A 3-1 individual win by Liz Zhao ’24 broke the tie between Andover Girls Squash and Choate on Saturday. The 4-3 team win was followed by a 6-1 loss to Winsor four days later, bringing the team’s record to 2-2.
Andover faced the team of former Head Coach Jennifer Elliott ’94 on Saturday. Despite anticipating a greater margin of victory over Choate, the team utilized the matchup as a rust-buster, according to Christina Yen ’24.
“We went in with a pretty positive attitude, and we were all really prepared…. It was a little bit trying to get the dust off, but at the same time I think we all came in pretty confident about where we were going. [The game was] a little bit closer than what we were looking at, but I think overall we learned some pretty important lessons from it,” said Wen.
On top of Zhao’s tie-break victory, Co-Captain Migyu Kim ’25 highlighted Yen’s performance under pressure. Refereeing the game, Kim noticed Yen’s ability to stay calm against Choate’s first seed.
“Christina’s opponent had all her friends there, cheering for her, screaming, everything. And usually the situations can be really stressful and overwhelming, but it was really really respectable to see Christina keep her cool and make sure that she was just staying focused on what was going on inside the court, and I felt really proud of her and a lot of respect for her,” said Kim
Yen described the team’s efforts to get back to routine after its return from winter break. The team focused on movement through ghosting and high-intensity partner sessions, according to Yen.
“Since we only had two days since we came back, what we were really working on is tactics more or less. What situation we want to hit, what certain type of shot… practicing more how we should hit under certain situations. So we were creating conditions for those types of situations,” said Yen.
As one of two Juniors on the team, Prisha Shivani ’26 appreciated the team’s supportive and welcoming environment. Shivani believes the team’s camaraderie was a defining factor in Saturday’s success.
“I feel like we work together as a team really well, even though squash isn’t a team sport. We’re really able to cheer each other on and provide help for the people in matches,” said Shivani.
The team entered its home-opener against Winsor on Wednesday with a willingness to learn. Despite the loss, the team’s growth mindset allowed it to maintain focus and support one another, according to Kim.
“Overall I really appreciated the team’s mindset going into it because it’s really easy when faced with a tough opponent to just be like, ‘Oh, I don’t care, there’s no point.’ But I really appreciated how everyone went and changed their mindset and decided to focus on, ‘You know what, I’m going to make the best out of this experience, and play the best I can to learn something from it,” said Kim.
Kim acknowledged the team’s need to focus on individual technique. Overall, however, the team looks to improve on stamina in order to maintain intensity and quality in longer matches.
“Each match is a different learning experience that the players can see what they want to work on. So we’ll probably take that and think about the different tactical and technical things that each of us individually want to work on in the coming day…. Probably just consistently work on fitness and quality of shots just overall on top of our individual improvements,” said Kim.
Andover Girls Squash will host Taft Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Loomis Chaffee on Saturday, alongside hosting Tabor on Wednesday.