Fueled by the strong will to beat its rival Phillips Exeter Academy, Andover Girls Squash won its meet in a 7-0 sweep. Emotions ran high for Andover’s Seniors – Madeleine Mayhew ’15, Camille Price ’15, Hannah Burns ’15 and Emma Crowe ’15 – during both their last Andover/Exeter and final competition on Andover’s courts.
“I received an email a few nights ago from [Temba] Maqubela, a [former] teacher at Andover for over 30 years. He served many different roles on campus, and to me, he epitomizes Andover. In his email, he said the following: ‘When I was at [Andover] I used to say just BE – where BE stood for Beat Exeter. BE!!!!’ Right before our match, I told the entire team, Varsity, JV, JV2, to BE. To BE a winner, to BE present, to BE there, in the moment, and of course to BE in the literal sense. For me, and the three other Seniors, this was our last time to BE in every sense of the word. I would not have wanted it any other way,” said Mayhew.
Earlier in the season, the scheduled matchup against Exeter was cancelled due to weather conditions, so this was the team’s first chance to take on its rivals for the season. Each Andover player handily defeated her opponent, each capturing a 3-0 win. Mayhew, the team’s Captain and first seed, kicked off the day shutting out her opponent 10-6 in the first game, 11-8 in the second and 10-9 in the third to take the game. Price, Andover’s second seed, came out victorious in 11-3, 11-4 and 11-9, while Burns, third seed, finished easily in 11-5, 11-5 and 11-7. Crowe played as the seventh seed this week and won in 11-7 in the first set, 11-6 in the second and 11-5 in the third, respectively.
The rest of the team followed in this example. Fourth seed Claire Kister ’15 closed out her opponent easily in 11-4, 11-5 and 11-2. Newcomers Zoe Oasis ’18 and Jennifer Lee ’18 moved up the ladder one spot and played Exeter’s number five and six players, respectively. Oasis came out on top in 11-4, 11-4 11-2, and Lee in 11-3, 11-5 and 11-5.
Andover’s victory this year mirrored its 6-1 win last year over Exeter.
The team had a bitter-sweet turn out in a tough double header on Saturday against Choate and Milton. Andover beat Choate 4-3 in a nail biting match, but fell short to the ambitious Milton team in a 0-7 upset.
Jennifer Lee ’18 said, “Milton is a really strong team both up and down the ladder. Heading into our match, I think that we had some trouble with maintaining our focus. Overall, every player on our team fought hard, but it just wasn’t enough to win the match.”
On Tuesday, the team played Groton and won in 5-2. The team’s record now stands at 10-5 for the season, stalling its five consecutive years of improvement, after last year’s 14-4 record.
The team’s Seniors inspired the team with their immense dedication and leadership throughout the entire season. Mayhew, Price, Burns and Crowe rose to the pressure that leadership entails and can be accounted for the amazing season.
Kister said, “It was great to win the final match of the season. Beating Exeter is always a confidence booster and it was a great practice for Interschols this coming weekend. This win was especially important for the seniors. I have been playing with [Price, Crowe, Burns, and Mayhew] for three full seasons and these girls are not only my teammates but my sisters. I am extremely proud of how well they played today and it was great to see them all finish their Andover squash careers with a win.”
Head Coach Jennifer Elliott said, “The Seniors were outstanding leaders in their last matches. I was so proud of them. It was an awesome way to wrap up a really successful and special four-year run. [Mayhew, Crowe, Burns, and Price] are the heart and soul of this team.”
Last season, the team competed at Interschols where it came out in seventh place out of 16 top teams. This weekend, Andover Girls Squash looks to finish its incredible season with a strong finish at Interschols.