The girls’ JV squash team got their season off to a great start on Saturday with a decisive 5-2 win over Hotchkiss. With a good chunk of last year’s top 7 graduated or pursuing other winter sports, the team was unsure of how the matchup would go, but the group demonstrated the depth of Deerfield’s squash talent as last year’s exhibition players stepped up and worked with new talent to maintain the Big Green’s edge.
Up first were the evens. At #2, senior co-captain Cameron Heard put together a quick pair of 11-5 wins to gain an early advantage. Though her opponent rallied in the third game to win 11-7, Heard kept it together and sealed her victory with an 11-8 win in the fourth game. In her first squash match ever, #4 Tori Waterfall ’19 had an impressive showing and won in 3 to give Deerfield its second point of the day (11-4, 11-7, 11-9). Helen Mak ’20, playing up at #6 this year, had a long match: she got two quick wins, 11-8, 11-5, but then her opponent came back to win 11-9, 11-8 in the third and fourth games. In the fifth, Mak played great squash, but was ultimately over matched and fell 5-11.
In the odds, #7 Janis Chen ’20 wrapped up her match first, winning in a blistering three games, to give Deerfield its third point of the day. Senior co-captain Olivia Geraci, playing at #3, had a fascinating back-and-forth with her Hotchkiss opponent: though Geraci dominated in the first two games 11-4, 11-1, her Bearcat heated up and came back to win the next two games 12-10, 11-9! Despite this surprising comeback, Geraci’s fitness and determination carried her through the fifth game to an 11-8 win, and gave Deerfield the fourth point it needed to secure victory for the day. #5 senior Cameron Garner put together three great games for a fifth Deerfield point, further cementing the Big Green’s dominance for the day. Up at #1, sophomore Talbot von Stade started off strong with an 11-6 victory but then fell to an extremely talented Hotchkiss opponent, whose massive serve helped her edge von Stade in three tight games, 9-11, 10-12, and 8-11.
In exhibition, team newcomers Caroline Hoff ’22, Isha Rao ’22, and Daisy Dundas ’21 had great days at #8, #9, and #10, respectively. Hoff dusted her opponent 11-7, 11-9 to grab the 2-out-of-3 victory, and Dundas rallied after a 9-11 lost in the first game to secure a pair of wins 11-8, 11-7. Rao was unlucky, but still put up quite respectable scores for her first squash match ever!
The team looks forward to settling in with another week of practice and buckling down for a long season, with an away game at Milton coming up on Wednesday!