Andover Boys Squash headed out west to face Deerfield on Saturday but fell short with a final score of 3-4. After reassessing its play and working on skill, strategy, and fitness, the team came back strong and swept Milton 7-0 at home on Wednesday. Andover’s record now stands at 2-1.
According to Christian Graziano ’25, leading up to the game against Deerfield, working on mentality was a key strategy. Graziano explained how preparation in squash differs from other sports.
“Unlike a lot of other sports, [in] squash, you already know who you’re going up against. There’s no defender switches or stuff like that. It’s just one-on-one, you and your opponent out there. We were just working on our mental game and our strategic game [leading up to the Deerfield game],” said Graziano.
Due to the individual nature of squash, the team does its best to connect outside of the courts and improve team camaraderie, according to Avery Lin ’25.
“It’s kind of tough [to stay connected] because even within the team, we’re always competing against each other to move up and down the ladder or the position on the team, but it’s pretty light hearted. I think the team this year, we’re super young. Most of us are freshmen and lowers, so we’re all just taking it easy. It’s just pretty fun because we have team dinners and stuff like that. So as a team, we’re super close,” said Lin.
On Wednesday, the team not only drew off of each other’s energy, but also the energy from its home fans. According to Sean-Winston Luo ’24, the team’s familiarity of Andover’s courts paired with the support coming from friends played a large role in how the team performed.
“The convenience of walking in and going to play squash is [of] a more comfortable feeling. For Deerfield you have to drive two hours, you’re sitting in the car for a long time, and ultimately, to be more familiar with the Andover courts helps and having your friends watching…home energy does help, for sure,” said Luo.
Graziano described how the team has an accountability system where teammates coach one another. He believes this to be beneficial because everyone picks up on different skills which make the team stronger.
“We all coach each other, that’s pretty big. You cheer for your team a lot because there’s theoretically eight players — seven players that count, but eight players on a true varsity team, and at a time, four are playing, the other four are sitting off. You have to do your best to cheer each other on while you’re out there, but coaching each other is really important because that’s when you get together after the game and see what you felt as a player. If you’re a spectator you say what you saw there, and you try and put your ideas together and get the next game,” said Graziano.
After the team’s number two seed player got sick, other members had to step up for the Wednesday match against Milton. Luo highlighted the performance of Corey Shen ’26.
“Good performance by our freshmen, Corey. Everyone needed to step up today because our other freshmen Aiden [Chiang ’26], who plays number two usually, he’s a little bit sick, so everyone needed to step up. Good playing by the bottom people on the bottom ladder. They’re not usually playing in those varsity matches, but they stepped up today and came out today,” said Luo.
According to Graziano, looking ahead, the team hopes to work on using skill to its advantage, especially during more challenging meets.
“In the future, when we have some harder matches, we have to play a little bit smarter. That was our problem this weekend…we have to stay really disciplined to our strategy, which will hopefully bring us success. Again, we’re a young team, so we have a lot to grow,” said Graziano.
Andover Boys Squash will face Choate away on January 7.