TuksSquash : Tuks take USSA title

Posted on September 28, 2010

Going into the final day of play at the Student National championships, Tuks were another player short.

Jason Cole Niven (Tuks no 1) had injured his hamstring during the Tuks - UCT match. In the 2nd point of his match against UCT's Richard Colburn, Jason lunged for a shot and that was the end of his participation in the event. The rules are clear that an injured player may not compete and Tuks had to go into the final with another player down.

The odds were already heavily stacked against the Tuks team as they had arrived at the tournament without a number of key players. Emmanuel Musefwe, Chanelle Birch, Menanto Stoltz and Ashleigh Ditchfield were left at home through injury and the Tuks management were very nervous when play started on Saturday morning.

Match one saw Pukke take the lead when Leandri Sieberhagen beat 1st year Tuks student Bronwen Reilly. Shaun Mackenzie (Tuks)leveled matches with a convincing 3/0 win over his Pukke counterpart.
Next up, were the number 1's with Cheyna Tucker running Mary Anne Boden from corner to corner. Displaying confidence and exceptional speed across the court, Cheyna outclassed Mary Anne into a 3/0 defeat putting Tuks into a 2/1 lead. Christo Potgieter returned the compliment by beating Tuks' Wayne Kershaw 3/0.

Matches were even when Senade Haupt (Tuks) went on court against a very determined Janice Harmse Pukke). Playing in her last USSA event, Janice played with determination and a short lack of concentration cost Senade a 3/0 win - putting the match score on even ground when the final match started.

At this point Tuks needed one game and Pukke needed a 3/0 win .. the tension cut through the air and some hair pulling moments were experienced by both the Tuks and Pukke coaches. Shot for shot the points rallied between the 2 sides. At 9 - 9 in the 1st game, Jason Kershaw (Tuks) played a winning drive and victory was one point away .. the pressure was too much for Pukke player, Xander Robinson who made an unforced error and the match was over.

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