Sixth seed Skyler Spaulding ’20 faked a drop shot before slamming the ball against the front wall and into the back corner, catching her opponent off guard. Spaulding went on to win her match 3-0, adding a win to Andover Girls Squash’s 6-1 victory against Milton. In its second match of Saturday’s doubleheader, the team won 5-2 against Choate, bringing its record to 2-0.
Going into its opening weekend, the team was looking to establish a team identity of determination and grit, which it has worked on in its practices, according to Spaulding.
“Every time we come down to the courts, whether for practice or matches, we slap our ’deserve to win’ sign. We always want to represent Andover in the best way possible, we want to be a team that when the other teams go back home they remember us as the kind and determined team we are. We also focus a lot on staying composed during our matches and strive under the pressure,” said Spaulding.
In Andover’s match against Milton, first seed Prianca Patel ’19 suffered the team’s only loss in a particularly challenging match against a player she had played often in previous Interscholastic tournaments.
Patel said, “My first opponent was very good. I play her often in tournaments outside of school; her individual ranking is two spots above mine. Going in I knew it was going to be a tough match, but my goal was to go out there and play my hardest and do the best I could.”
In the second match against Choate, Spaulding commended Avery Westerfield ’18, seeded fifth, for her tremendous comeback after losing the first two games before winning in five.
Spaulding said, “She used her skills and great court sense to bounce back and win the next three games. She really rattled her opponent and just proved how persistent our team really is.”
“In the Milton match I think I could have done a better job of keeping deep rails tight to the side wall and not going short with drop shots so often. The Choate match was much better for me. I was much more focused, and my teammates, friends, and coaches cheering me on really helped,” said Westerfield.
Captain Caroline Yun ’18 was impressed with the team’s play on Saturday.
Yun said, “Each player was entirely focused on their match when they were on court, and everyone chose their shots thoughtfully and executed them carefully.”
The team will travel to Groton on Saturday for a tournament that will not count towards its record but will help the team develop its fitness.
Yun said, “We will have a long day with around three to four matches for each person. We are going to work on starting off our matches strong by looking to volley and for opportunities to hit winners.”