Squash Ontario, in partnership with Black Knight, is proud to announce the second installment of the 2016-17 season's player of the month award. With an incredible amount of activity to close out 2016, there were many extraordinary performances to choose from. Please join us in congratulating the November/December 2016 BK Players of the Month's James Flynn, Erica McGillicuddy, Lisa Bogdan, and Nick Sachvie.
James Flynn narrowly edges out Akasham Rajagopaul who both completed the impressive Provincial/National double with back to back Ontario Junior Closed and Canadian Junior Open titles in the U17 and U19 categories, respectively, to close out 2016. Both are extremely worthy candidates but Flynn gets the nod by traveling to the US Junior Open, one of the strongest and deepest events in the world, and posting an impressive 10th place finish losing to the eventual champion in the round of 16. Honorable mentions go to Nikhil Ismail, our BU15 provincial champion and CJO runner-up, Jacob Marrison who bags his first provincial (U11) title backing it up with a 9th place US Open finish, Josh Kay the U13 provincial champion and 6th place finisher at the CJO, London’s Sujai Shah who moves up 7 places with his U13 Silver #4 title and TRC’s Liam Trail for debuting in the U11 top 10 this month as a Silver #4 finalist.
The girls division was equally close to call with three finalists for this month’s top honor. Both U13 provincial champion Maya Mansoor and 5-time provincial champion Nicole Kendall who brought home the 2016 U19 title had outstanding results during this period. Maya “The Terminator” Mansoor backed up her Ontario trophy with a 5th place CJO finish and a Top 16 US Open result. Meanwhile one of the top Ontario juniors in the past decade, Kendall was in the midst of balancing squash and school obligations had a 6th place CJO finish and a round of 16 US open result. However, the BK player of the month award goes to Erica McGillicuddy for her incredible month. McGillicuddy has had a solid season so far but an upped her level at exactly the right time as she upset the top two seeds en route to capturing her first provincial championship in the Girls U15 draw. Erica went on to post a Top 8 CJO finish and earlier in the month had won the PureHMV Ontario Open Women’s A draw. Other notable achievements include first time provincial champions, unseeded Reese McLean (U17), and Hannah McCarthy (U11). Other players to keep your eye on include Georgia Baldwin and Keira Hickox who both gate crashed the GU11 Top 10 with championships in Silver #4 and Grand Prix #6, respectively.
Senior Women’s player of the month goes to London’s Lisa Bogdan who has been diligently improving her game the last two seasons and was rewarded in December with her first ever Women’s A tournament victory, taking home the 2016 St. Ives Women’s Classic held at Executive Squash and Fitness. Bogdan came up just short earlier in November at the Pure HMV Ontario Closed, losing in a tight semifinal match before entering the St. Ives as the #4 seed, beating two higher ranked opponents to win the tournament and improve her ranking 7 spots to #30 in the province and #5 in the Over 50 category. Other impressive results in particular on the professional side include Canadian #1 Sam Cornett returning from injury to win the 2016 Ontario Closed title as well as the Simon Warder Memorial in Sarnia the following weekend. Rising star Hollie Naughton had a big month on the tour, rising to a career high #42 and winning her first ever 10k in Vancouver, following it up with a victory over former world champion Rachel Grinham later in the month in Monaco. In addition, Micaala Seth was a finalist in the Ontario Closed and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Simon Warder. On the amateur side, notable players were Queen’s University #1 Alison Richmond and her continued undefeated play for the top ranked Golden Gaels and newcomer Michelle Mosely who shocked the field by winning the Women’s B in the Ontario Closed as an unseeded player.
Our Senior Male BK Player of the Month is no stranger to excellence with an impressive junior, college and now professional resume already in the books. Nick Sachvie from White Oaks is unanimously voted the Nov/Dec 2016 recipient. Nick began November by winning his first ever PSA title as an unseeded player in the 10k Minneapolis event and closed the month out with his second ever PSA title in Montreal, improving his world ranking an incredible 66 places from #155 on November 1st to #89 on January 1st. Sandwiched in between, Nick claimed the 2016 PureHMV Ontario Closed Title at Mayfair Lakeshore in impressive form to complete one of the best months of squash this province has seen in some time.
Honorable mention goes to Nick’s longtime training partner Mike McCue who in the same time frame continued his steady rise from #107 to #91 on the PSA rankings with a runner-up in Ottawa and semi-final finish in Sasktatoon 10k. In addition, strong months from Mohanad Hekal who posted a 4th place finish in the Ontario Closed and went undefeated at the #1 position for Ryerson and Ravi Seth of Waterloo who also went undefeated at the #1 spot highlighting the talent currently on display in the Jesters University League. On the amateur side, congratulations are in order to unseeded Men’s B and C provincial champions Aly Somani, and Joel Prior who both burst onto the tournament scene in November.
All BK Players of the Month will receive a personalized plaque and a roll of top of the line string courtesy of Squash Ontario Rankings Sponsor Black Knight.