Andover Girls Squash Outplayed at Interschols

Despite placing 14th out of 16 teams, “The Andover girls played their best squash of the season at Interschols last weekend,” Coach Hodgson was pleased to say of the Girls Squash team. It was evident that the team has made tremendous improvements particularly in shot selection and in the offensive aspects of the game, when they traveled to Groton on Saturday and Sunday to play in the match. Diana Grace ’05 won only against Middlesex last weekend. She did a good job mixing up her shot selections and her drop shot was particularly effective. Grace’s Middlesex opponent frequently became frustrated when she missed the drop shots. Charlotte MacMillan ’05 came in 11th in the consolation round. She won her first match against Choate by moving her player around the court and was able to tire her out quickly. Although her match against St. George’s was close, MacMillan lost in the fourth game. The two girls were evenly matched, but the St. Georges player hit several shots to the back left corner, which were difficult to return. MacMillan also lost her game against Hotchkiss, on which she commented, “I could have focused more during the game. I worked more on hitting the ball hard, which she was always able to return.” Skylar Washburn ’05 won her match against St. George’s 3-2 and then 3-0 against Nobles. Washburn played one of her most exciting games of the season against St. George’s, which lasted until the fifth game. “I wore her out mentally, by the end she just wasn’t able to keep up,” Washburn said. She also played a strong offensive game against Nobles. Her serve was unbeatable and she did a great job varying shot selection. Emily Watson ’04 observed, “She really focused on the game.” Unfortunately, Washburn lost to Milton 0-3 and to Choate 1-3. She lost to Milton primarily because she did not return the serves well and allowed her opponent to hit attacking shots early in the game. Cara Ruccolo ’05 was very successful at Interschols. She placed 11th out of all the number three seeds, which was a great improvement from her 6-8 season record. Ruccolo beat both Exeter and Choate in consolation rounds. In her game against Exeter, she was able to attack well and hit several drop shots. By the time she played Choate on Sunday afternoon, “I was really tired, which didn’t help, but I pulled through.” She managed to keep several of the points short with her serve and hit a variety of shots. Ruccolo lost to Groton and Deerfield, who she lost to earlier in the season. “All in all, I think we had a pretty successful season. Although we didn’t have a great record, I think we improved a lot and will be an awesome team next year,” said Ruccolo. Emily Watson ’04 was a little nervous going into her games and finished the day even at two wins and two losses. In her game against Sacred Heart, Watson used her drop shot several times, “I didn’t practice it enough until the end of the season, but it really worked in the game.” Girls Squash is looking forward to a very successful season next year. “We were a young team. Next year we will all be a bit more experienced and hopefully we can win all those matches we lost by one game,” Washburn said. Grace will be captain for the second time. Said Pawina Jiramongkolchai ’06,“Diana did a great job this year. She is a really good player and role model for the rest of the team.”