2014 - 2015  Events

December 12-14
Atlanta Grand Masters at the Midtown Athletic Club

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Chamionship of the Carollinas

Leading squash players from North and South Carolina met at the Charleston Squash Club to compete in the historic inaugural combined State Squash Championships of the Carolinas in May.

Honors were shared with the Palmetto State and The Tar Heel State both taking four Dual State Titles each.

Four Age group or Masters Championships were determined first on Friday May 1st and Saturday May 2nd.

In the combined 20+ and 30+ division, Wilmington, NC's Alex Lane was the powerhouse of the event, carrying off both the Dual State and North Carolina titles and beating all his opponents by the same three games to zero score-line. His closest rival was Frank Cernik of Raleigh, NC.

Edson Silva of Summerville, SC was the highest placed South Carolinian and took the South Carolina 20+/30+ division state title.

The 40+ event saw Jason Osborne of Cary, NC defeat Ranil Goonesekera of Wilmington, NC by a three games to zero margin to take both the Dual State and North Carolina titles.

David Lewin of Charleston defeated John Crawford of Sullivans Island to take the South Carolina title.

In the 50+ division, recent competitor in the World Masters squash championship in New Zealand, Jaap Wessels of Cary, NC, was the class of the field. He comfortably defeated his enthusiastic opponent, Peter Popovich of Charlotte, NC to take both the Dual State title and the North Carolina State title.

Joe Qualey of James Island, SC was the highest placed South Carolinian and so took the South Carolina 50+ title.

Bob Sade of Charleston, who defeated North Carolina champion David Mather in the final, by three games to love, took the 60+ Dual State and South Carolina titles.

The Skill Level Championships followed the Age group divisions, starting on Saturday May 2nd and finishing on Sunday May 3rd.

Perhaps the match of the tournament, the game between Ranil Goonesekera of Wilmington, NC and Jaap Wessels of Cary NC in the 5.0 divison was a real barnburner.

It took five games to decide and the topsy-turvy nature of the score-line: 10/12 11/1 7/1111/9 11/3, gives some indication of the battle that ensued.

"Sometimes I didn't know where I was," said Wessels, after his Sri Lankan born opponent had dazzled both the Cary native and the crowd with an amazing array of shots.

Wessels, however, was the final victor, as the division was a round robin with all players playing each other. Despite his loss, Wessels went on to defeat all other player and take the Dual State title and North Carolina title after Goonesekera was injured in a subsequent game.

This was Wessels's second title of the championship and as such he was the most valuable player of the tournament. David Lewin of Charleston took the South Carolina 5.0 title.

In the 3.0 division Pat Millman of Charleston, one of only two female entrants in the entire championships, defeated Richard Friedman, also of Charleston to take both the Dual State and South Carolina State titles.

David Mather of Charlotte took the North Carolina title.

In the 4.0 division there was a terrific win for John Crawford of Sullivans Island. Unseeded John stormed through the tournament, beating fourth seed Ralt Bohn of Greensboro, North Carolina in the quarter-final, first seed Alex Lane of Wilmington, NC in the semi-final and third seed Frank Cernik of Raleigh, NC in the final by a score of 11/9 11/7 11/6 to take both the Dual State and South Carolina 4.0 titles.

This was a great turn around for Crawford who had lost to Alex Lane in their previous meeting. Frank Cernik took the North Carolina 4.0 title.

In the final event of the championships, there was a meeting of father and son and Charleston's Director of Squash Richard Millman met with son and World Touring professional Joe Millman.

Richard has just returned from the US National Championships in Philadelphia PA,where he won the national 5.5 title and is preparing for international competition next week when he travels to Edinburgh Scotland to play for the England 45 and over team.

Joe Millman is currently ranked 242 on the PSA world ranking list.

The match started with Millman junior controlling the pace, volleying at speed, which Millman senior couldn't slow down enough to extend the rallies. Game one to Joe 11/8.

The second was a much closer affair with the older Millman slowing things down and making greater physical demands on his son. Joe still ran out winning the game 15/13.

However the physical toll on the younger Millman was beginning to tell and in the third game Richard punished Joe with some long hard rallies, sucking the air out of his lungs and taking the game 11/6.

He followed up with more of the same in game four, winning it 11/9.

So at two games all, the match was set for a decider. The younger Millman decided to change strategy and, adopting some of his father's tactics, slowed things down considerably. Although the ball was struck with less pace, this actually created more pressure as it both produced more accurate shots and forced Richard to take the ball early, to prevent it from dying in the back corners.

This resulted in a string of errors from Richard, and Joe sailed home 11/6 to take the match and the Dual State and South Carolina titles.