by John Lumley
We had players from across the country coming to Philadelphia to take home the National Under 23’s & Under 26’s trophies. In the singles Erik Barker was the no.1 seed for both 23’s & 26’s. In the 23’s he had a good match against Chase Motz but proved too much winning 8-2. Paul Monaghan was the no.2 seed and took down Noah Motz 8-4 after being 4-1 down at the start. The final saw power Paul vs eager Erik where Erik was getting everything back from good cut shots to 120mph forces. He won 10-4 to take his first title over Paul. In the 23’s doubles Paul Monaghan & Laurenson Ward had a close match vs Erik Barker & James Shaver where it went down to the final game winning 8-7. They played Chase & Noah Motz in the final and managed to take the win 8-6 giving Monaghan & Ward the title.
In the Under 26’s Barker had a pretty straight forward road to the final beating Monaghan 8-1 in the semi’s. Dylan Ward also had a good run to the final beating Noah Motz 8-4 in the semi’s. Barker had a good start taking an early lead against Ward but he fought back with some change of pace balls and good length. It came down to 9 all final game where Barker stayed calm and collected to take the 26’s singles title 10-9 over Dylan Ward. The 26’s doubles saw Barker & Noah Motz cruise to the final. Dylan & Laurenson Ward had a good match very Paul Monaghan & Dan Steinberg seeing lots of good forcing and volleying especially from Steinberg but it wasn’t enough to keep the Ward’s at bay being 8-4 to progress them to the final. The Ward brothers came out swinging and getting lots of balls on target causing Motz & Barker lots of trouble. They fought back with Noah hitting some impressive fast balls and Barker’s volleying but it wasn’t enough to stop the Ward’s running away and taking the 26’s doubles title 8-3. Great to seeing such a good level and future of the game progressing so well.