Monday, November 18, 2013


Windsor Tournament Nov 15-17

Counting myself we had a baker’s dozen of representatives from the DAC battering it out at the Windsor Fall Classic. And, for a pleasant surprise, we also took home a couple of titles! I was told the event had a total of 117 players – a great number to be sure, which also included a bucket full of juniors. Many of the juniors mix in with the adults categories (including the doubles events) which can be a mentally difficult thing to handle if you happen to be playing against one. They are (for the most part) smaller, more fragile, but they run like the dickens, and pull off shots that we normally wouldn’t be expecting. Don’t kids ever get tired? (I know my daughter only gets tired when she has to do her homework…!)

One advantage the adults have is strength. I wouldn’t usually tell anyone to use a tactic of “belt the Hell out of the ball”, but in this case flat-out power can be affective against the smaller juniors. Easier said than done of course. Point in case was Sante Fratarcangeli. This isn’t to rub salt into Sante’s wounds – on the contrary, it’s to show how easy it is that this can happen to anyone. (Remember the young Berto Mill at the DAC Classic this year? He won the 4.5 draw beating a number of our members on the way!) Never judge a book by its cover, right?  Sante won his first two matches 3-2, both times he took a 2-0 lead, only to give up the next two games but then right the ship to take the fifth. In his third match he did exactly the same thing. He was playing Amin Khan – a 12 year old with a two handed swing on both his forehand and backhand. Very difficult to see where he is hitting it, and remarkably accurate, plus he has a surprisingly good drop shot. Sante couldn’t keep up the solid work he churned out in games one and two, and found himself in another fifth game dog-fight. Maybe the effort of the first couple of matches hurt him, as this time, he couldn’t convert. Amin edged him out by a couple of points. I know Sante was very disappointed, but rest assured that he won’t be Amin’s only DAC victim in the years to come!

In the D category, Brian Bartes stole the show. He rolled through his opponents knocking out adults and juniors alike – including Chuck Doyle in the semi finals. I am not surprised that Brian won the event; he has been improving steadily over the past year or so and has recorded some nice results in both league and ladders. In fact, his prowess has been so impressive, it caught the eye of the US Squash Magazine and they felt the need to splatter his achievements in this month’s edition:

You'll find this article on page 12 of this month's US Squash Magazine!
Our other finalist for the weekend was Julie VandeVusse in the Women’s B draw. Julie won all of her matches leading up to the final relatively comfortably, but regrettably could not keep up the strong form in the one that mattered most. Even though she won the first game, lack of consistency got the better of her and she went down in the next three.
Julie Vande Vusse

The unlucky award of the weekend goes to Kevin Prather. Kevin was looking ominous and was ready to take charge but early in the first game of his first match he rolled an ankle and had to withdraw. Hopefully it isn’t too bad and plenty of icing and a few days rest should fix him up quickly. The weekend beers should have helped as well.

DAC’s second title came at the hands of yours truly I the Open division. I also played one of Windsor’s best juniors in my first match – David Mill. David is 16, is taller than me and has improved a great deal recently. Overpowering him was not an option, so I had to rely on something else: experience. Simply keeping the ball tight, eliminate errors, and force him to ‘win’ the points rather than me giving them away proved too much for the youngster. I won 3-0, and his lack of patience cost him, but he’ll learn and I’m sure the next time it will be a lot tougher. For the final I played Graeme Williams - their pro – and I went on with a similar tactic. Keeping the ball tight, being very careful to take him short because he has a great reach, I was steady enough to get through 3-0 as well.

Listing our other flag flyers, it was fantastic to see the support they gave one another. Everyone gained priceless experience and hopefully we can show up in force for future events outside the DAC walls: Esther Thomas, Dino DeMare, Tom MacEachern, Josh Slominski, Bob Garvey, Shail Arora, John Dunwoody, and Chuck Doyle.

A big thank you to Windsor Squash for hosting, to Graeme Williams for organizing, with help for Dave Guthrie and the Porter family. You always make us feel so welcome in your club. We look forward to returning the favor during the DAC Classic February 6-9, 2014.

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