Blog Norcal News Tournaments

Bay Club San Francisco Skill Level Open

The Bay Club San Francisco is excited to host their annual Skill Level Open, a weekend of squash with players from across the Bay Area. In addition to some excellent amateur squash there will be an exhibition match between Alfredo Avila (#69) and the Bay Area’s own Charlie Johnson (#200).

Club San Francisco Skill Level Open
03/30/2019 – 03/31/2019
Exhibition match: Saturday 6:00pm | Alfredo Avila #69 vs. Charlie Johnson #200 + Q&A included for tournament participants. $25 for non-tournament player viewers.
Sign Up Here!
Contact Erick with any questions about the event –

Blog Norcal News Tournaments

Save the Date: January 18-19 at the University Club


Ligeti Open at Squash Zone

There was plenty of local interest in the 2nd Men’s Pro 1K event in as many months held at the newest squash club on the West Coast – Squash Zone. The Ligeti Open – generously sponsored by Kiersten Ligeti of Alain Pinel Realtors allowed the chance for local pros and upcoming juniors to flock to the squash center in Redwood City from Thursday 29th November to Saturday 1st December to watch players strategize and outwit each other on the glass court. Spectators were treated to many riveting matches over the course of the weekend, the action started in the first round where there were several match ups between student and teacher (Mustafa Nawar and Charlie Johnson edging out their respective students Arav Bhagwati and Mukunth Gopalkrishnan in 3 games each).

The main contenders for the final; no. 1 seed Charlie Johnson and no. 2 seed Mustafa Nawar were pushed hard in each round from the quarters onwards. The Huang dynasty put up some great competition in the form of Dillon who pushed Johnson before losing out in 4 games and older brother Zephyn holding a 2-1 lead over Nawar only to lose out in the 5th game. Elsewhere Nick Talbott, local head pro at Stanford Squash Club made Johnson work hard for his final placing. The no. 1 seed needed 5 games again to dispatch the son of legendary Mark Talbott. Cole Becker, Princeton student, was in the bottom half of the draw and have a relatively easier run to the semi finals where he came up against Nawar. An extremely hard fought 5 games with both players using their athleticism, guile and wits to dominate play at different stages. Becker finally clinched the match in a 5th game tie-breaker to set up a final clash between, yet again, former student and coach!

Johnson had the better start in the final and seemed buoyed by the crowd to take the first game with little resistance from the younger player. However, Becker came out firing in the first part of the second using pace to unsettle Johnson and it looked like we had a battle on our hands once Becker leveled the match at 1-1 on a tie break. He continued to spend time in front of his opponent along with a higher pace which seemed to be causing Johnson problems with shot selection when he had the time. With a lead of 2-1 and 4-2 int the 4th we heard a cry from Johnson as he went foot first into the side wall. The injury time out proved enough to make a decision where it was unwise to play so match awarded to Becker as Johnson applied ice to his ankle and reflected on a great few days of squash!

Well done to Cole Becker as winner who put in a solid performance throughout the weekend, his consistency proving key to his victories. A huge thanks to those who came out to support the event. Sponsor Kiersten Ligeti of Alain Pinel Real Estate was in attendance as were several members of the Squash Zone Member’s Handicap Tournament. Richard and his team at Squash Zone were delighted with the events and are looking forward to the next one already!

Blog Norcal News Squash Drive

Squash Drive Holiday Party

Only nine days to go until the annual Squash Drive Holiday Party, if you haven’t already gotten your tickets click here. Enjoy and evening of drinks, hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and a silent auction, with all proceeds going to Squash Drive.

Blog Norcal News Tournaments Women

2018 Howe Cup

‘The Howe Cup is the United States’ largest squash event for women and an annual team championship tournament run by US Squash. The annual women’s five-person team tournament began in 1928 as an inter-city competition between New York, Philadelphia and Boston. It received the Howe Cup title in 1955 when Virginia Griggs of New York City donated a permanent trophy, the Howe Cup, named in honor of Margaret Howe and her twin daughters Peggy and Betty.’

