Girls Varsity Squash packed up their suitcases and headed to Logan International Airport last Thursday, bound for Philadelphia, Pa. to compete in the Division I 2018 HEAD U.S. High School Team Squash Championships, the world’s largest squash tournament with more than 1300 players. Andover competed in four matches, coming out with two wins and two losses to earn an overall ranking of sixth out of 16 teams. Andover’s record now stands at 11-2.
“The competition at the tournament was the hardest we’ve faced so far,” said sixth seed Captain Caroline Yun ’18.
In its first match of the tournament against Greenwich B, several individual matches continued to four or five games, but Andover was able to secure a 5-2 win. The team’s victory against Greenwich B secured its spot against the Baldwin School in the quarterfinals of the Main Draw. Andover fell to Baldwin 6-1.
After its loss against Baldwin placed them out of contention for the Main Draw Finals, Andover advanced to the Classic Plate. Andover dominated Deerfield Academy with a 6-1 win in the semifinals of the Classic Plate, but fell 5-2 to Episcopal Academy in the final.
“We had really tough matches throughout the tournament, but we pulled through and stayed strong for a sixth-place finish,” said third seed Chelsea Cho ’21.
“We were competing in Division I this past weekend, so we knew that the competition was going to be really difficult. Knowing this though, we all went in with a really good mindset and gave it our all in every one of our matches,” said first seed Prianca Patel ’19.
According to Cho, the team remained calm and focused throughout the whole tournament, despite the challenging competition.
Cho said, “Something the team did really well was taking care of ourselves and having great positive energy. It’s really easy to lose focus during the tournament, especially because you’re with your whole team and have a lot of free time in between matches, but everyone stayed super mindful. We knew what we each had to do to perform our best at every match.”
Andover also spent a portion of the weekend hanging out and having fun, according to fifth seed Skyler Spaulding ’20.
Spaulding said, “One of my favorite parts of the experience was just being able to hang out and bond with everyone at the hotel… It was just super fun to have so much time with each other.”
For Andover, the weekend was full of many hard-fought, memorable matches, according to Patel.
“My favorite memory of the weekend was playing Deerfield in a really late match on Saturday night. Even though we were all pretty tired, we pumped each other up and were able to pull through with our second win against them that week,” said Patel.
Andover will face Brooks at home this Saturday.