Holiday Tournament - Dec 5
Shockingly, we didn’t reach capacity for the 11th Annual Holiday Tournament. We ended up with 17 (to a maximum of 24), and it always makes me wonder why more don’t enter. It was a wonderfully social evening of squash, drinking, gift giving and choosing. Some may have over indulged as indicated by one player watching outside court 7 as he enquired to what the large white stain on the court floor could be. None of us could figure out what he was talking about until we realized he was observing the reflection of a towel lying on the carpet outside the court...
All matches were played three games to 7 points without a tie-break. (Sudden-death at 6-all). Opponents were randomly drawn based on accumulative points and I think everybody had a chance to play against somebody they had never done so before. Many results ended up 2 games to 1 which is always great to see.
|Sante the Naughty Elf|
Many of the faces we are all familiar with. It’s turning into a tradition, but we can’t not mention the effort Sante puts into his “dress-sense” year after year. Color co-ordinated as always, the ‘naughty’ hat was icing on the cake and more than appropriate for him. He is proof in the pudding that their is a Yin for every Yan - right, Liz? Others donned either red or green for the occasion all that was missing was Patrick Petz in his non-matching squash shoes. Bob Rogers is also a regular for this event and if you can’t remember, he was the one bouncing off the glass back wall. I must remind him that it is the ball he needs to get into the back corner, not his backside.
The good news is that everybody ended up with at least 3 points. By the time the fourth and final round was upon us, three players had a chance to take the top spot. Both Jim Stroh and Dane Fossee had 9 points and Sante had 8. As luck of the draw would have it, Jim would have to play Sante, and Dane would play the only player in the DAC shorter than himself - Bob Rogers. (I had to get on my knees to take that photo.)
|Lauren Kirchner, Julie Vande Vusse, Liz McClure|
Dane and Bob played first. The two love running so much that they must have made a pact between themselves not to ever hit a winner. “Let’s keep the ball in play as long as possible, shall we?” Making sure they covered every squash millimeter of the court at least 5 times per rally, it was Dane who crawled of the off the 2-1 winner. Now with 11 points, Dane needed Sante to beat Jim.
He didn’t. He did take the first game though and looked strong. But Jim would be too steady for the following 2 games. The rallies were hard fought, and both players moved the ball around fairly well. A point to both players however is that even though they would hit length and get to the ‘T’, they both would let reachable volleys pass them at mid court, thus they would relinquish that ‘T’ position all too easily. Jim ended up with the 2-1 win.
|Dane Fossee and Jim Stroh|
Now, both Dane and Jim had scored 11 points. A one game to 7 points to win it all was decided. My thought was that Jim had the edge since he had just finished his previous match and was still warm. Dane had had time to cool down a little and chug some beer while watching. But beer is a mystical brew and Dane drank just enough to be inspired. He came out on fire and would not be denied. Reaching 6 points with solid squash, Dane did start to struggle to win that final point. He gave up 2 before he closed his eyes on a forehand stroke from the front corner and on one leg used the frame of his racquet to shank a short cross-court for a winner that even would have caught Ramy Ashour flat-footed with a look of disbelief and disgust on his face.
Congratulations to Dane! An unexpected, but well-earned tournament victory. He of course chose the biggest gift on the table first and ended up with 2 six-packs of beer. (Dane of all people should know the best things come in small packages, right?) And thank you to all participants for a fun-filled entertaining evening!