PA Breaks Through in 4-3 Win vs. Brooks

After losing five consecutive matches, Lauren Wilmarth ’09 swept her match 3-0 to help the Andover Girls Squash team end its losing streak and defeat Brooks 4-3 last Tuesday. Andover had a close match against Milton Academy last Saturday but ended up falling 2-5. Playing at the number one position for the first time this season, Lydia Smith ’09 defeated her Brooks opponent in three quick games. Smith started the match strongly, winning her first game 9-3. Smith’s second game was much closer, 9-7. Smith reestablished herself in her third game, acing her opponent 9-0. She commented on her last game, “I started hitting the ball in the back corners to keep [my opponent] moving.” Coach Thomas Hodgson explained the team was working on hitting straight shots instead of cross-court shots. “Hitting the ball straight and tight along the wall gives the opponent fewer options in returning the shot than a cross court hit does.” Captain Carolyn Brown ’09, playing the number two position, triumphed over her opponent as well. Captain Brown took the first game 9-0 and swept the last two, quickly finishing 9-2 and 9-5. Brown’s opponent had trouble returning her low-box serve and Brown remarked, “it was worked really well for me, so I just stuck with it throughout the match.” At the number three position, Wilmarth also won her match in commanding fashion. Her first two games were close, 9-5 and 9-7, respectively. The court walls were “stickier” Wilmarth commented, and it took her a couple games to get used to them. “I really felt a lot more comfortable in the third game,” Wilmarth said of sweeping her opponent 9-1 in her third and final game. Pulling in the fourth win for the team was Christine Choi ’09 playing at the number five position. Choi quickly discovered her opponent’s weakness and crushed her opponent in three games, with respective scores of 9-4, 9-0 and 9-4. Nicole Duddy ’08 had a particularly frustrating match against Brooks. After winning her first game, 9-6, Duddy lost the second game 6-9 but came back in the third game and one 9-2. After losing the fourth match 5-9, Duddy was tied up at 2-2. Although her serve was strong, her opponent returned the points well “and my drop shots weren’t working,” Duddy remarked. After several intense rallies, Duddy lost her fifth game in overtime by a narrow margin of 10-9. Before the Girls Squash team’s exciting win against Brooks, the team fell to Milton Academy last Saturday. “Milton is one of the top teams in the A1 division,” Coach Hodgson remarked. The two wins of the day went to Choi and Wilmarth.” Wilmarth defeated her opponent in four games. She won her first two games 9-7 and 9-1 but surprisingly lost her third game 3-9. She recovered in her fourth game with a score of 9-4. “In the fourth game I hit it deep to keep my opponent behind me and was able to dominate the T,” Wilmarth remarked. “Attacking is Lauren’s strength, and keeping her opponent behind her puts her in a position to attack,” Coach Hodgson added. Choi ’09 won her match in five long games. Choi had a shaky start, losing her first match 4-9. In her second game, she rallied back and forth with her opponent to eventually defeat her opponent in overtime, 9-8. Her third game was also close, but Choi ended up falling 7-9. She rebounded, however, placing her shots better and winning the next two matches 9-1 and 9-2, respectively. Nicole Wagner also had an intense and close match, but ended up losing in five games. She lost her first game 3-9, won her next two 9-6 and 9-5 but lost the final two games 9-7 and 9-4. Coach Hodgson concluded, “We were competitive and had a shot [at winning] but missed it.” The Girls Varsity Squash team will compete in the National High School tournament this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Yale University.