Andover Girls Squash swept the scoreboard on Saturday, shutting out Middlesex with a momentous 7-0 victory. Against Deerfield, however, the team’s final match before Division I National Championships took an unfortunate turn on Wednesday as Deerfield’s experience and ability prevailed in a 5-2 loss for Andover.
“The win against Middlesex was definitely a confidence booster for the team. We were able to go into the match and completely dominate to come out with the victory. The team was focused mentally and hopefully we can bring that focus to Nationals this coming weekend,” said fifth seed Claire Kister ’16.
Captain Madeleine Mayhew ’15, who played as the top seed, had a notable victory against her Middlesex opponent, dominating the court with a 3-0 victory. Mayhew was the only member of the team to round out her opponent in three games.
Heading into Deerfield, the team braced itself for a tough match as its fourth seed Hannah Burns ’15 and sixth seed Emma Crowe ’15 failed to compete due to illness. Playing as fourth seed, Kister ultimately defaulted in the fourth game.
Even though the team was down on numbers, Jennifer Lee ’18, Avery Westerfield ’18, and Susan Yun ’17 all stepped up to the plate and played fifth through seventh seeds. The team beamed with pride at the determined performances by these three players who rose under pressure.
Yun rounded out her opponent in three easy sets, while Westerfield came out victorious in just four sets. Despite Lee’s tenacity, she could not keep up with her opponent, losing 0-3.
“Going into my own match, I felt good about giving it my all. The first two games were not very close, but the third one was. I just had too many lost points that I needed to win back, so I unfortunately was not able to come up with a win,” said Lee, who fought through her last set with a close 13-15 finish.
Third seed Zoe Oasis ’17 said, “The team played [alright] considering the long bus ride and that everyone on the team has been sick recently. Deerfield is definitely beatable and I think that if we have our full team and everyone is healthy, we can win.”
After its National Championship last year, Andover moved up to Division I Girls Squash. The team looks to carry its Division II success from last year into the National Championship Tournament this weekend at the 2015 U.S. Division I National Championships at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
“Everyone is looking forward to Nationals and proving to people that we can compete in the top division after winning the second division last year,” said Oasis.
Lee said, “I am extremely excited to play at Nationals and see a lot of the teams that we normally don’t see during the season. Since we’re in Division I, we know that all of our matches are going to be really tough. We’re still determined to play our hardest and I’m looking forward to a weekend of incredible squash.”