Readers of the February, 2019 Newsletter will recall the Richmond City Squash League ("RCSL") is the 6th largest squash league in the United States, with approximately 270 participants spanning seven decades of age. RCSL concluded its season on Wednesday, February 27. Kudos to the AC ACcelerators for their Championship, ably captained by Adil Ilyas and comprised of the team members listed below. Kudos as well to Balls Deep, captained by Chad Bradshaw, for a strong run to the Finals.
(1) JoAnn Jee (2) Mansoor Qureshi (3) Adil Ilyas (Captain) (4) Cesar Lopez (5) Bo Meng (6) David How (7) Carlos Valdes (8) Andy Janiga (9) Brooke Farquhar
2019 Virginia State Open
The 2019 Virginia State Open saw nearly forty (40) players arrive at The Country Club of Virginia over the weekend of March 22 - 24, 2019. Men and women competed across five (5) divisions with congratulations in order to the trophy winners listed below. We look forward to seeing everyone next Spring for the 2020 Virginia State Open. 3.0 Women - Anna Padgett (Champion) and Julia Padgett (Finalist) 3.0 Men - Stephen Kuffler (Champion) and Ben Jones (Finalist) 3.5 Men - John Jones IV (Champion) and Robert Gentil (Finalist) 4.0 Men - Meade Hall (Champion) and David Bibb (Finalist) 4.5 Men - Akhil Reddy (Champion) and Rick McRae (Finalist) 2019 PSA Richmond Open The 6th Annual PSA Richmond Open returned to Richmond April 9 - 13, 2019. A full draw of sixteen (16) women, ranked between #40 and #258 in the world, entertained the viewing public with their lively and spirited play over the course of the weekend. Our sincere congratulations to Champion Reeham Sedky, Finalist Olivia Feichter, and all the other participants. It is worth noting that Sedky did not lose a single game throughout the tournament. Youth Squash
Squash Rocks! has been vibrant and exciting this Winter and Spring, both on and off the court. Three of our young players, including two playing in their first-ever tournament, participated in the Salty Hawkins Tournament in January. This was followed by full capacity classes over Spring Break, combining 12 on-court sessions with field trips to the VMFA, the Science Museum, and a trip to the movies.
This Spring we continued our strong partnership with Anna Julia Cooper, providing two on-court sessions a week for three months. Most participants were trying squash out for the first time with many continuing to play thereafter. All current participants are 6th graders and we are excited at the prospect of them keeping up with the game this Summer and beyond.
We also hosted the inaugural SquashRocks! Benefit Tournament in May at the new squash courts at the Downtown Richmond YMCA . Matt Wishnoff and Arielle Lehman, two of the program's long-standing volunteers, MCV students, and great players in their own right, were the tournament organizers, working with Coach Russ Sterling to run the event. There was a great turnout and players battled across divisions ranging from Beginner to 4.5. It is worth noting that four of our regular young SquashRocks! players took part in the tournament, welcoming the competition and making us very proud of their exemplary behavior both on and off the court. Fun was had by all, and importantly, the event generated over $10,000 for Squash Rocks! - a fantastic achievement of which we are very appreciative of this level of engagement and generosity. This fundraising will, among other matters, permit us to send four of our SquashRocks! players to squash camp at Episcopal High School in July for a week, which will have a major impact on their playing and confidence. Perhaps Tournament Co-Director Matt Wishnoff put it best. “I am overjoyed with the success of the 1st Annual SquashRocks! Benefit Tournament! It has been a pleasure volunteering with this organization for the past 3 years and I am thrilled to be able to contribute to RVA’s squash community. The tournament provided us with a wonderful opportunity to both raise money for SquashRocks! and spread awareness of SquashRocks! throughout the Richmond community. I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who came out to support the event, and especially to those without whom the event would not have been possible: Arielle Lehman, Russ Sterling, and Winston Price. I look forward to next year’s benefit tournament!”
VSRA also launched River City Youth Squash (“RCYS") as well, expanding our reach to children who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to get on a squash court and learn the sport. In partnership with the Downtown Richmond YMCA, RCYS got off to a great start in its inaugural year with twenty-three (23) high school children on court receiving over 150 coaching hours to date. With plans to further extend our efforts this Summer please stay tuned to this newsletter for future RCYS successes. This doesn't happen without a robust cast of young volunteers so please also reach out to John Patton at JSPattonJr@Gmail.com to help.
Continuing (Squash) Education Below is a partial list of players that are graduating (terrible pun) their play to the collegiate level next year. VSRA is super proud of each of you and wish you tremendous success next year and beyond!!! We'd also guess there are other Virginia high school players progressing to play at the next level so let us know and we'll gladly give you a shout out too!!! (1) Doxey Loupassi (left) - Dickinson College (2) Maya McDonough (right) - Middlebury College
Club Profile - Fredericksburg YMCA
VSRA is working with the Massad YMCA and a local committee of squash enthusiasts to raise the funds to both build a squash court in Fredericksburg as well as fund its associated youth squash program called Rappahannock River Youth Squash! With the YMCA as an enthusiastic partner, the local committee has already raised roughly 1/3 of its $45,000 budget, which budget is allocated $35,000 for court construction and $10,000 to fund the first year of the youth squash program.
If you are interested in supporting this effort please make a donation via the YMCA’s web link below or by contacting John Patton directly at JSPattonJr@GMail.com. FYI John has four side wall passes to the US Squash Open, good for all matches on any particular day and including food and beverage, available to the highest bidder so please update John on your donation if you have interest in these tickets.
Regarding future newsletters please e-mail ideas you have for topics, points of interest, and the like to Info@VASquash.com. Thank you.