Hawke's Bay squash player Winona-Jo Joyce will receive her second taste of world junior championship play next week.
"It's sad for Kaitlyn but I'm excited about the opportunity," 18-year-old Havelock North A2 grader Joyce said.
She was referring to her call up for the teams segment of the champs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after Palmerston North's Kaitlyn Watts was forced to withdraw with a stomach virus which hindered her throughout the individual segment of the champs.
Joyce was considered unlucky not to be have been selected originally and proved the point with her second placing in the under-19 division at last month's Hawke's Bay-hosted North Island junior championships and winning of the under-19 title for the second time at the South Island junior championships in Christchurch the following week.
In her North Island champs semifinal, left hander Joyce beat one of the players selected ahead of her for Malaysia, Waikato's Georgia Robcke, in straight sets.
Second seed Joyce was beaten 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 by the top seed and another member of the Kiwi team for Malaysia, Waikato's Anika Jackson.
In Christchurch Joyce, the top seed, beat the second seeded Waikato B1 grader Caitlin Evison in straight sets in their final.
Joyce won this title in 2017 but missed out on the opportunity to retain it last year because she was competing in the individual segment of the world junior champs in Chennai, India, where she recorded two wins and three losses and returned home with a world junior ranking of 50.
The Technifibre-Focus Health Havelock North-Pay 2 Play-sponsored Joyce received news of her call up last night after arriving in Tauranga to coach the Havelock North High School girls team at the national secondary schools tournament which began this morning and continues until Sunday.
"I don't fly out of Auckland until 10pm today so mum and dad [Megan and Rewi] will bring my gear to Tauranga today. Dad will take over the coaching and mum will take me up to Auckland," Joyce explained.
Her B2 graded sister Rakairoa is playing for the Havelock North High School team which is chasing the title won by Napier Girls' High School last year.
Joyce will begin playing in the teams event on Monday and will return to Hawke's Bay on August 11.
"Fortunately I will have a couple of days to adjust to the climate. I'm not sure who we are scheduled to play or where the New Zealand team is hoping to finish. I'll just get over there and try to do my best for the team," Joyce said.
Because she is a late replacement, Joyce didn't have to pay as much towards the trip as the players originally selected in the Kiwi team.
"Squash New Zealand contributed $1000 and the whanau did a quick whip around for the rest so I was lucky in that respect," added Joyce.