For the first time in twenty-two years, a team from New York captured the U.S. Women’s Team Squash Championship A division title, or Howe Cup, this weekend at Chelsea Piers in Stamford Connecticut.
NY “Bleed Blue” went undefeated in the A division, overcame runners up, the Boston Fusion, in the final match of the tournament.
In the B division, the Cabernet Canucks Recorked became the first Canadian champions in tournament history, defeating the Capital Lob-B-ists 3-2 in the final.
The Canadians continued their successful Howe Cup campaign in the C division with the Canucks Chix reaching the final. Boston C-Party took the C Division title.
The largest D division in tournament history with sixteen teams saw another tournament first as the Purple Reign became the first team from Minnesota to win a Howe Cup title. The D Division is also known as the Kathi Goertzen cup, which is second year it has been awarded. The Cup was donated by Shabana Khan in memory of a Woman squash player in Seattle.
More than two hundred and fifty women competed on forty-nine teams in the tournament’s eighty-third year.
The Howe Cup, the United States’ largest squash event for women, has a long history. The annual women’s five-person team tournament first began in 1928 as an inter-city competition between New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Over the past five years, the Howe Cup has seen the more participation than any other U.S. Championship with twenty percent growth.
“The Howe Cup continues to amaze me, ” said Kim Clearkin, US Squash Director of National Championships. “The camaraderie and sportsmanship on display is outstanding and inspirational. Standing back on Saturday night I couldn’t help but take in the atmosphere, especially on the dance floor. It just re-enforced for me what is the essence of Howe Cup. I feel very lucky to be part of this community of women, from across the US and Canada. Fiercely competitive on court yet best of friends off it.”
The Howe Cup brought women of all ages and skill levels from across the U.S. and Canada together for a fun, inclusive weekend of squash. With four Skill levels titles available—divisions A-D—everyone had a chance of winning. Many teams included both adult and NUSEA junior players, creating mentorships as a part of a camaraderie-filled weekend.
“Congratulations to everyone that participated in every division, singles and doubles, ” Clearkin said. “I am sure many new rivalries were formed this weekend, and many re-ignited. I saw players euphoric in victory but also in defeat. Joy was in the participation—not just the result.”