Monday, October 15, 2012


Blitz Tournament – October 12

The Blitz Tournament is an interesting event. With the handicapping system, many of the games come down to a sudden death rally. Typically in such situations, the higher standard player has the advantage, and the results proved that theory 100%.  Of the 7 sudden death points played during the event, the stronger player won all of them. But I will say, none of those points came easy, or without making that player sweat. It is great to see the underdog step up to the plate and raise their game. 

Derek Aguirre and his nemesis Tom MacEachern

There is an element of dumb luck thrown in as well and we had 2 victims fall to that ingredient. In the first group, 3 players ended up with 2 wins each, but since only two of them can advance to the knock-out round, they had to draw straws. The reason I do that is so each player has an equal chance of advancing – or being eliminated. Poor Dane Fossee drew the short straw and hit the keg early. The other casualty was Derek Aguirre. In his group of 5 players, three of them ended up with 3 wins. Derek would have swept the table but had a narrow loss to Tom MacEachern. Tom started off with an 11 handicap and cleaned up Derek in 6 rallies taking the game 15-2. Guess the handicap was wrong, huh Derek? To make matters worse, Derek also drew the short straw and found himself on the outside looking in. That didn’t stop him from jumping on court at every opportunity. But we all thank him for keeping the ball warm between games.

The two winners from the other two groups were more clear cut. Anil Kathuria and Elliot Shafer both went through undefeated in their respective boxes. Anil survived one sudden death rally against Andy Combs; Elliot won both his games 21-19.

In the knock-out stage, we had 2 previous winners of the Blitz Tournament present. Mike Counsman – who won it back in 2007 – was up against Andrew Spohn. Andrew took a 10 point head start into the match and fended off the hard hitting Mike just long enough for a 15-9 victory. The other winner was Josh Slominski (October 2011). Josh had to tackle the improving – but unpredictable – Elliot Shafer. It was probably the more difficult handicap to award, since Elliot can play great squash but is also capable of patches where he completely loses his mojo. Actually, the same can be said for Josh… After considerable thought, where I contemplated no handicap at all, I gave Elliot three. Round of applause for Mick… thank you… the game ended up 15-14 in one of the best matches of the evening. The becoming famous “Slominski Fist Pump” indicated the winner.

Andrew Spohn’s semi final opponent was Tom MacEachern. A newcomer to the DAC squash family, Tom started off with 6 points head start and squeaked out the 15-13 win to earn himself a spot in the final. Meeting him there was Josh. He handled Anil Kathuria in the other semi final, also 15-13 and another fist pump, with Anil having a 6 point handicap.
Josh Slominski and Tom MacEachern

Tom and Josh had already played each other in the group round. In that match, Tom started off with 9 points which turned out to be just right as Josh won that game 15-14. So, I gave Tom 9 points again. However, maybe it was due to fitness, or momentum, or that inspirational and motivational fist pump, but this time around Tom could not keep pace. Josh was on a roll. He only gave up 2 rallies on his way to a 15-11 victory for his second Blitz Tournament title – the first person to do so. In the third / fourth play-off, Andrew beat Anil 15-8.

Thank you to all who competed. The couple hours of your time was excellently spent. Stay tuned for the next event which will be the Holiday Tournament on December 7. In the meantime, keep hitting, and to Dane and Derek, practice your straw drawing.
(Most of) The Blitz Gang!

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