Last to compete for Andover Girls Squash, first seed Mariam Elkeshen ’21 led 11-10 over her Loomis opponent. With a deep cross-court shot, Elkeshen secured both the win for herself and the 7-0 sweep for Andover. This victory brought the team’s record to 2-4.
On Saturday, Andover competed in its annual mini-tournament against Taft, Loomis Chaffee, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Taft missed the tournament due to traffic issues, and the team was only scheduled to play one game against Exeter. As a whole, the team only dropped three out of 24 total games.
“I am so proud of the team for their efforts and mental strength during our Loomis matches. Everyone pushed themselves really hard and came out fighting from the start,” said Captain and second seed Skyler Spaulding ’20.
After a close loss against Winsor last week, Andover entered Saturday’s match more determined than ever, according to Elkeshen.
“This time everyone was trying to work on their weaknesses. After our game on Wednesday against Winsor, the whole team shared what each of them wanted to work on and I think this time we all applied that in our game,” said Elkheshen.
In practice, Andover has been focusing on improving both its mental strength and several techniques, according to fourth seed Saffron Agrawal ’21 and Spaulding.
Agrawal said, “I think a big thing for us was how much we really wanted this win. In squash, it’s a very mental game, and so a lot of it is about skill but it is also about how you approach each game, whether it’s with positivity or being down on yourself.”
“In the week leading up to Loomis, we worked a lot on low hard cross-courts which are effective during matches because they force your opponents to change directions quickly and that throws them off balance. I think that really showed in our play against Loomis,” said Spaulding.
Despite having eight new members on the team this season, Andover remained a unified front throughout its match against Loomis, according to third seed Charlotte Toogood ’20.
“I think from the start of the season until now our team has grown a lot in terms of camaraderie and playing as a unified team, and although we compete against each other during the week in our challenge matches, we are able to come together fully and, with teamwork, put up a great fight against our opponents — especially this past week against Loomis,” said Toogood.
Andover will travel away to compete against Exeter this Saturday.