Monday, September 19, 2011

WINNING BY A WHISKER

Firstly, the Detroit Tigers won in Oakland after guaranteeing their place in the play-offs. Then the Lions massacred the Chiefs by 45 points. Even U of M won, giving them a 3-0 season. It was a good weekend to be a Michigander (even though the Spartans failed) and all that was left was for the DAC squash team to overcome their Cross Border nemesis… Windsor!

We had fantastic participation. 21 matches, 1 full keg (which ended up almost empty), and an especially competitive afternoon of squash. The first four results were split. Jason Trombley was our first defeat, losing 3-0 to Syed Azmet, but in all fairness Syed was probably a ringer from Egypt that Windsor had recruited for the sole purpose of helping them win. Eric Green followed Jason going down 3-1 to Dave Guthrie but a 3-1 win to Sante Fratarcangeli and an 11-9 in the 5th victory by Peter Logan over the hard hitting Justin Warnock steadied the ship. [Photo above: Rich Routley (left) and Sante Fratarcangeli enjoying their after match beer! Photo below: Justin Warnock (left) and Peter Logan after their 5-set groaner.]

It went back and forth like this all afternoon with neither club taking a commanding lead. A couple of the close results didn’t fall our way. Ken MacDonald blew a 2-0 lead to go down 9-5 in the 5th and he very well knows that fitness had a big part to play in his demise. It was a wake-up call certainly, a match he probably should have won. Anil Kathuria also had a heart-breaker as he fell 2 points shorts against Renka Gesing 9-7 in the 5th.

But the DAC definitely had plenty of solid results. Jeff Gembis overcame his nervousness to put away his opponent 3-0, John Rakolta finally got his revenge over Brian Porter with a sturdy 3-1 performance (ever since Brian beat John in the final of the DAC Classic earlier this year, he has been drooling for his blood!), Derek Aguirre was steady enough to take care of the awkward Dan Barisic 3-1, and new members Josh Slominski and Justin Jacobs both recorded sound 3-1 victories.

Our winning ways were also aided by Windsor’s “mistakes”. As an organizer there are no worse words to hear than “walk-over”, or “forfeit”, or “default”, or “no-show”. And they had 2 of them. That’s not to say we wouldn’t have won those matches anyway (we’ll never know), but the team has to show up. Reluctantly we accepted the 3-0 defaults which gave us 2 free wins for the day. One could argue, however, that we reciprocated the defaults with 2 of our own by fielding two doubles teams! Since we virtually never win the doubles against Windsor, it was predestined that things weren’t about to change – they didn’t. We lost both doubles 3-0.

By the time the last ball rolled to a stop, the DAC had their noses in front 11 matches to 10. The trophy is back in my office – Let’s see if we can keep it for longer than 1 event. This is our 3rd victory from 11 attempts, and another sign that sport in Detroit is looking up… either that or we’ve slipped into Bizarro World.
Celebrating our victory!

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