Last weekend I had the good fortune of taking the first ever StreetSquash team to High School Nationals. We took 7 of our strongest girl players to compete against some of the strongest teams in the country. This was certainly a new environment, not only in terms of the level of competition, but also the sheer size of the tournament. Including all draws for both girls and boys, there were over 170 teams from 15 states represented at this years tournament.
We began the weekend with a match against Bryn Mawr. Our girls won 6-1, sending a powerful message to the rest of the field. Afterwards, we all went out to dinner at UNO’s, where we treated ourselves to some well-earned burgers.
Our second round match took place on Saturday morning against Shipley. Going in, we knew they were a strong team, and sure enough, it ended up being a battle. In the end, we fell 5-2, with all of the matches being hard-fought losses. After some lunch, and an afternoon nap, we came back out that evening to play against Chapin, another strong team that had lost 4-3 in their second round encounter. This match also proved a tough one for our girls. In the end, we lost another 5-2, with more than one five-gamer. By the time that match ended, it was after 9pm, so we drove to a nearby Friendly’s for a late-night dinner. Admittedly, not the healthiest of choices, but the most expeditious.
On Sunday, we faced off against a fellow urban squash program: Squash Haven. With a revitalizing pump-up speech by yours truly, we took the courts ready to make a strong exit. Sure enough, our girls looked refreshed and reenergized, taking the match 6-1, with the only loss being a very close five-gamer.
With that win under our belt, we hit the road back to New York. I could tell the girls had given it their all, as they all passed out as soon as we got on the highway.
It was, overall, a successful weekend. After getting over their initial nerves, the team played some great squash, and comported themselves admirably. When we return in years to come, I’m sure we’ll do even better. But for now, StreetSquash has made a strong impression at US High School Nationals.
A huge congratulations to Joetta ’16, Nakayla ’17, Cheyenne ’17, Cindy ’16, Alix ’16, Emma ’16 and Leslie ’17.
-Will, Squash Coordinator
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