Family legacy continues in squash championships

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Five years ago, Micaala Seth, and her younger sister Natasha Seth, launched the women’s squash team. The sisters were able to take the team to second place at the Ontario university championships in 2012. Now, with Micaala gone and Natasha soon to graduate, does the varsity squash team have a void to fill? 

The team is in good hands with the other, equally amazing Seths. Cameron Seth is a third year in the math and physics program. Natasha is soon to graduate the information technology management program. The youngest, Marisa, is a first-year in the math program. All are part of the squash team, and there is even a squash-playing younger brother who may too, one day become a Warrior. 

The Seths are a legacy family. Their parents both attended Waterloo, with their father playing squash and their mother playing tennis. The Seths were introduced to racket sports early, as their parents took them to a Elora, Ontario athletic club where they were introduced to a variety of sports. 

From basketball to badminton, the Seths played it all, “other than hockey,” the siblings joked in an interview. Cameron, currently ranked 43rd in Canada, said he only took up squash out of a number of other sports because he “was good at it,” and it is easy to get better. Natasha said she simply “fell into it,” but she and Cameron also enjoy the individual aspect of the game. 

Living in Fergus, the siblings commented on how there are not a lot of people to train with. When asked if they practise against each other, Cameron said that the siblings are all at different levels, “so it’s no longer super competitive, but we train all the time.” 

The Canadian University and College Squash Championship held this past weekend, Feb. 28 to Mar. 2, is a huge squash tournament in Canada, with players from all over the country. Some of the top-ranked players in the tournament are playing professionally, training every day. This year, one of the top contenders of the championship was Warrior Cameron Seth, ranked second going into the tournament. 

Held at the Northfield Racquet Club in Waterloo, the tournament had 10 Warriors on the roster this year; three of them Seths. The youngest, Marisa, was unable to place, but her siblings showed only encouragement, stating “she still got four more years.” Cameron and Natasha, however, went far in the tournament. Both made it to the bronze medal match of the championships, and both were able to win. 

Natasha swept her final game, winning 11–6, 11–9, 11–9. When asked about how she did so well, Natasha explained that she watched her opponent Evelyn Moorhouse’s previous match beforehand, and asked a fellow teammate for advice on Moorhouse. “I was mentally prepared, I wanted to win the bronze … we had some great rallies, but they were definitely close: 11–9, 11–9 is really close!” 

Cameron, however, did not have as easy a game. The first two of five sets went to his opponent, Albert Shoihet, with close calls. The second set was at 8–10 for Shoihet when a technical call by the ref led to Cameron’s loss. But the hometown hero could not be put down, and Cameron was able to come back, tying the match at 2–2 in sets. 

When asked how he was able to come back, Cameron commented how he was quick to play through and continue the game. As the game wore on, Shoihet started to look exhausted and was taking all the time he could to regain his stamina. Shoihet was quickly getting tired, “which I was hoping would happen,” Cameron explained, “because I knew if he didn’t get tired, it was gonna be tough to get back, being down 2–0.” 

Sunday afternoon, Cameron and Natasha Seth were awarded their bronze medals. When asked if they were content with a bronze, both said they were considering those who placed ahead of them play professionally.

Head squash coach Vinit Kudva was also happy with the finishes. “They played some amazing squash and it showed in the results,” he said. Kudva also said both Natasha and Cameron improved greatly over the season, with Natasha being MVP at OUA and Cameron coming back from a loss versus Shoihet at the beginning of the season only to win against him at the recent championships.

When asked how the squash team will overcome the loss of Natasha and the other graduating students, Kudva commented that next year would be “a building year because [the team’s rookies] definitely do not have the experience that these other players have, but they have shown some great commitment, some great level of learning to be able to push the game to the next level.” 

When asked what their future plans are, Cameron said, “I’ll be focusing on helping with the team … but also working on my own training.” He will also continue to captain the team. Natasha commented that even after graduation, she would like to stick around and help out, “I’m hoping to stay involved with the team … I’d still definitely want to keep playing and keep competing.” 

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