St. Paul’s Squash Serves Andover a Tough Defeat

Girls’ Varsity Squash faced two challenges this past Wednesday during their home match against St. Paul’s School: an experienced team with lots of depth, and a passionate head coach who wavers between aggressively competitive and competitively aggressive. Diana Grace ’05 may have been regretting her challenge match victory, as Wednesday she faced off against one of the best players in the league. Grace persevered despite the almost unreachable shots of her opponent and finished her three games with a very respectable collection of four points. Emily O’Brien ’03 faced adversity in her match as well, though most of it was coming from the mouth of an outspoken SPS coach. Several questionable calls set O’Brien back, along with the precise drop shots by St. Paul’s number two player, ultimately causing the captain fall to the Big Red. Charlotte MacMillan ’05, whose talent for chasing down almost every ball typically places her ahead of even the quickest opponent, was not enough to outdo her St. Paul’s counterpart, as Andover’s number three quickly found defeat as well. Skylar Washburn ’05 held her head up high, despite her defeat. Washburn’s good attitude seemed to rub off on Cara Ruccolo ’05 who played on the neighboring court for Andover’s number five spot. Similar to a four-game match she played last week against Milton, Ruccolo came back after being down two games. Once Ruccolo found her stride, she was able to take control of the match, using straight shots and serving to her advantage. The fourth game, which eventually went in favor of the Red, 9-5, was a huge improvement from Ruccolo’s first, as a 4-0 score went back and forth between Andover and SPS for at least seven serves. At number six, Julie Bramowitz ’03 employed backhand lobs to counter her opponent’s frequent drop shots, narrowly pulling off a first game victory of 10-9. Bramowitz managed to collect a few more points, but ultimately lost the game. Pam Risseeuw ’03 and Phoebe Rockwood ’03, playing numbers seven and eight, respectively, both lost in three brief games. Coach Hodgson’s fail-proof practice of pasting hitting targets on the wall with blue tape will be a crucial exercise for the girls to pinpoint where they want to place the ball during competition. The team hopes that there will be enough tape leftover this weekend just in case another opposing coach gets a little bit too rowdy.