World Junior Championships, Women’s Teams Event Wrap2 Aug 2023
The New Zealand Junior Women’s Team has wrapped its campaign at the World Junior Championships, leaving the pinnacle tournament with two wins and two losses to take 9th place.
Ella Lash (Auckland), Sophie Hodges (Waikato), Anne Leakey (Auckland) and Anabel Romero Gemmell (Central) represented New Zealand in the Women’s Teams event in Melbourne, with competition following the individual event the week before.
Team number one Ella Lash says it was a fantastic tournament.
“The environment we were in was so cool, all the teams were great and we learnt so much. It’s really motivated me and made me want to be even more dedicated to squash,” said Lash.
The Kiwis were seeded ninth heading into the tournament and took on second seeded Malayasia in their first match.
“It’s pretty cool to play those top seeds,” said Lash.
“We lost but it was a really good experience to compete at that level of squash. It’s another level to what we’ve got in New Zealand so it was a great opportunity to get to play against them and get to watch and learn.”
The team then played Australia in a Trans-Tasman battle. Leaky won her match 3-0 first up, Hodges was next, going down 3-1, with Lash also down 3-1.
“We were all super disappointed about that loss, it was a very quiet dinner that night but we were all still able to show up as a team for the next round,” said Lash.
The team then beat South Africa 2-1 before a comfortable 2-0 victory over Scotland for 9th place.
Team Manager Tamsyn Leevey says the young women did a fantastic job of representing New Zealand.
“These athletes have grown so much over the past year and you could see it in their squash,” said Leevey.
“It’s difficult when you’re playing the same people over and over in New Zealand so it was great for them to have a different experience. They were really competitive as well and it showed them that this could be a path for them to go down if they’re dedicated to it.”
NZ v Scotland – NZ 2 – 0
NZ v South Africa – NZ 2 – 1
NZ v Australia – Aus 2 – 1
NZ v Malaysia – 3 – 0