Joining Andover Girls Squash this year as a new Lower, Kennedy Ndiaye ’22 has made an impact on the team with her fun-loving personality and focus on the court, according to Captain Skyler Spaulding ’20 and teammate Saffron Agrawal ’21.
Spaulding said, “She’s overall super friendly and definitely brightens up every practice with her laugh and her smile… [She] just lifts us all up.”
“I’ve always admired her accuracy and ability to return balls from the back [of the court], but I think her biggest strength as a player is her mental tenacity… She is also always supportive of her teammates, making games and practice so much more fun,” added Agrawal.
For her competitive drive and overall enthusiastic spirit, Ndiaye has received the title of The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
When and how did you start playing squash?
I started playing squash my last year of middle school as a part of a [Physical Education] class and loved it.
How has your transition been to the team as a new Lower?
Because of my supportive teammates and wonderful coaches [Head Coach Jennifer Elliott ’94 and Coach Midori Ishizuka ’11], the transition has been really smooth. We believe in each other and benefit from the coaching leadership.
How would you describe the team dynamic?
Being on the squash team is so exciting. The eleven of us on the team have such a great bond and trust one another. We eat dinner together a lot and help each other during practice and matches.
What has been your favorite memory on the team so far?
Last week I was down the first two games and had to win three consecutive games to win the match. Coach Elliott, Coach Ishizuka, and my teammates cheered me on, pulling the last bit of energy out of me, and helped me win the match. Everyone is so positive, and the support I received during [that] match is something I will never forget.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
I really want to improve my tactical game and increase my endurance potential.
How do you think the team has helped you improve?
Being able to play with highly motivated athletes who play at high levels has been invaluable and makes us each of us [on the team] better players whenever we practice.
What do you love most about the sport?
I love the high intensity, fast pace of the game, as well as the team support. It is so exciting to be on a team with such a global make-up. It is truly diverse.
What is your favorite team tradition?
Our instagram account, @andovergvsquash, is a lot of fun.