The three BOP Rep teams have all recently completed their national champs for 2018.
See below reports from each team manager
BOP Senior Team Report:
I had the privilege to manage the BOP Men and Women representative teams at the 2018 National Inter-district Teams Event held at the Panmure and Remuera Squash Clubs, Auckland.
What a successful achievement and milestone for Squash Bay of Plenty.
Amanda Landers-Murphy, Joanna Shanks, Alana Kaiaori, Camden Te Kani-McQueen and Lauren Clarke seeded 1 retained their 2017 title in winning style. The girls won all ties 4-0 against Eastern, Auckland and Northland.
The girls were competitive in all ties with all players having court time. Lauren Clarke stepped up to the plate for Alana Kaiaori who was hit with a virus. Lauren played some of her best squash producing convincing wins against Eastern and Auckland. Even though Alana Kaiaori was ill she fronted and took the court in the final.
In the final tie Camden Te Kani-McQueen kicked the team off with a win over Annmarie Holst, followed by Joanna Shanks defeating Sacha Pou-Tito. Amanda Landers-Murphy beat Shelley Kitchen in a spectator pleasing match before Alana Kaiaori sealed a clean sweep winning against Jacinta Matson.
The men were seeded 3rd finished a creditable second.
Ben Grindrod, Alex Oakley, Aaron Kopittke, Glen Templeton and Manaia Murphy-Fell did the Bay proud beating Central in the 1st round. They were then up against 2nd seeds Auckland in the semi.
Young Glen Templeton played awesome squash with a win against Elijah Thomas in 4. Aaron Kopittke was the underdog against Anthony Lepper but managed to win two games leveling the tie 1-1.
Ben Grindrod took the court under pressure knowing a 3/0 win would secure the tie win. He was down 8-10 against Bradley Robinson who was on fire in the first game. Ben’s cool calm demeanor saw him come back to even the score before eventually winning 12-10……..phew!! We were all on the edge of our seats. The next two games came easier with Bradley’s wheels falling off. That’s what teams’ events are all about. Alex Oakley played the last match against Sion Wiggin going down in a hard-fought match.
The final was very tough against a strong Waikato team. Glen Templeton managed to win a game off the much more experienced Allan Crome. Aaron Kopittke lost to Temwa Chileshe in 3. With Waikato up 2 matches Ben Grindrod and Zac Millar take the court. Some of the best squash played with both players under pressure and fighting for every point. A well-deserved win eventually going to Ben in 5 sets. The last match was not contested.
An historical win to the Waikato men, with a memorable tribute to Waikato Squash icon Robin Lindsay who died earlier this year.
Overall a very pleasing result. Women 1st, Men 2nd congratulations!
Cheryl Te Kani-McQueen – Team Manager
BOP Masters Team Report
The National Masters was hosted by BOP this year at Devoy Squash and Fitness in Tauranga during 14-18 September. The team stayed together in two houses which both backed on the grounds where Devoy Squash is. This was brilliant and kept us on close together and was greatly appreciated by the team. A big thank you to Marcus and Char Niles and Lynette and John Revington for their generosity and trust. A huge thanks to Squash BOP who we represented with pride and passion!!! And to Marcus, the maestro of organisation who also played in both events. Simply amazing.
Results in the individuals were excellent with two National Titles to Danny Awesome McQueen and Sandra Awesome Le Lievre.
Significant Placings were:
Mens 35+ - Aaron Kopittke (Mount) - 3rd
Womens 35+ - Joanna Shanks (Devoy Squash & Fitness) - Runner-up
Mens 50+ - Danny McQueen (Geyser City) - Champion
Womens 60+ - Sandra Le Lievre (Te Puke) - Champion
The Teams event was an eight draw with BOP seeded third. We comfortably accounted for Southland in the first round with Marcus the giant killer leading off with a great win over an A grade player and we didn’t look back.
In the semi’s we went oh so close, losing 6-5 to Auckland. We really thought we had them but injuries to Danny and Wayne thwarted us. Mike White went on at 5-5 played with great heart losing 15-13 in the fourth in an exhausting match.
In our last match against Canterbury we were short two men, and our injured reserve Dean couldn’t play either. Canterbury graciously allowed us to bring in Ross McCurran to fill one gap and we actually won 6-5 to take 3rd place.
In the teams, our women were magnificent and really held their heads high winning a large proportion of their matches. Aaron Kopittke was pick of the men and was outstanding in winning his three matches playing with high energy, skill and tenacity.
