With a precise serve, number one seed Camille Price ’15 rounded out her Loomis Chaffee opponent in a motivating 3-0 victory, leading Andover Girls Squash to an impressive 7-0 sweep against Loomis after falling in a nail-biter 4-3 match against Taft at home on Saturday.
“This was the most competitive match we have played with Taft in years. I hope we get to see them again at U.S. High School Nationals when everyone is healthy,” said Head Coach Jennifer Elliott.
Price said, “In my four years on the Girls Squash team, Taft has always proved a worthy opponent. Their team is deep and their technical skills are strong. We went into our Taft match knowing that our day would be long, as we were to face Loomis immediately afterwards.”
Price played her best match of the season against Taft, closing out her opponent in a total of four sets.
“My opponent dominated in the first game, and some of my friends who were watching admitted that they thought she would dominate the rest of the match. In the second set, I did my best to move in front and use my volleys to take time away from my opponent. I aimed for the front and back corners, eliminating many loose balls from my game,” said Price.
She continued, “This tactic proved effective, and, between subsequent games, [Elliott] encouraged me to not hold back and to trust my volleys and disguise my shots without the tenseness that can so often detract from the efficacy of a shot. I switched my mental game to approach each point like it was the sole point of the match, not thinking about the score or the next point.”
Number five seed Claire Kister ’16 kept the team’s hopes alive against Taft with a tiring 3-1 win. Number six seed Jennifer Lee ’18 then followed Kister’s lead with another 3-1 win against her opponent.
Lee said, “Against Taft, we were all very excited because we know how closely matched our two teams are. Going into my own match, I really tried to focus on hitting my shots tight and deep along the side wall. I prepared well mentally, which helped me overcome my loss in the second game.”
Captain Madeleine Mayhew ’15 played through five sets as number two but ultimately lost 3-2.
Number seven seed Avery Westerfield ’17 also played through an exhausting five sets, but her opponent ultimately slipped ahead to take the 3-2 lead. Number four Zoe Oasis ’18 fell 3-0.
With the scoreboard tied 3-3, number three seed Hannah Burns ’15 played a competitive four sets under intense pressure and was defeated by her opponent 3-1.
Price said, “While our team lost 3-4, we learned that we can most certainly contend with the teams who have often soundly beat us in the past. We have committed to training in the coming weeks [with a focus] on the weaknesses that became apparent in our Taft match.”
Even though the final score against Taft was not in Andover’s favor, the exciting match gave the players confidence that paved the way to a decisive sweep against Loomis.
Lee said, “It was so fun to have all of the teams on our home courts, and it made our team even more psyched to give the matches our all,”
Without a match on Wednesday, the team will utilize its extra practice time to prepare for what will be an exciting match against rival Exeter away on Saturday.