Third seed Jennifer Lee ’18 played out a long point against her opponent from Phillips Exeter Academy, before hitting a deep forehand cross court to secure a 3-1 win, with scores of 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, and 11-8. Lee’s win secured Andover’s 5-2 victory against Exeter last Sunday and clinched the team a thirteenth place overall finish out of 16 teams in Division I at the Head 2017 U.S. High School Squash Team Championships.
The team tied for thirteenth place with Germantown Friends, as it was unable to play the match on Sunday due to time conflicts and poor road conditions. Andover’s 13th place in Division I marks the team’s highest performance at Nationals, tying with the team’s thirteenth place finish in 2015.
After finishing third in Division II last season, Andover competed in Division I this year. Andover played a total of three matches, losing the first two to the Baldwin School and Greenwich Academy, with scores of 7-0 and 5-2, respectively.
First seed Prianca Patel ’19 said, “I think that the team performed super well, especially since we were towards the bottom of Division I. We all went into our matches knowing they would be tough, but I think everyone brought their A-game and played with heart.”
Fifth seed Caroline Yun ’18 added, “Against Baldwin, seeded two in the country, we had some close matches proving how strong of a team we really are. Also, in our last match against Greenwich Academy, both our Prianca and Avery [Westerfield ’18] won, which was really exciting.”
Despite its initial losses, Andover focused its attention on its next match and the ways in which it could improve upon its pace, use of height on the court, and stamina. Andover’s hard work ultimately paid off, as it triumphed over Exeter.
In addition to Lee’s win, fourth seed Skyler Spaulding ’20 and sixth seed Susan Yun ’17 won their matches in three games, while Caroline Yun and seventh seed Brita Luke ’19 each won their matches in four games. Patel and Westerfield each lost their matches in five close games.
Second seed Westerfield said, “The team played phenomenally. We all had our peaks and valleys over the weekend, but overall I think it was a really strong performance.”
Looking forward, Andover intends on improving its use of depth and drop shots on the court, as well as maintaining its energy throughout the entire match.
Caroline Yun said, “For the rest of the season, we are going to work on being more aggressive during our matches and going out onto the court with the confidence knowing that we can win our matches.”
Andover will face off against Milton at home this Saturday.
Editor’s Note: Caroline Yun ’18 is a Digital Editor for The Phillipian.