Monday, December 5, 2011


Holiday Tournament – December 2

The 8th running of the Holiday Tournament experienced its smallest participation level so far. That was naturally disappointing but we did have enough to run it, and the overall standard was probably at its highest.

Anthony Fracchia won this event last year and was certainly one of the favorites to repeat his success. But standing firmly in his way would be the other on-paper favorite, Derek Aguirre. One of the beauties of the Holiday Tournament format is that luck of the draw can play a big part on the final results. Since just about every round is drawn randomly, there is no guarantee that the better players won’t knock themselves out of contention early on. In the third of four rounds, Anthony and Derek played each other.

Each match is only 2 games to 15 points (no tie-break). Anthony and Derek played what seemed long enough for at least 4 games. Justice prevailed at the end after the two had worked themselves endlessly around the court when the score ended up 1 game apiece. Since they split the points, going into the final round both of them were actually 1 point behind on the standings to Bruce Vande Vusse who had quietly gone about his business and won his first three matches 2-0.

All Bruce had to do was to win 1 game against Anthony in the final match and he would be guaranteed first place. A tough ask. Made even tougher when half way through the first game, Bruce injured his elbow. Whether he would have won a game anyway is debatable – Anthony is one tough hombre – but the 2-0 loss pushed Bruce from first place to tied for second (with Rich Stimson). Derek also won his final match of the evening against Andy Adamo 2-0, which in the end gave us dual winners. Congratulations to Anthony Fracchia and Derek Aguirre. In third place, all on his own, was Anil Kathuria.

It was nice to see everybody involved get into the Christmas spirit. The absence of Patrick Petz this year – who always dresses himself in the appropriate seasonal colors – was more than made up by Sante Fratarcangeli and Chuck Doyle who looked more like giant elves than squash players. Chuck mentioned he forgot to fill his pockets with jingle bells too… I think we are all thankful for that.

As always, the majority of the gifts were alcohol related. I did see a tool set in there – but it also came with a bottle of wine. Nothing like encouraging someone to down a liter of red and then trying to construct something. Andy Adamo picked that one - I would not be surprised if he comes in this week with a broken thumb. Mercifully there is nothing to add to the banned substances list for 2012, and keep in mind, the squash pro is not on the banned list for receiving.

Left to right back row: Jon Walton; Derek Aguirre, Chuck Doyle, David Pontes, Andy Adamo; Rich Stimon, Bruce Vande Vusse, Amil Kathuria, Ted Morris, Matt Hayduk
Left to right front row: Sante Fratarcangeli, 'Esquire' Anthony Fracchia, Bob Rogers

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