3 podium finishes for VI at first national representation at Caribbean Senior Squash Tournament

Joe Chapman (Men’s Individual), Neville Sorrentino (Men’s Over 50), Mike Adamson (Men’s Over 40) each placed 3rd at 2019 CASA Championships

The Virgin Islands Senior National Squash Team competed in the Senior Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Championships held in Guyana from August 18 – 24. This was the first time that the VI was able to compete as a nation as previously the territory had to join forces with other Eastern Caribbean Nations to form an OECS Team. VI finished 5th out of the 8 competing Caribbean Nations with Joe Chapman, Mike Adamson, and Neville Sorrentino placing third in their individual events.

National VI Squash Team at CASA Championships 2019

The Women’s team comprised Zoe Sorrentino, and CASA debutants Natalie Fay and Nicole Toppin.

Chapman, Dion Anselm, Jonathan Addo and Tony Campbell made up the Men’s team with Addo and Campbell competing in their first CASA event.

Adamson (Men’s Over 40), Sorrentino (Men’s Over 50) and Winston Findlay (Men’s Over 60) formed the Veteran team. Adamson and Sorrentino finished 3rd in their respective events with Findlay narrowly missing out on a top 3 finish after a 3-2 loss in his final match.

CASA Individual Event:
Chapman, Anselm, Addo, Zoe Sorrentino, Fay and Toppin, who all participated in the Individual event, fought well against strong opponents but only Chapman managed to progress past the 1st round.

Chapman, winner of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Men’s Plate, played some focused and professional squash to navigate his way through to the semi final of the main draw where he faced 8-times CASA champion, Chris Binnie. Chapman played well and pushed Binnie hard but the Jamaican team player eventually proved too strong an opponent and ran out a 3-0 winner. Binnie impressively went on to win the event without dropping a single game. Chapman was awarded 3rd place due to the withdrawal of his opponent (who Chapman beat in the team event).

Sorrentino put together a great run in the plate event in which she narrowly lost out in the semis to the eventual plate winner.

Men’s Doubles Event:
Adamson and Anselm lost out to the 1 seeds from the Cayman Islands 11-7, 11-7 (the doubles is played as best of 3). Both men played excellent squash in a fast and furious match, and were very close to stealing a game. It was only a few unforced errors at the end of the games that prevented a win becoming a reality.

“Overall it was a great performance against a very accomplished pairing,” said Murrills.

Mixed Doubles Event:
Neville Sorrentino and Zoe Sorrentino caused a stir as the only father/daughter pairing in the event and also due to having the biggest age differential between teammates!

Playing against Trinidad’s male and female no.1 players was always going to be a tough match. With Doubles being an exceedingly fast game, the Sorrentino duo lacked a little composure in the 1st game but played a much better 2nd. Unfortunately, at 7-7, Zoe got hit exceedingly hard by a drive by the opponents’ male player which halted the momentum that the Sorrentinos had. The two however went on to string together several solid points and closed out the match 3-0.

Points gained in the 6 events – Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, VETS Team, Men’s Team, Women’s Team – provide an overall standing at the end of the tournament.

“All our players can be proud of some fantastic performances and for the effort and team spirit they showed throughout,” said Murrills. “This year has really helped show us all the level that we’re aspiring to and I’m confident that the standard on island will improve and that we will bridge the gap to the strongest nations (Guyana and Barbados) over the coming years. With youngsters coming through our junior programmes who are improving very quickly, this again only serves to strengthen our future teams.”

Chapman retains BVI Men’s Squash title

(l-r) Joe Chapman beat Dion Anselm 11-5, 11-0, 11-2 to take the title in the 2019 Club Championships retain his number 1 spot in the BVI squash rankings.

In the Tortola Sports Club Squash Championships played May 16 – 18, 2019, Joe Chapman beat Dion Anselm 11-5, 11-0, 11-2 to take the title and to hold on to his number 1 spot in the BVI squash rankings.

Chapman played the three rounds against Anselm noted to be an “all around sportsman and athlete”. On top of being on the squash courts throughout the week hitting with anyone and everyone, Anselm can also regularly be seen playing on the tennis courts. He’s undoubtedly one of the Tortola Sports Club’s leading rackets players but was up against Chapman, 4 x Commonwealth Games player and Plate winner at the Gold Coast 2018 Games. Chapman has recently been ranked inside the top 100 in the squash world rankings.

Nonetheless, Anselm took up the challenge though and he ran down every ball making it as competitive as he possibly could. Chapman’s class showed though and he sealed another Club Championship title.

Prior to playing in the finals, Chapman beat Rory Thornton (3-0) and Anselm beat Luca Reich (3-1). Reich is 16 years old and is currently the leading junior in the VI. He came out playing some great squash against an experienced opponent who maybe made a few more errors than usual, and stormed through to take the first game.

Anselm responded well and gradually found his length. In doing so he managed to control the T and gave Reich far less opportunities to attack. Anselm grew in confidence and gradually the hard work he was putting in to the legs of Reich took its toll and tiredness began to creep in. Once on top, Anselm showed his supreme athleticism and never let his foot off the gas and managed to close out the match in 4 games.

Rory Thornton (r) bt Luca Reich 13-15, 11-9, 12-10, 13-11 in the Club Championship 3/4 Play Offs

In the ¾ Play-Off Thornton beat Reich 13-15, 11-9, 12-10, 13-11. Reich started the better of the two and held a small advantage throughout the game. After some nervy rallies at the end of the game he managed to convert his fifth game ball for a 1-0 lead.

Thornton responded well and opened up a lead of 8-3 in the 2nd. Reich fought well to peg him back but to no avail. Both players were working hard and it was certainly a physical affair. The next two games were neck and neck throughout but Rory’s experience showed as he managed to play the big points well and close out the 3rd and 4th 12-10 and 13-11.