Introduced to the sport as an after-school activity in first grade, Andover Girls Squash Captain Caroline Yun ’18 has competed in national junior squash tournaments since seventh grade. Despite enrolling in Andover with interest in other sports including tennis and swimming, Yun decided to pursue squash competitively, joining the JV program during her Junior year. Yun credits her JV coach Tom Hodgson, retired Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies, for instilling in her a constant anticipation and readiness for obstacles hurled her way.
“My JV coach was Mr. Hodgson, and his coaching philosophy was to always be ready for the next shot, point, or match. That is something that I took with me while I kept working and improving, and I made the varsity team my Lower year,” said Yun.
On the court, Yun possesses a relentless work ethic that she demonstrates through an unwillingness to give up and a desire to keep improving after each match she plays, according to Prianca Patel ’19.
“Any time you watch one of Caroline’s matches, it is always like a marathon, and she runs for every single ball even if she doesn’t think that she’ll get it. A lot of us lack that determination and spark to run for everything, and it is a really great example that we can all learn from. Even though she is really tired in some matches, she will keep going and pushing through, and it is really inspiring to watch a player like that,” said Patel.
Equipped with a dedication to the game and a drive to continually hone her technical ability, Yun serves as both a source of inspiration and a role model for her teammates to follow.
Head Coach Jennifer Elliott ’94 said, “Caroline’s strongest quality as a captain is the way she leads by example. She is a tireless worker, and she is so determined to get better. Her steady progress has been inspiring and motivating for everyone because it shows that there is always room for improvement. Caroline is always willing to hop on court with someone if they are a stronger or a weaker player, and she is bound and determined to get better. I think her teammates have watched her train over the past couple of months, and that has given them a huge set of incentives that with hard work comes progress.”
Skyler Spaulding ’20 said, “Caroline has really stepped up and shown her commitment to the game. [We] practiced together a lot in the fall to get ready for the season. She went to every clinic and tried to play almost every day after school. Her dedication inspires me everyday.”
“I admire her dedication to squash,” said Lindsay Westerfield ’21. “She is almost always at the courts or the gym. She never shows up to practice late and spends her time there maintaining focus and determination.”
As a captain, Yun has made a strong effort to foster close relationships between her teammates, especially through reaching out to newcomers on the team.
Charlotte Toogood ’20 said, “Caroline’s friendly personality and her efforts to reach out has helped me integrate onto the team really well. As a new
Lower, she really stood out to me as someone who always made me feel welcome and included. She has really brought the team together by communicating well with everyone on the team and making sure we all feel included and comfortable. She is always eager to suggest a team dinner after practice, which is a great time for everyone to get to know each other.”
In her last year on the team, she hopes to have taught her teammates the value of teamwork even in an individually-based sport such as squash.
Yun said, “I hope that players learn from me that the team is more important that our individual careers. Of course people have their careers outside of Andover. At Andover, I really want to emphasize that this a group of girls that we are competing with, but who we have put trust into to try our hardest at practice and to also try our hardest in matches. I hope that the girls learn that it is always more important to be supportive of one another and the team then to support their individual goals.”