Two Upsets In Boys’ Division One, Top Seeds Progress to Quarters In Top Girls’ Division at High School Nationals
by David Keating

February 1, 2019 - There were two upsets in Boys’ Division I, and a bottom seed put a real scare in a top four seed in action at today’s High School Nationals in Connecticut. In the Girls’ top flight, all seeds progressed as expected to the quarterfinals.

Perhaps the most exciting match of the day came in the first round of the Boys’ Division 1 consolation, where McDonogh’s Emily Schuster made an epic comeback in game three with her team tied at three all.

Earlier, in the main draw, Hotchkiss School scored the most impressive upset of the day, blanking #8 seed Springside Chestnut Hill Academy 7-0. The underdogs dominated, racking up five 3-0 wins.

As predicted Thursday, the Belmont Hill School and Avon Old Farms (the #7 seed) match came to a 4-3 conclusion, with #10 seed Belmont on top. Only one of the seven matches went to a fourth game, and Belmont’s Andrew Lee clinched his team’s victory at #4 with a solid 4, 9, 8 win.

Maryland’s McDonogh School, the #13 seed, put a scare into #4 Deerfield Academy. McDonogh’s top three swept their matches, each in a tight four games, putting their team in position for the biggest upset of the day. While three of the bottom four matches went to four games, McDonogh couldn’t find one more win.

As if that were not already enough excitement for the weekend, McDonogh faced #12 seed Shipley School in the first round of the consolation, with a shot at a top 10 finish at stake. Earlier, Shipley put up a strong challenge against number #5 seed Brunswick School’s “B” team, falling 5-2.

Shipley took the first match at #7, and then McDonogh countered with a win at #2. In a seesaw match, Abigail Schuster pulled out a five game win to put McDonogh up 2-1. McDonogh’s #2 Rohan Korn scored a quick 3-0 win at #2, putting the team with just one win away from scoring the upset. But Shipley stormed back to tie it with 3-0 wins at #6 and #1.

McDonogh’s hopes fell to Emily Schuster, who is ranked US #5 in GU17. Schuster lost the first game 11-9, but countered with a 12-10 win in game 2.
 
Then in game three she scored a comeback that she may well remember the rest of her life. She fell behind 10-5, but battled five game balls to pull even at 10 all. Schuster and her opponent then traded points, with each reaching game balls at least once before Schuster triumphed 15-13 to take a 2-1 lead. She then jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth game before sealing the win for her team 11-3.

McDonogh coach Omar Sobhy told me that “her intensity was through the roof, and she was laser focused. I’ve never seen anyone so determined to win. It all came down to Emily, and she pulled out a tremendous win” for the team.

Even though all the first round matches in Girls’ Division 1 went according to seed, #11 Lawrenceville nearly knocked out Greenwich Academy’s “B” team, the #6. While five of the seven matches were settled in three games, Greenwich B’s Isabella Trauber edged Lawrenceville’s #4 with an 11-9 in the fifth game to allow Greenwich to advance.

Complete results can be found here:

(https://modules.ussquash.com/ssm/pages/tournaments/information.asp?tournament_id=9673) at US Squash, which is providing live scoring for most matches and live streaming at several of the venues. The event is the world’s largest squash tournament, with a record 207 teams and over 1,400 players competing this year in 14 divisions.