Qualifying Round 1 under way

(L) Mario Yañez (MEX) bt (7) Shahid Hussain (PAK) 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-7) 26m
(L) Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt (4) Victor Manuel Garcia Ramirez (MEX) 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-6) 22m
(6) Adam Perkiomaki (USA) bt (L) Oscar Lopez Hidalgo (MEX) 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5) 64m
(L) Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt (5) Chaudhary Nasir Anwar (PAK) 3-0 (11-0, 11-0, 11-0) 10m
(L) Neil Cordell (ENG) bt Michelangelo Bertocchi (ITA) 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-1) 25m

IMG_4662After several last minute PSA player withdrawals, the drastically re-arranged qualifying draw for the 2015 Rochester ProAm finally got under way with 3 first round byes and 4 current University of Rochester Squash team “Yellowjackets” and 2 former team members/assistant coaches playing the local and reserve local spots. Tomorrow’s final draw of qualifying features at least one match with two of the victorious Yellowjackets facing each other while the rest square off against visiting PSA pros.

(Match reports by Jesse Cramer)

Mario Yanez (MEX) bt. Shahid Hussain (PAK) 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-7) 26 mins

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Tomotaka Endo (JPN) bt. Victor Manuel Garcia (MEX) 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-6) 22 mins
Despite Victor Manuel Garcia’s best attempts keep the match physically taxing, he could not overcome the steady play of University of Rochester freshman Tomotaka Endo. The rallies tending to be long and searching, but the vast majority switched gears via a rapid succession of Endo volleys. Garcia would scramble to recover, but the building pressure began to take its toll.
To the layperson, the match was a gritty fight. A seasoned squash eye could see that Endo was firmly in control.

Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt. Chaudhary Nasir Anwar (PAK) 3-0 (11-0, 11-0, 11-0) 10 mins
From the onset, the fate of this match lay in the fickle wrist of University of Rochester sophomore Ryosei Kobayashi. Despite Anwar’s best efforts, Ryo was too strong, too fast, and too skilled. The recently crowned First Team All-American cruised to a 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 victory.

Neil Cordell (ENG) bt. Michelangelo Bertocchi (ITA) 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-1) 25 mins

rocprosquash2015-01The only match of the night pairing two current University of Rochester players saw junior captain Neil “The Cabbie” Cordell taking on Michelangelo “The Exhibitionist” Bertocchi.
The first two games yielded wonderful squash, as the two players’ experience with one another led to some even play. Although Bertocchi led at 4-2, then 8-6, he could not pull away. Cordell use tight control to counteract Bertocchi hard-hitting style. At 9-10 down, Cordell managed to squeeze a drop shot into a Bertocchi error. Then, in extra points, Cordell played steady squash until Bertocchi clipped the tin twice in succession. 12-10 to Cordell.
The second game ran much like the first in terms of tactics, but Cordell managed to eke out a small yet constant lead. Despite Bertocchi’s hustling, he could not pull back. Cordell wins the second 11-7.
The third saw Bertocchi get unlucky and lose a bit of focus. Cordell seized the opportunity, bumping up his cab fare to Peak Hour levels. Although the aroma of bagels briefly wafted through the Lyman Squash Complex, it was but a dream. Cordell wins the third 11-1.

Adam Perkiomaki (USA) bt. Oscar Lopez (MEX) 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5) 64 mins

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Two former University of Rochester players (and current UR assistant squash coaches) faced off in the most impressive match of the night. The crowd was endlessly entertained by fast reactions, long stretches, unexpected shots, and 90 minutes of back-and-forth squash.
Lopez jumped out to an early lead in game 1, and Perkiomaki was caught a bit flat-footed. That was all Lopez needed, and he rode his early lead to a comfortable 8-11 game 1 victory.
Game 2, however, saw Perkiomaki ready to play. After asserting himself on the T, Perko began to control Lopez, forcing repeated sprints and lunges from the limber Mexican. Lopez did an amazing job picking up many near-winners, but Perko smoothly kept his foot on the pedal, and pulled out the second game 11-9.
Game 3 was more of the same, but Lopez began to read Perko a bit better, and adjusted his tactics accordingly. The match became just as much about will-power—who wants to control the T more—as it did skill. And in Game 3, Lopez won the battle of wills. He pulled ahead 2-1 with a 12-10 win, but the physical toll began to show towards the end.
Game 4 saw both players—who are part-time students, part-time coaches, and part-time professionals—looking a bit ragged. Both continued to play deftly with their rackets, but their legs couldn’t reproduce their earlier efforts. And thus, the scales began to tip towards Perkiomaki, whose tactic of holding and flicking started to put points away, SCORE
Game 5 began with a string of seven points for Perkiomaki. Lopez grinded back to 3-7, but the physical work from the early games was too much to overcome. Perkiomaki wins comfortably, albeit also exhausted.


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