The Virgin Islands national men’s squash team recently competed at the Pan American Squash Championships in the Cayman Islands.
The team included Joe Chapman, Mike Adamson, Neville Sorrentino and Dion Anselm. The four team members were accompanied by head squash coach Adam Murrills.
In the individual event, the majority of the competitors were full-time professional squash players.
Messrs. Adamson, Sorrentino and Anselm all had tough matches against world-ranked players from Canada, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Mr. Chapman reached the last 32 of the draw after winning his first match, 3-0. He then faced the number one seed and number 11 in the world Diego Elias. Mr. Chapman fell to Mr. Elias and he went on to win the gold medal.
The doubles event followed with Messrs. Chapman and Sorrentino representing the VI. They were pitted against Bermuda who had two players ranked in the top 150 in the world.
“It was a fast paced affair with lots of winners and attacking flair,” according to a press release sent to this paper. “With two current full time professionals they had the extra consistency and quality required to win the important points at the back end of the games.”
Bermuda won the match, 2-0.
In the team event, countries competed for a spot at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in 2019.
The team event was played in a three-man team format. The team is ordered 1-3, who then play off against the opposing team’s matching number. The VI faced Colombia, Bermuda, Paraguay and Guyana.
The VI team didn’t win a match, but Mr. Chapman managed to get two wins against the opposing number-one ranked players from both Paraguay and Guyana.
The VI players also participated in a training camp while at the tournament.
“The event as a whole was hugely enjoyable and a massive learning experience for all of us involved,” said BVISRA Head Squash Coach Adam Murrills. “Being exposed to some of the very best squash players in the world was a real eye opener and getting to not only watch, but compete against them has definitely opened our players’ minds as to different styles of play and what is really possible on the court.”