Girls Squash Easily Prevails Over Rival Exeter; Groton Match-up Ends Five-Game Win Streak

Their five-match winning streak ended on Wednesday when the Girls Varsity Squash Team lost 5-2 to Groton. The team had cruised through its previous two matches, beating Exeter 5-2 and Deerfield 6-1. Hosting Deerfield last Friday, Andover easily secured its fourth consecutive victory, which again came at home. Captain Ali Zindman ’07, at number one, led the charge with a 9-0, 9-2, 9-1 win. At number two, Diana Wilson ’07 lost in a tough match despite a strong start and a victorious first game of 9-4. Her opponent surged back, though, to win the next three games 9-5, 9-1, and 9-5. The result of the second position match up between Wilson and her strong Deerfield opponent was Andover’s only loss of the competition. The team dominated throughout most of the remaining positions, winning in three games at numbers three, four, six, and seven. The most competitive match of the day came at the fifth spot, where Lauren Wilmarth ’09 represented Andover. Though she lost the first game 9-5, she rebounded to win the next two 9-5, 9-3. This run was disrupted, however, in the fourth game when she lost 9-1. Nevertheless, Wilmarth regained her composure and came out on top 10-8 in the fifth and final game for the win. Combined with her teammate’s results, this win gave Andover a 6-1 overall victory. Saturday’s battle with archrival Exeter saw an unexpectedly commanding win of 5-2 to push Andover’s record to a winning mark of 5-4. “We were pretty impressed with how we did [against Exeter],” said Julia Watson ’07. “We expected them to be pretty competitive, but the match was not as close as we thought it might be.” The team’s loss at Groton on Wednesday disrupted its five-match streak. In this match, Andover was immediately at a disadvantage. The courts, which were hotter than those at Andover, played much faster than the Andover girls were used to. At number one, Captain Zindman—in a shift from typical results—lost in three games. After going up 5-0 in the first game, Captain Zindman seemed to lose momentum, and never regained her foothold. The court conditions exacerbated her loss of momentum, hampering Captain Zindman’s usually powerful playing style. All players attempted to reduce the speed of their shots after the first game experiences, but Watson—at the seventh position—implemented this strategy change particularly well. She commented, “It helped when we slowed down our shots.” Though the first two games went in Watson’s favor, they were closer than would have been ideal. Once she took some pace off her shots and adopted more purposeful shot selection, the match became easier for her. Watson found success with the lob serve, an especially effective skill on fast courts. This allowed her to control each point. Though encouraging, Watson’s positive result was one of just two victories in the 5-2 loss.