After a two-hour bus ride to Deerfield, Mass., Andover Girls Squash fell to Deerfield Academy in a disappointing 7-0 loss. Andover’s record now stands at 6-5.
Knowing Deerfield’s strong record, Andover anticipated a tough match, but fought to the end, according to fourth seed Saffron Agrawal ’21.
Agrawal said, “The team walked in knowing it would be a really tough match, and so, overall, we did a good job keeping a positive attitude towards it and we all had good positive mindsets because we knew it was going to be really hard, but we all still tried our best and fought for every point and that was really important for us.”
The team’s energy was lower than usual prior to its match, according to first seed Mariam Elkheshen ’21.
Elkheshen said, “I think we traveled for a very long time, the drive was two hours, so I think all of us were kind of tired, and it is always hard to travel for a long time. When we got there the boys had just started so it was a long day for us. I think we were all a little tired and not really fit to play that day, so that was hard for us all.”
Despite unideal circumstances, Andover focused on keeping a positive mindset and fighting through every point, according to Agrawal and Captain Skyler Spaulding ‘20.
“I think our mindset was really important because everyone stayed really positive, and I think we are doing a good job of not letting this get us down and we’re definitely going to approach this next week of practice having learned something from this match,” said Agrawal.
In an email to The Phillipian, Spaulding wrote, “During our Deerfield match, everyone kept really positive attitudes and never gave up until the last point.”
A highlight of Saturday included a match played by third seed Charlotte Toogood ’20, when she didn’t let a distracting opponent affect her focus, according to Spaulding and Agarwal.
Spaulding wrote, “I was really impressed with Charlotte because she played a difficult opponent who was disruptive to the gameplay. Charlotte handled the situation really well and didn’t let that affect her.”
“[Charlotte] was playing a really tough opponent, but that didn’t stop her from sticking to her goal of volleying a lot and hunting, which is our team strategy for this season, and Skyler’s strategy; of being more determined and prepared and assertive. Even though she was playing a tough opponent, I think she still did a really good job staying offensive,” Agrawal said.
Looking forward to the rest of the season, the team plans to shift its attention towards the mental aspects of the game.
Elkheshen said, “We’re still practicing, but focusing more on relaxing and not pushing too much because you always need a break at some point. I think what we’re trying to do before our next game is trying to keep our head in the game and focusing on doing something special during the match and working hard to get it done.”