One of the consistent squash tournaments that takes place in SoCal is the OC Squash Tournament held at the OC Equinox in Irvine. It occurs roughly every March and October and generally draws at least 30-50 players of various levels (from 3.5 to 5.5). As one of the only few local tournaments within driving distance, it’s a good opportunity to estimate your current squash skill/levels and gain insights on where to improve next. It’s a double elimination match and is fairly well organized for such a large player base.
During the pandemic, the tournament was put on hiatus. This was the first squash event of the year and drew approximately 30 or so players of various levels. The tournament coordinator was able to fill out three brackets of 8 (4.0, 4.5, 5.0) and a round robin bracket. Not too shabby for the first squash event.
I participated in the 4.0 bracket this time around. Having played before in the 3.5, I figured the 4.0 might give me some issues/challenges. Interestingly, many of the previous 3.5 players were also playing in this bracket leading me to conclude this was probably a combination of two brackets. Seeing the bracket, I thought I had a fairly good chance to place at best 2nd place. Why? Mainly because T was also playing and at my current fitness level, I know I cannot win against her athleticsm.
Day 1 ends with me in the losers bracket with a 2-1 record. I won the first match relatively convincingly. Lost my match against T. And won the first losers bracket match convincingly too. My adjusted lob serves were still a little shaky but good enough to demoralize both opponent where I won. When they were unable to return the serve effectively, they don’t even have an opportunity to win the point. The match with T was excrutiating. I committed too many errors and generally wasn’t able to dictate the pace nor control the T.
Being in the losers bracket, I need 2 wins to put me back into the winners bracket and an additional 2 wins (for a total of 4 wins) in order for me to win the division. Day 2 starts off with a no show so that’s an easy win. The 2nd win starts off a bit shaky as my serve wasn’t consistent enough in the 1st game of the 2nd match. It was actually being called out in the 1st game quite a few times. But with small adjustments, I managed to win both the 2nd and 3rd game on the backs of my serve and to fully frustrate the opponent in the 4th game to win the 2nd match. That’s win #2 and that puts me back head to head against T.
My 3rd match of the day was against T. She’s used to the timing of my lob serve and was able to return and stay competitive. Ultimately, I committed too many errors, was outplayed by T quite a few times, and general frustration/fatigue finally took over in the 3rd game.
I ended up placing 2nd place with an overall 4-2 record with both losses to T.