With a flourish of her racket, Jennifer Lee ’18 slammed a shot into the back of the court, pinning her opponent in the back and allowing herself to finish the point. Lee went on to win her match 3-0, securing the deciding point in Andover’s 4-3 victory over Choate in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2016 U.S. High School Team Squash Girls Division II National Championships last weekend.
The team went on to finish in third place at Nationals. Andover beat Rye High School 6-1 in the Round of 16, before it edged out Choate in the Quarterfinals and ultimately fell 5-2 to Taft, now the Division II National Champion, in the Semifinals.
After placing in 13th out of 16 at the 2015 Division I Nationals, Andover looked to improve upon last year’s results.
Against Choate, the team was eager to redeem itself after suffering a 3-4 loss to Choate earlier in the season.
Andover started off neck-to-neck with Choate, as Zoe Oasis ’17, Avery Westerfield ’18 and Brita Luke ’19 won their matches, playing at seeds two, three and seven, respectively. With the match deadlocked at 3-3, Lee’s victory propelled Andover into the Semifinals.
Oasis said, “Amazingly, Jen didn’t crack under the pressure and she stepped up and played an awesome match. We were all super happy that she won and really proud of her for performing so well under the immense pressure.”
The day before facing off against Choate, Andover started Nationals on a strong note by winning its first match of the tournament against Rye 6-1. Against Rye, all Andover players who won their individual matches swept their opponents 3-0.
Lee said, “The entire team played well in our match against Rye High School. It was our first match of the tournament, so I think that our excitement and mental preparation leading up to Nationals definitely translated into how we performed.”
Andover finished its campaign at Nationals with a 5-2 loss against Taft in the Semifinals. Sixth seed Caroline Yun ’18 and Luke were the only players from Andover to secure wins. Yun won 3-2, while Luke cruised to a 3-1 victory.
Reflecting on Nationals, the team is generally satisfied with its performance.
Patel said, “As a group, we all performed strongly and supported each other in the physically demanding [matches]. We are very proud of how we placed because we all put in tremendous effort.”
Andover will travel to Milton on Saturday to resume play within the Nepsac School league.