This year the tournament was held in Philadelphia, with teams from across the country and Canada competing. Philadelphia native and founder of the Bay Area’s Squash Drive Lauren Patrizio Xaba played in the A division for one of the Philly teams, the Philly Tasteykates. The competition was fierce in the top division, with another home team, the Philly Phab Phive, ultimately taking the title.

Lauren Patrizio Xaba (back row third from the left) with her team.

The B division was an equally tight race, with Courtney Sabo at the helm of the Boasting Bellas. This all California team played spectacularly, and brought the title back home to the west coast. Congratulations to Courtney Sabo (Bay Club San Francisco), Juliet Lamont (the University Club), Sara Barrett (Bay Club San Francisco), Rohini Gupta (Bay Club San Francisco), and Emilie van der Hoorn (University California San Francisco) on a great win!

From left to right: Rohini Gupta, Emilie van der Hoorn, Courtney Sabo, Juliet Lamont, and Sarah Barrett.

Usually a strong team, this years California C team was plagued by injuries leading up to the tournament. Unable to field a full team Carrie Kahn and Kelly McKinley (both University California San Francisco) joined with several Canadian players to form the international Golden Canucks. Despite great games and tight matches, the team was knocked out in the quarter finals.

Carrie Kahn (left) and Kelly McKinley (second from the right) pose with their Canadian teammates.

Finally, the D division saw Amanda Chew (Bay Club San Francisco) play for the New York Scared Hitless. Though the name suggests otherwise the team was calm, collected, and made it all the way from the round of 32 to the quarter finals before loosing to Chicago, who ended up winning the division.

Amanda Chew (middle row right) and her extended NY squash family.

In addition to the tournament, the players were treated to an exhibition match between Olivia Fiechter and Olivia Blatchford-Clyne. Despite knowing each other since they were juniors in highschool this is the first time the Olivia’s have battled it out on the court. Fiechter had home court advantage, but Blatchford-Clyne’s experience and patience paid off with a 3-0 victory. The matches were followed by a brief Q and A session, during which we all gained some great tips and insights. Blatchford-Clyne stressed the importance of a good warmup while Fiechter focused on nutrition as key to her performance. When asked about pre-match routines, Blatchford-Clyne admitted to her love of long hot showers before a game to clear her head. Fiechter on the other hand prefers the more horizontal approach of napping. It was an inspiring way to start off the tournament, and everyone did a great job channeling their inner Olivia’s both on and off the court.

Olivia Fiechter (left) and Olivia Blatchford-Clyne (center).
Blog Norcal News

Power of Positivity: The Advantages of Positive Self-Talk

We all know the maxim: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” Instead, take it as this “only say things to yourself that you would say to others.” This is appropriate in both squash and in life. Be kind to yourself as you would to others. ~ Bailey Bondy

Congratulations to Bailey Bondy on an excellent article in this months Squash Magazine. For anyone who may have missed it, you can find a copy on Bailey’s website, Tough Minds Sport Psychology.

Bailey graduated from Stanford with a degree in psychology and a certification in sports psychology. She also played for the women’s squash team, and as captain in her senior year took them to their all time record of fifth nationally. She currently works as a squash pro at the Bay Club San Francisco, giving squash lessons and sport psychology sessions.

Blog Norcal News Women

Women’s Squash Week at the San Francisco University Club

A huge thank you to Juliet Lamont and the University Club San Francisco for hosting a phenomenal Women’s Squash Week event on September 26. Players of all levels came to play and drill, supporting each other, the sport, and the growing community of female players in the Bay Area. Collage players faced off against beginners, while the youngest members were busy working on their racquet grip.

