Girls Varsity Squash Boasts New Lineup


Edward Guo ’19

Ellie Burke ’20 winds up for a forehand rail.

On Wednesday, January 9, the Girls Varsity Squash team traveled to Yale University to compete against Squash Haven, a squash club from New Haven, CT. The team returned with a 6-1 win.

The team had a shaky start to the season, dropping three straight matches against strong competitors: Deerfield, Greenwich Academy, and St. Paul’s. Although these games ended in losses, the team has been staying positive and maintaining its confidence. Co-captain Julia Chai ’20 said, “Going into those matches, I expected that everyone [would try] their best and gave it one hundred percent, and I think that the team did a really good job of doing so.”

One of the biggest changes the Girls Varsity Squash team has seen is the addition of Assistant Coach Ashley Suan. Ms. Suan’s squash-playing expertise and experience has been helpful for the team and its success. Co-captain Ellie Burke ’20 said, “Ms. Suan…has been a huge [asset,] since she played on Yale’s squash team and knows the game very well.”

 This season, the girls have also seen changes to the team roster, which can have a  big effect on a small team of eight athletes. After losing three Seniors, the team has had to grapple with turnover. However, Chai said that the team is handling it well. She said, “Since squash is such a small team, the team can really change from year to year. Last year, we had three Seniors, but now it’s really cool to see how those spots have been filled either with new girls or with girls who have come up from the JV team.”

Due to the small size of the team and the individual nature of the sport, Burke and Chai prioritize making the team feel connected. Both team captains are working to ensure that the team maintains a strong dynamic, while also allowing the girls to accomplish their own personal squash goals. Head Coach Tyler Gardner said, “Major goals are to win and lose together as a team and to support one another throughout the season.”

With the High School Nationals, Founders League, and New England Championships on the horizon, the team is practicing diligently to make sure everyone plays their best. Looking ahead, the athletes hope to continue their trend of outperforming their placements each year. Burke expressed excitement about the upcoming competitions. She said, “Every year, High School Nationals is one of the highlights of our season, since our team gets to play against the top teams [from] across the nation. Last year, we placed top five in New England’s, and I am hoping we can do that again this season.”

The Girls Varsity Squash team is looking to continue playing its best at its upcoming tournaments and matches. The team has a long stretch of away games and will not play at home until Wednesday, February 6, when it will face off against Choate. Its next match will take place at Taft on Saturday, January 19.