UW’s Cameron Seth claims silver in OUA squash tournament

The Waterloo Warriors hosted the annual OUA squash championship over the Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 weekend, in which Cameron Seth, one of UW’s top players, brought home second place and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. UW rookie Blake Reinson also contributed to the Warriors’ score by picking up gold in the second flight of the tournament. The tournament took place at the Northfield Racquet Club in Waterloo. 

The OUA championship has a deep history: the Western Mustangs men’s team has now won the tournament 32  straight times with the win this year, a streak that started in 1983. Overall, the Waterloo men’s team ended in second place with 25 points. As for the women’s team, they ended in the last spot of the tournament with only three points. 

When questioned about what the hardest part of preparing for the tournament was, Seth stated, “Obviously, I knew there was going to be some tough competition. The number one players for Western and University of Toronto were all pretty close going into the competition. I knew there were going to be some tough matches.” 

Last year, Seth took the men’s individual gold medal, ruining the Mustangs impressive streak. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Seth lost his first match on Friday against Van Staveren. 

“Friday night I started off against Van Staveren and actually lost 3-0 to him, which was kind of a surprise. I thought I would have done a little better than that so that was kind of tough … because then I had to feed back in order to come back around and play in the individual title, where I had to win a bunch of tough matches,” said Seth. 

“Obviously it is a great honour.” Seth commented about his mention of being awarded the MVP award,  “I mean, I don’t go out and try to win the MVP award; I just focus on my training, one day at a time, and try to improve whatever I can improve … This is definitely the strongest the OUA has been the last four years, so to win the MVP this year is a definitely a big honour.” 

The level of competition of the OUA squash championship has been at peak level during the past years,  featuring players like Colin West from U of T, who played on the Harvard squash team for four years and was the favourite going into the tournament. Seth defeated West in the semifinals of the first flight. 

This silver medal has been the highest accomplishment for the Warriors in the past year, showing that the level of the players in the program has been improving in the past seasons thanks to coach Vinit Kudva who was named Coach of the Year by the OUA. 

Commenting on why the Warriors have improved their level in the past years, Seth stated: “The big thing that happened this year was that we got a few new recruits like Blake Reinson and Taran Ravindran … so that was a big help. Everybody has also been putting a lot more effort on training and practices and tournament matches, so I think this tournament showed how our hard work has paid off.” 

When playing against teams like Western, who has won the tournament 32 consecutive times, Seth commented the hardest part of the tournament is to not be intimated by their reputation and winning streak. 

“The hardest part is getting over that intimidation and realizing that we are good squash players and we can actually beat them.”