After wrapping up their regular season as well as New England’s, the varsity girls’ squash team headed to U.S. Nationals before ending their 2022-2023 season!
Led by Head Coach Cameron Biondi and senior Captain Annabelle Jacobs, the team amassed a record of 3-8. Their goal all season had been to build resilience, and they took steps to get there. “We found some better strategies of how to do that and how I can help the older players and the captain inspire other players to stay resilient and to dig in,” Coach Biondi said.
At New Englands, the team delivered. For individual results, the number one on the team, eighth-grader Sophia Lazor, finished second in her individual competition for number one. Freshman Ava Marseglia took first in the competition of number twos. Jacobs finished third in the number three competition.
At U.S. Nationals in Philadelphia, they lost the first match with a score of 2-5 against McDonogh from Maryland, the two matches having been won by Jacobs and Junior Illiana Brett. They then won against Brookline, with a score of 4-3. Unfortunately, Marseglia suffered a head injury and could not continue, which greatly impacted the team’s ability to advance. During the match against John Burroughs, the players moved up in the rankings and had to play with higher-ranked opponents. This led to a loss of 3-4. After a tough loss to Canterbury of 2-4, the team finished 12th in their division.
Despite the setbacks, the team was able to work around them and bond over the experience. “We were able to get closer and really create a bond that is special to our team,” Jacobs said. Junior Hannah Malkin agreed. “Overall, I am proud of the team as we had to overcome an unexpected obstacle and we came out on the other side stronger as a team because of that,” she said. “As a team, we all gave our best efforts in each match.”
One thing Coach Biondi notes is that the team did well demonstrating their ability to adapt. The environment at Nationals was very different compared to their normal games. They had less time to warm up, squash balls were made of different materials, and they had to change courts frequently. “I thought they did really well adapting and also helping each other adapt,” Coach Biondi said.
Another element that he added to was the team’s smooth transition into more teamwork. ”New Englands was an individual tournament, but they leaned into the teamwork environment which I liked,” he said.
Coach Biondi feels that they have gotten closer to their initial goal and are going to get even closer to reaching it next year. One thing he wants to focus on next season is building community. “We want to work on our team bonding, like the team having fun Fridays and just being a little bit more intentional about how they’re connecting with each other and how the younger players are connecting with the older players,” he said.
With the 2022-2023 girls’ varsity squash season over, the team looks forward to reaching their goals and scoring even higher at U.S. Nationals next year!