The Sunday night individuals prize-giving function was very enjoyable and the dress theme was Mexicana. We looked very sharp bunch in our costumes. Thanks to Vicki for organising costumes for us all.
The Monday dinner was hosted CBK, a sponsor of the Nationals was good see all the teams there.
The Tuesday night was for team prize giving at the club held on the three courts used for doubles – the transformation was amazing. We ate a lovely dinner followed by ‘minute to win it’. This was really engaging as we split into teams and faced a series of practical challenges. It was impossible not to enjoy this. The challenges were very stimulating and achievable. Shari Ball as a head-nodder was sensational.
Bernie Dawson – Team Manager
BOP Juniors Team Report
For several of our top Bay of Plenty junior players, the 2018 national junior age-groups and teams tournaments have been key events on their squash calendars for some time. Hosted by North Shore Squash Club from 4-10 October, these tournaments provided an opportunity for players to improve their NZ rankings, and test themselves against others in their age group and also against the best juniors from each region.
The Age Groups tournament ran over four days and involved more than 200 juniors across 5 age group divisions (under 11, under 13, under 15, under 17 and under 19). The Bay of Plenty had representatives in all, except the under 11 girls’, divisions.
In addition to the players in the BOP representative boys and girls teams, it was great to see a number of other Bay of Plenty juniors playing — Adam Hitchiner (Devoy), Benjamin Adams (Devoy), Luke Steyn (Taupō), Kyle Steyn (Taupō), Hope Kennerley (Devoy), Joel Kennerley (Devoy), and Zezima Waitai (Edgecumbe) — all of whom either maintained or did better than their seedings, which is certainly no mean feat at that event!
While we didn’t take away any titles this year, there were some really close and exciting games, and we had a number of semi-finalists —Taylor Bettleheim (Devoy), Glenn Templeton (Katikati), Luke, and Zezima all made the semi-finals of their divisions, with Luke making an awesome leap from 7th seed to 4th placing in the U15 boys.
On the Sunday evening, the teams event began. This is always a real battle with a lot of pride on the line! Nine regions put up their best boys and girls teams — Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central, Eastern, Wellington, Canterbury and Midlands. With 3-4 rounds of pool play, following directly on from the Individuals event, it makes for a lot of tired and sore bodies by the finals day (Wednesday).
This year, both of our teams were young, with a number of new players. Joe Smythe and Taylor Bettleheim joined the team for the first time, alongside previous BOP Boys Team members Glenn Templeton, Manaia Murphy-Fell and Jack Niles. For the BOP Girls Team, Manaia Peeti, Ashley Taylor, Katie Templeton and Amber Knight got to take part in their first Junior teams event with Tenika Dudson and Renee Dudson.
The girls team was seeded 5th and during pool play, won against Canterbury, Wellington, and Central to gain the opportunity to play off for 3rd or 4th place against Auckland. What a huge achievement with some really tough matches along the way. Having Manaia and Katie playing at 3 and 4 made for a strong opposition. At number 1, Tenika was always going to have some really hard match ups but stepped up to the mark and played some of her best squash. Against Wellington the girls learnt the importance of every single point in teams events, with a win by just 3-4 points across all four matches. Unfortunately, in the playoff for 3rd/4th, Auckland were too tough, and the girls team finished 4th. This is huge improvement from finishing in 7th place last year.
The BOP boys team was seeded 2nd, and won their pool play against Northland, Eastern and Wellington. It certainly wasn’t an easy run to the finals. The match ups with Wellington were really tough, but Glenn Templeton had a satisfying win over Kobe Fleming who he had lost to in the Individuals event just a couple of days earlier, and Manaia Murphy-Fell stepped up to the mark every day, not losing any of his pool play matches.
As no. 1 seeds, and with three of the country’s best junior players, Auckland was always going to be tough. Thanks to Joe Smythe’s win, the final result was 3-1 to Auckland and a 2nd overall placing for the boys. With these results, and all but one player (Ashley Taylor) still eligible next year, BOP Squash is in a great position to challenge for titles in 2019.
A special thank you to all of the players—you were all fantastic representatives of Bay of Plenty Squash and were great team members, looking out for and supporting each other. Many thanks also to the coaches, Robbie Wyatt (boys coach) and Paul Bedford (girls coach) who did a great job working with the teams and supporting each player through their games. Our juniors are very fortunate to have your guidance available to them. Finally, thanks to the parents who joined us in Auckland and/or who provided meals and baking to keep 11 hungry teenagers happy!
Hineihaea and Jo
Junior Team Managers