By Danae Diaz II Contributing Writer
The women’s varsity squash team, led by Coach Gavin Jones, has been hard at work all year: not only developing their skills on the court, but their team dynamic as well. This spring season presents them with various opportunities to put their hard work to the test.
The athletes are working on both the depth of their drive and their aggressiveness on the court, which is an integral part of the game. Throughout the season they have also tried to improve their footwork and movement. Captain Tookie Goelet ‘15 recognizes both the improvement of many of the returning players, as well as the skill and energy that the new players, such as Sherilyn Yang, Lauren Johnston, and Andreina Benedieth have added to the team.
A prime example of the impact these incoming players made on the team was at their match on Friday, January 16. The lone win against Williamson came from freshman Yang, dominating her opponent with tallies of 11-6, 12-10, and 11-9.
Not only did the team have the advantage of these experienced incoming players, but the return of players from abroad such as Molly Gilmore, Emily Caldwell, and Alex Matalon reinvigorating the team.
One of the team’s main goals for the season has been to be “one team.” As in various sports, a good team dynamic is crucial to success. Many of the girls feel as though they have achieved this. Their time spent together at matches and practices take up a great deal of their time and boost their team morale.
“This year is the closest we’ve been as a team,” said Goelet, when asked about her view on this season’s team dynamic.
Although facing difficulties in their games against Harvard and Williams recently, they are planning on using their determination to help them in upcoming games. It seems as though their relationships and hard work have paid off thus far, as they are ranked #13 in the nation and are hoping to continue rising through the ranks.
When asked about their biggest triumph as a team thus far, Yang expressed that their triumph against Drexel truly proved their capability as a team and has given them a significant portion of their drive to succeed this season.
“We were ranked 17th and they were ranked 13th at the time, and since it was one of our first few games it was a great confidence booster,” said Yang.
They had a very strong start to their season and they hope to pick it back up this weekend. They are confident and dedicated, having two hour practices from Monday through Friday every week. Many of the players spend a few extra hours in the campus gym on their own accord.
Although the season has not reached its peak, the women are already seeing themselves play with a level of skill and technique that is much improved from years past. But the true test is to come with one of their busiest and more crucial weekends of the season in Middlebury, Vermont. Playing five games in three days will not only test their endurance but will also test these new skills that they have been attempting to develop. They are all hopeful to come back with a few wins under their belt. It would be a great push to finish their season off strong.
Their season comes to a close at the end of February; they are planning to make the most of the remainder of their season.
Although most of the games left are away games, it is always uplifting to have fellow Dips support the team through match attendance.
First-year Danae Diaz is a contributing writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.