Blog Norcal News Tournaments Uncategorized

NorCal Squash League 2018-19 Season

The start of the 2018-19 NorCal Squash League is approaching, with this years season running from mid-October through April. The league is a great way to get to know the squash community better and play competitive matches against other clubs in the area. Currently the regions include the Peninsula League, the SF City League, the East Bay League, and the Sacramento League. There is play across all divisions, from div. 1 which includes local pros through to div. 4 for those just starting to pick up the sport. Each team consists of 6-10 players, with matches against opposing teams played every two weeks. Four players from each team play each other during a match night, with best of five, rally point games. For a full explanation of the setup and rules, please click here.

For more information regarding the league, and for information on joining, please contact us!

San Francisco – Emilie van der Hoorn
East Bay – Waqas Khan
Peninsula – Michael Corbett
Sacramento – Abel Orozco

Participating clubs include: ClubSport Fremont, ClubSport San Ramon, Oakwood Athletic Club, Active Sports Oakland, Berkeley Rec Sports, Bay Club Cupertino, Rahmat Khan & HAQ International Squash Academy, Bay Club Redwood Shores, Bay Club Santa Clara, Stanford, Squash Zone, University Club, Bay Club San Francisco, University California San Francisco, Olympic Club, Bay Club Marin, Broadstone Racquet Club, Cross Court Athletic Club, Gold River Racquet Club, Laguna Creek Racquet Club, and Rio del Oro Racquet Club.

Blog Norcal News Tournaments Uncategorized Women

Women’s Team Tournament at the BCSF

Squash is a seminal component of many women’s social lives; in fact we call it the “Squash Sisterhood.” On Saturday, September 8, the Bay Club San Francisco hosted a friendly team tournament and social event that brought together women from the Norcal region for competition, catching up, and meeting new players. The group ranged from those of us who have been playing together for the past 12 years to newer participants who are recent college grads or new arrivals to SF. Squash provides an instant sense of community in today’s transient society, particularly in San Francisco. Over 40 women attended, including local female pros Lauren Patrizio, Aisling Blake, and Shirin Kaufman.

There were 8 teams, each comprised of an A,B,C, and D player. Congratulations to the winning team, with Izzy Weisman (Club Sport San Ramon), Courtney Sabo (Bay Club San Francisco), Amara Warren (Bay Club San Francisco) and Jessica Lanham (University California San Francisco) taking home bragging rights for the year.

]1 From left to right: Amara, Courtney, Izzy, and Jess

All divisions had a great roster, particularly the women’s D division which was oversubscribed to and had a round robin in conjunction with the team tournament. Armando Olguin has been working with many women in a Monday night clinic at the Bay Club San Francisco and the group of D players has grown as a result of his coaching and encouragement. Thank you to longtime player Jacinta Corbet for her work in organizing and helping out with the women’s D round robin!

Norcal Squash kindly provided water bottles and squash balls for the event and the Bay Club San Francisco provided the courts. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm for continuing the tradition of a monthly women’s round robin, in addition to the annual women’s team tournament. Next months women’s round robin is hosted by Cathy Gregory at Stanford on October 13 at 2:00pm in Palo Alto. We anticipate that we will meet again in November at Oakwood Athletic Club in Lafayette, stay posted for more details and be sure to stay up to date on women’s squash events on Facebook.

By Carrie Kahn

Blog Norcal News

Women’s Leadership Luncheon: The Role of Sport in Professional Careers

Aisling Blake of Squash Zone and Lauren Xaba of Squash Drive are excited to host the Inaugural Bay Area Squash Women’s Leadership Luncheon on Friday, September 28th from 11:30am – 1:30pm. It will be a panel based discussion with lunch before, where they will explore the role of sport in a women’s professional career. We have some amazing panelist, including Courtney Sabo, co-founder at PadPiper, Berkeley Revenaugh, Independent Contractor and Sarah Jane Perry (current world no. 8 squash player).

Our aim is to donate proceeds to a scholarship fund for young girls (from SquashDrive and Squash On Track) to attend female enrichment camps during the summer. Click here to sign up: when you purchase a ticket a portion of it will be tax deductible and you will also get access to the afternoon session of matches at the Bay Club SF.

Best, Lauren and Aisling