The Record is a student-run bi-weekly print newspaper with daily digital presence on pressing issues and events inside the Hotchkiss community and around the globe.

The Hotchkiss Record

The Record is a student-run bi-weekly print newspaper with daily digital presence on pressing issues and events inside the Hotchkiss community and around the globe.

The Hotchkiss Record

The Record is a student-run bi-weekly print newspaper with daily digital presence on pressing issues and events inside the Hotchkiss community and around the globe.

The Hotchkiss Record

After Taking Second Place in New England, Squash Looks to Upset Favorites at Nationals

Eli Levy ’24 and Maja Clark
Boys and Girls Varsity Squash both earned 2nd place honors at the New England Class A Championships.

On February 10 and 11, Boys and Girls Varsity Squash traveled to Deerfield to compete in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A Championship. Both teams finished in second place overall.

This year’s tournament represented a shift in format from individual to team competitions. In previous years, each ranking within the teams played against each other—so each team’s number one player competed individually through a bracket of number-one players, with the same system in place for the other spots. This year, however, the results were based on an overall team score in each match, meaning that teams had to win at least four of seven matches to move to the next level of competition. 

Boys Varsity Squash entered the tournament seeded third out of eight after finishing sixth last year. Their first match was against #6 Deerfield Academy, which they beat 4-3. Oscar Okonkwo ’25, Rohan Gupta ’26, Arvaan Motwane ’26, and Dwyer Illick ’26 all won their matches. 

The team played the next match against two-time defending national champions #2 Kent. Despite Kent’s ranking, Hotchkiss pulled off an upset, winning a close match, 4-3. Okonkwo, Gupta, Motwane, and Parth Khera ’26 won their matches. 

This victory earned the team a place in the final, where they faced #1 Brunswick for the championship. In the final, the top three seeds—Okonkwo, Khera, and Gupta—each won their match. These would be the only wins for the team, however, which lost the other four matches and fell to Brunswick with a score of 4-3. 

Gupta said, “The team did way better than we expected, and we couldn’t be prouder. In the next couple of years we are shooting to bring the national title back to Hotchkiss, so defying the odds and placing second at New Englands solidifies that goal. We will use this experience to build off of the progress we’ve made and aim for a top three finish at Nationals.”

Girls Varsity Squash came into the tournament seeded second overall, coming off a second-place finish last year. The team’s first game was a clean sweep of #7 Choate, in which players did not concede a single game. Elise Kang ’25, Maya Mansoor ’24, Makeda Moshi ’26, Olivia Choo ’26, Virginia Wood ’25, Eloise Oakley ’27, and Campbell Burke ’24 all won their matches 3-0. 

The semi-final match-up was a 5-2 victory over #3 Tabor Academy. Mansoor, Choo, Wood, Oakley, and Ellis Chung ’25 again won their matches. 

The semi-final victory set up a finals match-up with Greenwich Academy. Greenwich has been a dominant force in girl’s squash; the school’s team was crowned national champions in 15 of the last 18 years. 

Hotchkiss played Greenwich to a close 4-3 loss earlier in the season, the closest anyone came all season to beating them. In the rematch, Greenwich Academy took the upper hand, winning 7-0.

Moshi said, “We played our best and really put it all out there. Although we didn’t win our final match, we enjoyed having the opportunity to play Greenwich in the finals, and we’re looking forward to seeing them on the court at nationals. For nationals, we are focusing on playing more strategically and having more of a set game plan against each individual player.”

Boys Varsity Squash went into the tournament with an 11-1 record, their only loss coming against Taft. In the week leading up to the tournament, Coach Burns said, “The team was trying to dial down the movement, keep the legs fresh, but up the target practice and shot selection.” 

The girls went into the tournament with a 8-2 record. They were focused primarily on meeting Greenwich in the finals. Coach Clark said, “In the weeks before New Englands, we started thinking about good sleep, good rest, hydration, and visualization of your matches. Before they went to sleep, I told players to think about what it takes to win their matches, hit their shots, have positive body language, and stay on their toes. We also tried to eliminate as much stress as possible.”

Both teams hope to ride this momentum into the High School Nationals on February 23. This year is the first time that the New Englands and Nationals will be held two weeks apart, meaning that the results from New Englands will affect seeding for Nationals. It will also give the teams time to rest and prepare for the second tournament. 

Girls Varsity Squash is projected to be a three-seed at the national tournament, where they hope to challenge Greenwich Academy for a third time. Coach Clark said, “Since we are seeded third, we would have to beat Lawrenceville, who beat us earlier in the season. I am confident that we have done our fact-finding, and we have the strategies we need to beat them and see Greenwich in the finals.”

Boys Varsity Squash is projected to be a six seed, behind Kent and Brunswick. Coach Burns said, “A lot of our players have played a lot of the players on those teams before. We feel like any of those teams are beatable on the day.”

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