Some days, nothing goes well, and Saturday was one of those days Playing both Taft and Loomis, the girls finished the day with two losses and numerous disappointments. After an 8-0 shutout to Taft, the Andover Girls Squash team ended the day losing 7-1 to Loomis. Both Taft and Loomis are two schools known for boasting strong squash teams, and the Lady Blue Squash team was expecting tough competition. Taft is something of a girls squash powerhouse. Last season, the Lady Rhinos came in second at interschols and finished with a dominant 11-2 season record, their only losses coming to Greenwich Academy. This year, Taft’s number one player, Supriya Balsehar, who played against Andover Captain Diana Grace ’05, is ranked number three in India (one of the top squash countries in the world) and their number two player, Sydney Scott, who took on Andover’s Charlotte MacMillan’s ’05, came in 3rd at the under-19 Junior Olympics. Loomis has maintained a very strong team over the past decade, and Lady Blue previous loss to Taft made things all the more difficult. Although Emily Watson ’04 is only the sixth ranked player on the team, she was most competitive with her opponent. Staying close to her opponent throughout the match and only losing 9-8, 10-8, and 9-6, Watson scored more points than any other player. As Watson herself noted, “Volleys were essential in all of my games because both of my opponents hit hard fast shots that required quick reflexes. Unfortunately Watson did not fare so well at Loomis, losing 9-2, 9-4, and 9-5. Skylar Washburn ’05 was the only player to score a win this weekend. In a 3-0 win against Loomis, Washburn quickly observed her opponent lacked the speed necessary for squash, and by moving the ball around the court, Washburn exhausted her opponent and was able to force a number of errors. Watson said of Washburn’s play: “Skylar’s win against Loomis definitely cheered us up,”. Andover team captain Grace lost both of her matches 3-0. Grace said of her performance: “They both had really strong teams, and I think we were a little bit intimidated by Taft. Even though we lost pretty badly, we tried and did our best, but there is a lot we still need to work on.” Walking onto the court against the number player in India, Grace was naturally a little nervous, but surprisingly was still able to win an occasional point. As Captain, Grace hopes that the team can use Saturday’s matches to improve their own game. MacMillan lost both her matches 3-0, “She kept up with her opponent really well and kept her on the run,” observed D. Grace ’05 “she also did well hitting rails and keeping long rallies. After loosing her first two games to Taft 9-1 and 9-0, Jean Marie Gossard ’05 impressively gained a 8-10 score in her last game. “She was strong-willed and was determined to keep her player running so she tried to take advantage of loose mid court shots and drop them in the front corner,” observed fellow team member Watson.
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