Upper Canada College’s varsity squash team was the underdog going in but persevered to win its third straight Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario Athletics Association (CISAA) championship on March 1.
The Blues were seeded second at the beginning of the season-ending tournament at Toronto’s Mayfair Lakeshore club and advanced to the final against Crescent School after victories over Ridley College and St. Andrew’s College.
“The stage was set for the CISAA championships, with UCC as defending champions very much in a dark horse role, having lost all three encounters with Crescent this season,” says coach Peter Frost.
UCC’s third and fifth-seeded players won their matches against Crescent while the second, sixth, seventh and eighth-seeded players were defeated. The Blues were down four matches to two and needed to sweep the final three, which were played simultaneously, to retain the championship.
Ninth-seeded Todd Joy and fourth-seeded Griffin Manley came through with victories for UCC, leaving the championship riding on the shoulders of the top seeds from the two schools. UCC’s James Flynn won the first game and was ahead in the second when his opponent, Alex Collins, hurt his ribs in a collision with Flynn while attempting to retrieve a ball.
“Despite attention by the Mayfair Lakeshore physiotherapist, Alex clearly could not continue and, although he gamely attempted to carry on, he was forced to concede the match to James,” says Frost.
It wasn’t the way that Flynn wanted to win the match, but it gave UCC its fifth victory and a narrow 5-4 decision to claim the CISAA title.