After a season of competing against tough opponents and top-notch performances, the KO boys varsity squash team hopes to finish out the season strong going into a big New England tournament.
The boys squash team started off the season strong with a 7-0 home win against Williston Northampton School, and a 5-2 road victory against Millbrook School. Following those two matches the boys suffered a loss against Suffield Academy 4-3, but bounced right back with a strong 4-3 win against fellow Founders League competitor Westminster School. The team’s wins over Westy, Millbrook, and Williston were especially exciting considering that they lost to all three of them last year.
Senior Co-captain Nick Choo applauded the squad’s dedication and drive throughout the season this winter. “I was really impressed with the overall maturity and desire to work hard that the whole team showed this season, especially underclassmen Aidan Dillow and Henry Pelletier, who both competed in the top half of the ladder this year,” Choo said.
Unfortunately, KO was unable to prevail in the next two matches losing 7-0 to Avon Old Farms, and falling 7-0 to Kent School.
Junior Co-captain Henry Krieble commented on the team’s challenging schedule and how it has affected their play this season. “We’ve played a lot of really strong teams this year, including Suffield, Loomis, and AOF,” Krieble said. “With such a young team, many of the players haven’t had the experience needed to battle through close matches.”
However, they make up for their youth with their talent and their overall depth throughout the whole ladder from top to bottom. “A lot of teams tend to have a strong top of their team that tapers off towards the bottom,” Krieble said. “However, we’re a strong team all the way until our last player. This has helped us pull out wins numerous times throughout the year.”
During practice, players rotate between different courts participating in several drills as well as competing in live play with their teammates.
Throughout all the drills, the boys work on both their offensive and defensive techniques which has contributed to their success this season.
Recently, the team competed at nationals and although they did not achieve the end result they hoped for, many players played hard, and there were several standout performances. One of those showings came from sophomore Teddy Keegan, who won all his matches of the day, an impressive feat for a young player.
Something that the boys struggled with this season was mental preparation before matches. “One thing that was challenging this year was going into matches with the right mindset since for a lot of kids, it was their first year on varsity and they sometimes got nervous,” Choo said. “However, that is something that comes with more practice and experience at that level.”
Some of the team’s most impactful players this season were Choo, Krieble, and Dillow who consistently won matches regardless of how tough their schedule was.
Krieble had high praise for Dillow’s big strides of improvement from last year to this year.
“Aidan Dillow has really stepped up this year,” Krieble said.
“He handles playing a higher level of competition incredibly well and has also contributed a lot of wins to the team.”
KO boys squash hopes to end the season on a high note at New Englands and looks forward to next year, as they are only losing four seniors and will retain most of their players this season.