Girls Squash Beats Taft and Loomis; Witte ’06 Secures Win For Andover

Lucretia Witte ’06 fought her way to a fifth-game victory against Taft on Saturday, locking down an unlikely 4-3 win for the Andover Varsity Girls Squash team. Then, in its second match of the day, Andover gathered its energy and squeezed out a 5-2 win over Loomis on the strength of several lower-lineup victories. Andover entered the matches after losing 6-1 to Choate the previous Saturday, but the team rebounded this week. Perhaps the long rest between matches allowed for some improvement, but, if nothing else, it gave the team a chance to rest. The players certainly needed the repose, as Andover hosted back-to-back, grueling matches. The contest against Taft played out unusually, as the team emerged victorious without any help from the top of the ladder. Taft’s number one player convincingly beat Captain Ali Zindman ’07, who had provided last week’s only win. Even though she maintained consistent rails, her opponent dominated the middle of the court and hit powerful, low crosscourt shots. She often found herself out of position and went down 9-1, 9-0, 9-0. Pawina Jiramongkolchai ’06, playing in the number four spot, also saw her match roll to a speedy conclusion, but, unlike Captain Zindman, she took control and won. She won her points with crafty drop shots and back-corner digs, and, as the game progressed, she tightened her grip on the lead. The final score was 9-6, 9-4, 9-1. With the match now even, Andover needed three more individual wins to get the team victory. Initially, the team’s prospects did not look strong. Diana Willson ’07, after moving up one position on the ladder from the previous week, played at number two. Despite hitting controlled, deep rails, she was overmatched and lost 9-0, 9-1, 9-0. Lydia Smith ’09, playing at the third position, had no better luck. She lost 9-0, 9-2, 9-0. Andover was not discouraged, and its three players still on the courts-competing at spots five through seven-battled hard. Stephanie Marton ’07, playing at number six, found herself in a tight match. The serve continually changed hands, and neither player took a commanding lead. Marton, however, maintained her composure and locked down a 9-6, 9-6, 9-6 victory. Carolyn Brown ’09 was also engaged in a close match. The points often went long, but Brown easily won the first game 9-1. Though her opponent continued to pose a challenge, Brown captured the final two games 9-3 and 9-4, respectively. With this three-game sweep, the result of the overall match would be determined by the outcome of Witte’s match at number seven. Witte’s match was the only one among the seven to last for more than three games. In the fifth game, she jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the game with powerful serves and control of the middle of the court. After a couple service exchanges, Witte nailed down a 9-1 victory. The overall match score was 9-1, 9-10, 9-3, 9-10, 9-1, securing the 4-3 team triumph. In the second match of the day, a slightly fatigued Andover squad faced the Loomis team. Andover demonstrated its overall superiority, winning 5-2. The contribution from the bottom of the lineup once again proved crucial, but the team had help from the higher ranks as well. Captain Zindman led the charge with a three-game win at number one. Andover lost at the second and third positions, but Jiramongkolchai, Brown, Marton, and Witte won at numbers four through seven, locking down the 5-2 team win.