Washington coach Michael Bishop reports on the West Coast Round Robin.
Seattle, WA — The 2011 West Coast Round Robin at Seattle January 14-16 featured the debut of a team from the University of Oregon and the return of the West Coast trophy to the Farm in Palo Alto. Stanford had owned the trophy from 2005-2009 but were upset in 2010 by a strong Cal team just when Stanford didn’t have its strongest team on court. Matches were held at both the University of Washington courts (four international courts) and the ProClub in Bellevue (nine courts).
The weekend featured 20 matches and included the five West Coast teams (Cal, USC, Oregon, Stanford and host University of Washington) as well as teams from Illinois and Notre Dame (perhaps “west” in terms of collegiate squash?). Because of school break, Illinois and Notre Dame were partial teams, with four and six players respectively, but still put up strong showings. Oregon made up for their inexperience with their enthusiasm in their first match. The Ducks have but one court they can use for practice and play, making it all the more remarkable that they had nine players.
Fortieth-ranked University of Washington used home court advantage, an enthusiastic crowd, and a Cal team missing several top players still on winter break to help them to an 8-1 victory over the 34th-ranked Bears. Home court was not enough to hold back Stanford, which rolled to an 8-1 win over the Huskies. Stanford beat Cal by a similar margin.
Illinois brought their number 2, 3, and 5 players who represented the Illini well and showed that they are to be reckoned with when the full team returns.
The 2012 West Coast RR is tentatively scheduled for Stanford, date to be determined.