The varsity girls squash team looks forward to a great season with high hopes. The Division 5 reigning champions played their first game on Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the WALKS tournament. Junior Co-captain Isabel Berckemeyer said that going into this tournament, the team was pretty nervous as the team didn’t have a legitimate practice since last Monday. Despite the nerves, the team did fantastic. They beat Suffield Academy 4-3 and Loomis Chaffee School 4-3 but ultimately fell to Westminster School 5-2.
This team has lost only three seniors from last year and gained two new high schoolers and one new middle schooler. Head Coach Cameron Biondi said players would now have to move up the ladder and step up to the challenge. “I think the season is going pretty well so far considering we lost three seniors who were all in the top five of our ladder,” Berckemeyer said. “Players are really stepping up this year and putting the work in to become better.” Senior Amelia Levine said she agrees on the power of the youth of the team. “We lost three seniors last year that were high seeds, so everyone has to step it up this year,” Levine said.
Coach Biondi said that the team did goal setting in the very beginning of the year, so they are coming into the season knowing what they need to work on. He also added that the team has good depth. “The middle of our team is really similar in levels, which is good in matches,” Coach Biondi said.
A big goal of the team this year is resilience and mental fortitude. “The team is trying to be mentally strong during a match and persevering on without getting in their head,” Coach Biondi said. Berckemeyer echoed the importance of mental fortitude during matches. “Mentally, we are a really strong team this year, and we have all learned to fight through points and come back from losing,” Berckemeyer said.
Another goal is for the younger players to rise up to the challenge and step up. Coach Biondi said that the team hopes to win the Division 5 championship again or even move up to become a division 4 team. “The goal of the season is to have really good sportsmanship and to be leaders on and off the court,” Berckemeyer said. “We are also looking to always give 100% and not give up.”
The team looks forward to playing Loomis Chaffee School, who they beat last year after a very long time. The also are eager to play Suffield Academy after losing to them last year. After placing eighth last year in the New England Championship, the girls look to a great season. “We are a strong team again this year, and we hope to win another national championship title,” Levine said. Coach Biondi hopes to work on communication between the players and the coach. “I am returning to the team this year, so I know the team and hopefully work to better the communication between me and them,” Coach Biondi said. Berckemeyer said she looks forward to a successful season. “I am looking forward to seeing what this team is capable of, and although they are a long way away, I am excited for Nationals and New England,” Berckemeyer said.