Despite missing four players, Andover Boys Squash defeated Choate 5-2 on Saturday and swept Brooks 7-0 the next day. The team’s record now stands at 3-2.
Due to sickness and injury, the team was forced to adjust its lineup. Avery Lin ’25 highlighted the team’s mental fortitude heading into the matches.
“I think it was mostly a mental preparation. Since we knew more than half of our team was not going to be playing, we had to step up to the challenge. Even though we were playing four positions higher than we normally would, our team was pumped and confident in our abilities. At this point, our team is at a level where we can step up, and we proved that against Choate yesterday even though we were down so many players,” said Lin.
During practices, the team focused on replicating in-game scenarios and getting back in to shape, according to Will Weissman ’25.
Weissman said, “We only had two days before these matches, so we were mostly trying to get back our form from before the break. We worked on match play and tried to get prepared for what it would be like in a higher intensity game. We knew our fitness level would play an important role in sustaining our level of play throughout each game.”
Winning both matches even with a new lineup, the team saw formidable play across its whole roster. Jaden Chyu ’23 highlighted the play of Lin, who won his number three seed game despite typically playing seventh.
“Overall our victory over Choate was mostly a team effort, but I think Avery Lin had a last game, helping us secure a 5-2 win. He was the only one to win a match in the top three which I was impressed with,” said Chyu.
The victory against Choate was a determinant for Andover’s New England’s seeding. Lin appreciated Weissman’s strong performance, which was critical for the team’s success.
“I think Will played the most important match. We were down four players and we were all very tired, but we needed to secure the Choate win to be able to have a good seeding for New England’s. Will had the deciding match for our team. After five games he clutched up in the end and his win pretty much set our team up for the rest of the matches,” said Lin.
Being down four players required the team to prioritize playing with confidence and showing support for each other. Lin believed that the external motivation was pivotal to the team’s success.
“After we played, we immediately cheered on our teammates, and I think that is really important at away matches when the entire crowd is against you. The only support we can get is from our own teammates in those scenarios. When I was playing, I felt like my teammates were there for me.”
Across both games, the team was able to identify various areas for improvement. Moving forward, the team is looking to increase its stamina and regain its form coming off of winter break, according to Chyu.
“I think it will be important to keep working on our fitness because of how crucial it is for sustaining our rhythm in games. Getting back into our regular form and making sure nobody gets injured or sick will prevent future loss of players,” said Chyu.
Andover Boys Squash will face Groton at home this Friday.
Editor’s Note: Jaden Chyu is a News Editor for The Phillipian.