NZSS Squash Champions

Whangarei Girls' High School were thrilled to put their name on a New Zealand Secondary Schools trophy this past weekend, winning their maiden NZSS Squash Championships title in Tauranga.

Whangarei Girls' were top seeds heading into the tournament, but they had to be at their best to see off the other leading schools, who included recent champions Palmerston North Girls' High School (third), Havelock North High School and Westlake Girls' High School.

It was a team tournament that saw schools play the best of five singles games against each other per tie, with the respective seeded players facing off against each other, i.e. fifth versus fifth and first versus first.

Whangarei captain and the team's second seed Pippa Saunders said their strength and the key to victory was in their depth of players, having strong players all the way through the squad.

“In past years we have had really strong players, but the depth dropped away a bit at the bottom, but this year we had a team full of B graders so our bottom players won all their games comfortably," said Pippa.

“It is pretty hard to get a team full of top players, so having that consistency is the key to winning this event,"

The team ranged in age from years 9 to 13, with three year 9 players in the squad including third seed Chelsea Traill who was named in the NZ Junior Girls team after the tournament.

The team consisted of :Shea Ferguson (1), Pippa Saunders (2), Chelsea Traill (3), Ruby Collins (4), Amy Brown (5), Olivia Rhodes (6), Jordyn Chapman (7).

Coach: Delwyn Houlihan. Manager: Justine Collins