternoon, use the link below to see how all our players are doing.

Or follow on twitter @TeamUSASquash

That's a wrap on Day 1 @ the BJO 2015!

Team USA went through a mixture of emotions on Day 1 of the BJO 2015. After a 13-0 start at Hallamshire, the players began to realize why the British Junior Open is held with such prestige and considered a kind of age groups world championships.

The presence of Team USA definitely seems to be adding to the event, something that we hope to make more consistent in years to come. When the team begins to get behind one of our players, the noise levels rise considerably and the buzz around the venue spreads that there could be a potential upset on the cards.

Still in the main draw is Timmy Brownell, Sean Hughes, Dana Santry, Conner Stolz, Andrew Barr, Douglas Conigliaro, Marina Stefanoni and Emily Schuster. On Saturday they will be vying for a place in the last 16.

There were some incredible performances from the team on Day 1 and those not in the main draw will re-group and go again on Day 2 to finish as high as possible in the standings.

Continue to follow Team USA on twitter @TeamUSASquash

Friday, January 2, 2015

BJO 2015 - Day 1

Team USA made a great start on Friday morning at the BJO 2015, winning 10 out of their 13 matches. There were some notable performances, but Douglas Conigliaro stole the morning by pulling out a great victory in four games with a capacity crowd and a big Team USA following.

The Under 17 and Under 19 players are on court later today, continue to follow our progress on twitter...


(left) Simba Muhwati (L) and Douglas Conigliaro (R) after a 3-1 win.

(above/right) All smiles at lunch after the morning session.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year from Team USA!

Happy New Year from Team USA! We brought in the new year with a light hitting session before departing for Sheffield.

The team traveled the short journey with much excitement, safe in the knowledge that their preparations have gone well, and that they were ready for the tournament to start. The level of professionalism from the team has been impressive and there's a sense that we could really cause some upsets this weekend.

It's Thursday night, the players are settled into the tournament hotel, and ready to go in the morning. To see the team in their Team USA uniforms will be a great sight this week and the team camaraderie will be on show for all to see. Be sure to follow the results at the link below, as well as on twitter @TeamUSASquash.

2015 BJO Results and Draws:

Team USA ready for BJO..

Once the the first training session was under our belts, and equally as important a good nights sleep, Team USA took to preparing for Friday's first round matches with some group training sessions with a focus on good footwork, finding their line and length before some match play in the afternoon.

The team, which is 27 strong with 6 coaches leading the team, have utilized all the facilities at The Village Hotel, Warrington. Along with the four squash courts, we have been able to have access to the bike studio, gym equipment, pool area, steam room and sauna. We have been welcomed with open arms by all the staff at the hotel and couldn't have prepared any better for the event.

Maintaining a balance between ensuring the players are ready physically and mentally for the weekend, as well as keeping them relaxed has been the focus over the first two days in England. The team seem extremely excited to be able to pull on the Team USA jacket's with pride, something we will be leaning on when it's game time!

The players will bring in the New Year together tonight, before one last session in Warrington in the morning before our bus journey to Sheffield.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Team USA arrive in England for the 2015 British Junior Open!

For the first time ever, Team USA's junior team will be descending on Sheffield for the 2015 British Junior Open.

On Tuesday December 30th, the players arrived at The Village Hotel, Warrington, for three days training before beginning their quest across the Pennines to Sheffield for the 2015 BJO hosted at Hallamshire Tennis & Squash Club, Abbeydale Sports Club and Fulwood Sports Club.

The British Junior Open is considered the world age-group championships at all age groups other than U19, however some formidable names have been crowned BJO Champion in the past. Names include, Nick Matthew, Greg Gaultier, Karim Darwish, Ramy Ashour (all previous World #1's) and current world #1 Mohamed Elshorbagy - a recent university graduate - on the male side. For the women, names such as Nicol David, Nour El Sherbini and Camille Serme.

Team USA will continue to work hard and are striving to add to the names of Michelle Quibell (GU17) and Olivia Blatchford (GU15) who have previously won BJO titles.

Follow all the action here, or on twitter @TeamUSASquash.

Go Team USA!!