Milton Squash Goes to Nationals
by Abby Furdak on Friday, February 7th, 2014
Today, Milton’s Varsity Squash teams are heading down to Philadelphia, PA to compete in the U.S. High School Team Championships, the largest squash tournament in America, with around 100 teams competing in both the Boys’ and Girls’ divisions. Last year, the tournament was cancelled due to a deluge of snow throughout the Northeast, so the Milton Squash program hopes to prove itself this year after missing the opportunity to capitalize on its strong teams last year.
The Girls’ team, led by experienced captains Haley Connor (I) and Marina Hartnick (I), has been successful in matches and tournaments this season. Despite a record of 4-3, all of the team’s losses are to top ten teams, including perennial powerhouse and nationally third-ranked Deerfield. Coach Chris Kane hopes that this heavy exposure to tough competition means “that the next time we see these teams, we will perform even better.” These challenging matches early on in the season have readily prepared the team for these tough matches, especially for Sarah Willwerth (IV) and Grace Connor (IV), new freshmen to the team who have never competed in the tournament before. The combination of young talent and confident upperclassmen leaders has resulted in a team that “is willing to work hard on a daily basis,” says Coach Kane. Although their opponents at Nationals are strong, the squash team is counting on their dedication, upbeat spirit, and “extremely deep” roster to improve their seeding with a finish in the top 12.
The Boys’ Squash team has had considerable success throughout the season. Led by coach Morgan Poor and captains Charlie Blasberg (I) and Cody Cortes (I), the team opened the season with a strong victory over Exeter and have acquired some-much needed momentum after sneaking by St. Paul’s and blowing out St. Mark’s last weekend. Originally seeded in Division I for Nationals, the team dropped to the first seed in Division II after a gut-wrenching loss to Brooks last week. Although the team will be in contention for a national championship, as it had been in the past two years, the boys aim to capitalize on their top seeding in Division II.
Both Girls’ and Boys’ Squash teams are well-prepared for the upcoming tournament and look forward to continuing their hard work in the final games of the season.
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