Despite missing first seed Chelsea Cho ’21, Andover Girls Squash defeated Deerfield 5-2 on Senior Night, a celebration of the team’s Seniors during the final home match of the season. The team’s record now stands at 11-1.
According to Mariam Elkheshen ’21, Senior Night motivated the players as they did not want to lose during their last home match.
“We were really excited for this match, though it was sad we didn’t have Chelsea with us, because we all wanted to play the best we could and do everything to win. We managed to do that, which was really fun because we didn’t want to lose for our Seniors,” said Elkheshen.
The team went into the match knowing Deerfield was going to be one of its toughest opponents all season, leading the players to feel accomplished after they secured the win, according to Saffron Agrawal ’21.
Agrawal said, “There isn’t really one way to describe how the matches went just because Deerfield’s ladder had a wide variety of levels. I know that some at the top of our ladder had a more difficult time than the people like me who are lower down just because their ladder dropped off a little bit… I was a little bit taken aback when I found that my opponent was weaker than I imagined, but I think I did a good job just really playing offensively in my match and working on what I’d been working on all season.”
According to Elkheshen, the team rested during some of the days leading up to the match but trained especially hard on the previous Friday.
“[Head Coach Jennifer Elliot ’94] gave us Thursday off before because we were all stressed just because this week has been rough. For Friday, we actually had a really hard practice, and she was just motivating us mentally… We were [also] doing lots and lots of fitness, so both of our coaches were just motivating us the whole time,” said Elkheshen.
Entering Winter Term’s final push, the extra fitness the team has been doing started to become evident and useful, according to Captain Skyler Spaulding ’20.
“We’ve been doing a lot of fitness, which the coaches have set up because it’s really important to be able to play and keep going when we’re tired. [Our training] definitely showed throughout these tough matches and near the end of the season. When winter is really hitting, you can tell that people are a little bit more flat or not as happy every day in practice, so I’ve been trying to make sure that we always have music going and that we’re always supporting one another so that we can be happy to go to practice every day, and therefore play better,” said Spaulding.
Going into the last weeks of the season, the team looks to step up the intensity as it enters Nationals, according to Spaulding.
“We’re going to Nationals this weekend, and I think we’re seeded ninth or 12th, so it would be really great if we could place above what we’re seeded and to win as many matches as possible at Nationals. It’s also really fun just to go on a road trip and stay at hotels with the team, and I hope that we can all bond even more,” said Spaulding.
The team will begin competition at Nationals this Thursday.