Juniors Norcal News

Madison Ho’s performance at the US Junior Nationals


Thank you Aisling Blake for this write up about our Madison Ho, the petite 9 year old from Palo Alto had a run of recent good form coming into the US Junior Nationals held last weekend in Boston, MA. Recently crowned U-13 West Coast Regional Champion, Madison has won every U-11 JCT event she has entered this year. While competing in the West Coast Regionals she came from a 10-3 deficit in the 5th game against a very tough opponent to take the title. This mental tenacity would serve her well as she competed for her first National title. Her first match was against another local player, Riya Navani of Fremont, Madison taking that match with a 3-1 win displaying some of the tight rails and front court execution she has become known for, even at such a young age. The following two matches against Rhea Pandit and Sabrina Schwarz , both of New York, were more straight forward affairs, won in 3 straight games setting up a final between the no. 2 seed Mary Kacergis of Pennsylvania. In the final, Kacergis had by far the better start of the two with a strong volley and using her height and reach to her advantage. Indeed it was not until Madison trailed 2-0 and 10-8 in the 3rd game that the crowd realised they had a match on their hands. From this point on, the tables were turned. Madison created some very positive rallies combined with a tight short game to take that game and the next, 11-9. At two games all the match was about to get interesting. Drawing on the new found confidence Madison served her way to a 10-0 lead with an exquisite lob serve which proved very problematic for the youngster from Pennsylvania. Despite a spirited comeback by Kacergis to 5-10 Madison was able to close out the match and take the U-11 title, a first for the West Coast junior. She goes home with an unblemished record for the 2015/16 season and with the mental strength she displayed in attaining the title, will undoubtedly be a bright hope for the future of West Coast and indeed, national US squash. Jay Kim Norcal Squash Association