Combined Reporting from US Squash and National Capital Squash
Team USA ended its 2018 Pan American Junior Championships campaign by claiming bronze medals in both the girls’ and boys’ team competitions June 23, 2018 at the Capitol Squash Center in Brasilia, Brazil.
The U.S. delegation returned home with a total of five medals, including the girls’ and boys team bronzes.
The boys’ team, including National Capital Squash Junior Liam Rotzoll, outperformed their eight seeding by making a surprise run to the semifinals. The U.S. boys clinched a spot in the semis with of an upset over four seeds Mexico in the quarterfinals. The boys eventually fell against a strong Canadian team in the semifinals, consigning the U.S. to bronze medals.
Prior to the team championship, Liam competed in the individual event. Despite a 17/32 seeding, he shocked a 5/8 seed from Mexico, coming back from 2-1 to take the thrilling match 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 13-11, 14-12.
The boys’ team included Cullen Little (U19), Liam Rotzoll (U19), Myles McIntyre (U17) and Nick Spizzirri (U17). The girls’ team included Claire Aube (U19), Haley Aube (U19), Jesse Brownell (U17) and Ashley Manning (U17).
“Overall a very good performance from Team USA,” Rocha said. “More and more countries are taking part in this event and it’s certainly raised the bar, competition has gotten tougher. The kids adapted quickly to weather and court conditions and also to the softball doubles format, which they rarely play. Getting on the podium for the doubles divisions was definitely part of our goal since other countries spend a fair amount practicing it. It was a fantastic experience for everyone especially for the younger team members.”
The 2018 squad matched 2017 with a total of five medals. Twelve nations from North and South American competed for the twenty-one medals on offer.