The Premier Squash team remain as New Zealand champions as they successfully defended their title from last year at the Secondary Schools Squash Nationals held at Palmerston North from 5-7 August. Defeating St. Paul’s Collegiate in the finals with a comfortable 4-1 win, Westlake proved that they were indeed a cut above the rest. The event is easily one of the biggest in the squash calendar with more than 600 matches played over the weekend amongst 33 boys teams and 21 girls teams.
No school came close to wrestling the title away from Westlake who simply were unstoppable throughout the games. In the finals with St. Paul’s Collegiate, David Matthews, who is playing his last game for the school, made short work of his opponent to easily win 3-0. Next to follow on court was team captain Rafa Yam who is in his fifth and last year with the team. In his farewell game, Rafa fittingly gave a solid performance to also win 3-0. Matthew Lucente narrowly missed out on a win with a hard-fought 2-3 result with his opponent. Akil Afghan clinched the title for Westlake in a memorable debut for the Premier team winning 3-1. Akil’s win gave Westlake an insurmountable lead of 3 matches won to 1 with just one more match remaining. Last on court was Gabe Yam who delivered another straight set win to seal the finals and formally give Westlake a 4-1 victory over St. Paul’s Collegiate. Newest addition to the Premier team Tom Taylor, helped the team with two strong wins in the first round and quarter-finals.
The depth and strength of Westlake squash was proven by our courageous Premier 2 team who finished in 5th place overall. They were seeded ninth coming into the tournament and threw this seeding out of the window by carving out upset wins over eighth seed Whangarei Boys High School, fourth seed Takapuna Grammar School and seventh seed Tauranga Boys College. Amazingly, all these matches were won through com- fro- behind wins. There were several instances throughout the games when the gutsy Premier 2 team were on the brink of defeat but their “never say die” attitude carried them through to their commendable 5th place finish. Premier 2 members are Jien Lim, Zonal Ali, Jono Beazley, Matt Peagram, Sean Kim and Soo-Myoung Jang (captain).
At the conclusion of the tournament, Matthew Lucente and Gabe Yam were selected in the Trans Tasman team who will compete against players from Queensland and New South Wales in Palmerston North in mid-August.
The team would like to extend their appreciation to Teacher-in-Charge Mr Calver and Coach/Manager Mr Manu Yam for all their help with the team.
- 1st Round defeated New Plymouth Boys HS: 5-0
- Quarterfinals defeated Westlake Boys Premier 2 : 5-0
- Semifinals defeated Palmerston North Boys HS: 5-0
- Finals defeated St. Pauls Collegiate: 4-1
Premier 2 Team:
- 1st Round defeated Orewa College: 5-0
- 2nd Round defeated Whangarei Boys HS: 3-2
- Quarterfinals lost to Westlake Boys Premier 1: 0-5
- Playoffs for 7-8th place defeated Takapuna Grammar School: 3-2
- Playoffs for 5th place defeated Tauranga Boys College: 3-2