Coach Denis: Players learnt valuable lessons - Walker, Mullings secure top-three finish at regional tourney
Head coach of Jamaica's junior squash team, Rene Denis, is hoping that the country's representatives will benefit from the strong competition faced in the individual segment of the Caribbean Area Squash Association's Junior Championships, which is now under way in the Cayman Islands.
Jamaica's players had a tough time at the tournament, especially in battles against their counterparts from Guyana, the leading regional team.
Under-17 male player, Jonathan Walker, finished second in his age group after losing 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 to Shermane Griffith of Barbados in the final.
With the top-two finish, Walker delivered the strongest performance from a Jamaican player in the individual age group segment of the competition.
Among the females, former Caribbean and All Jamaica champion, Alyssa Mullings, emerged the top performer as she finished third in her age group.
The seasoned contender bounced back from a 14-12, 11-6, 8-1, 11-9 loss to Guyana's Taylor Fernandes in the semi-finals to beat Thandi Myers of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States 11-1, 11-4, 11-6 in the third-place play-off.
"We knew it was going to be highly competitive going into the individual competition and our players are learning some valuable lessons that will make them stronger contenders in the future," expressed Denis.
"We're proud of Jonathan and Alyssa, who both finished in the top three of their age groups. But the competition is not over yet and now we're focused on the team events," he added.
Under-15 girls contender, Mia Lake, finished fourth after losing 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 to Makeda Harding of Guyana in the third-place play-off.
Also, All Jamaica Under-19 boys' champion, Tahjia Lumley, was sixth in his age group after an 11-9, 11-8 11-7 loss to Benjamin Mekdeci of Guyana in the quarter-finals.
The team segment of the championships got under way yesterday, when Jamaica battled against hosts Cayman Islands in boys' action and the girls played against regional kingpins Guyana.