‘Birders’ bring home hardware


Anika Alexander and Aaron Bujold brought home hardware from the Copperfin 2010 Fall Smash in Kenora over the weekend.
Alexander won the A-side of the tournament, going undefeated in all seven of her matches, while Bujold reeled off six-straight wins after dropping his opening “sorting round” match.
The tournament pitted boys and girls aged 10-17 against each other in one large group.
Each played two single-game matches, then were sorted into one of four divisions based on their results.
Players who won both “sorting round” matches, like Alexander, were placed on the ‘A’ side.
Alexander overcame Jason Schram and Davin Iverson, both of Kenora, in her opening matches.
Then in Pool 2 of the ‘A’ side, she swept local Jacob Jack 2-0 (21-12 and 21-10), Kenora’s Logan Ginn 2-0 (21-14 and 21-10), and Kenora’s Alex Smith 2-0 (21-6 and 21-12).
In the playoff round, Alexander beat Aaron Ogrodnick of The Pas 2-0 (21-19 and 21-12) before besting Kenora’s Tyler Neil 2-0 (21-17 and 21-19) in the final.
Jack, meanwhile, beat Eric Nelson and Andrew Neil, both of Kenora, in the sorting round but then lost all three matches on the ‘A’ side.
In addition to dropping the match to Alexander, he fell 2-0 (21-14 and 21-10) to Ginn and 2-0 (21-18 and 21-17) to Smith.
Also on the ‘A’ side, Taylor Whitehead downed Kenora’s Jacob Beckerton and Winnipeg’s Will Purves in the “sorting round.”
He finished tied for second with a 1-2 record in Pool 1, but lost the tie-breaker and mised the playoff round.
Whitehead beat Ogrodnick 2-1 (21-14, 12-21, and 21-17) but fell to Neil 2-1 (17-21, 21-9, and 21-6) and then Kenora’s Cole Forsyth 2-1 (20-22, 21-19, and 21-18).
On the ‘C’ side, 10-year-old Bujold lost his opening match to Kenora’s Ben Scott but then got hot, beginning with a win over Teale Iverson of Kenora.
He was challenged in pool play but prevailed in all three matches, edging Kenora’s Boe Rogers 2-1 (21-9, 13-21, and 21-14) and Matt Beaulieu 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, and 21-14) before sweeping Stuart Robertson of Kenora 2-0 (21-9 and 21-14).
In the playoff round, Bujold outlasted Kenora’s Riley Beacham 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, and 21-18) and Beaulieu 2-1 (21-17, 19-21 and 22-20) to win the title.
Meanwhile, Connor Bujold made the ‘B’-side playoffs but bowed out in the semi-finals.
He began the tournament with a win over Johnny Houlden of Kenora, but fell to Smith to end the “sorting round.”
Bujold then won all three group matches, beating Neil 2-0 (21-9 and 21-18), Kenora’s Aoedan Montieth 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, and 21-10) and Davin Iverson 2-1 (22-20, 19-21, and 21-13) to advance.
However, Bujold fell to Kenora’s Jared Sundmark 2-0 (21-15 and 22-20) in their semi-final battle.
Two other locals played on the ‘D’ side, with Chase Badiuk also qualifying for the playoffs but falling in the semis.
Badiuk lost his “sorting round” matches to Ogrodnick and Robertson, but rebounded with two victories in group play.
He downed fellow local MacKenzie Wright 2-0 (21-8 and 29-27) and Teale Iverson 2-0 (21-8 and 21-15), but lost to eventual champion Jacob Beckerton of Kenora 2-1 (21-9, 20-22, and 21-13).
Then in the semis, he dropped a tight 2-1 match to Schram (18-21, 21-18, and 22-20).
Wright, meanwhile, lost “sorting round” matches to Kenora’s Tyler Neil and to Rogers.
In addition to falling to Badiuk, Wright lost 2-0 to Beckerton (21-8 and 21-15) and 2-0 to Iverson (21-15 and 21-10).
Coach Manami Alexander was thrilled with the results, especially as both Bujolds, Wright, and Badiuk all were competing in their first out-of-town tournaments.
“All of our juniors played hard, and learned how to play different players and adjust to various types of games in a singles setting,” Alexander noted in an e-mail.
“I see everyone improved throughout the tournament and was excited to challenge a variety of competitors from other clubs,” she added.