11 , 2002
Upset in India....
Julian Illingworth scored an important win for both the
team and his own career in taking out highly regarded Dutch Junior
Dylan Bennett (5-8 seed in individuals) in 4 games.
The Prince US Junior
Men’s Team continues to shock the field at the World Junior
Championships in India, this time in the Team competition.
Based on the individual
play - in which Julian Illingworth’s upset number three seed
Moustafa Essam - Team USA earned the tenth seed overall, and the
third seed in the Group B pool behind Pakistan and Holland and ahead
of Hong Kong and Zimbabwe.
Day one team matches
went as forecasted, with the US falling to Pakistan 3-0, and defeating
bottom-seed Zimbabwe 3-0. The team’s first challenge came
on day two against Holland. According to Assistant Coach Duncan
Pearson, “This is the match we’re gearing everything
toward. A victory over Holland would give the boy’s a legitimate
shot at the top eight draw.”
And so it began. Number
two Holland vs. number three US, with the nation’s top dogs,
Julian Illingworth and Dylan Bennet, playing first.
The first game was a
nail-bitter, with Julian coming out of the blocks seemingly tentative
and nervous about his tactics. Julian was down 7-1 before he found
a groove and strung together a few quick points. In the end, Julian
made a comeback and won the first 10-8. This was a key psychological
blow, as he had proved to Bennett he could come from behind.
The second, Dylan came
out stronger and won, but it was again a close game. The next two
games, Julian pushed Dylan to his limits and eventually won the
next two games, with Julian bageling Bennet in the fourth. A good
way to start off the match with the 7th seed Holland.
Next on was Chris
Gordon at #2, who was playing a diesel of an opponent.
He was big and strong, and very steady. In this match, Chris was
just overpowered and eventually fell in 3.
The match now layed on
the shoulders of Nick Chirls at #3. Nick came out
very nervous the first game, trying to shoot the ball into victory.
His stratgey didnt work. He began shooting the ball too of! ten
giving the dutchmen opportunties to end the points. Nick dropped
the first rather quickly. The next game, Nick came out with a slightly
different strategy playing tough but still making mistakes, getting
down 7-2 in the second.
Then the tide shifted.
From that point was dominating, hitting nicks and every shot to
perfection. He came back that game and pulled it out. Couple of
fist pumps later, Nick won the third 9-0, then the fourth 9-0. Sweet
victory for the US.
Nick said after the match
that he had so much adrenaline throughout the whole match.
We now control our own
destiny in the pools. Tomorow we play Hong Kong, and if we win,
we will advance out of our pool and into the top 8!! For the rest
of the day we will enjoy our victory and be ready and focused for
our match tomorow. - Michael and Team USA