The girls’ JV team entered Saturday’s re-match against Westminster unsure of what would happen, their undefeated season hanging in the balance. With the team’s usual top four otherwise occupied — ninth-grader Daly Baker, sophomore Talbot von Stade, and senior co-captain Isabella Geraci were called upon to fill spots 6, 7, and 8 for varsity, while senior co-captain Cameron Heard was out sick — and a competitive Westminster team on its way to the Dewey Squash Complex, anything could happen! The team would need to step up and give their matches every last bit of effort if they hoped to secure a victory. In a head-spinning, nerve-wracking day which featured five five-game sets, the girls dug deep and made every point count to ultimately secure an incredibly close 4-3 win.
Until the last set of the last game, it was anyone’s match. Senior co-captain Olivia Geraci was ultimately overmatched at #2 and fell in three games. Junior Janis Chen at #4 had the match of her life. She lost 7-11, then rallied for two tight wins, 11-9, 12-10. Chen’s opponent won 13-11 in the fourth game, and the two took each other to a fifth game. Chen, despite battling her way back from illness, gritted it out and secured a hair-raising 11-9 victory for Deerfield. At #6, junior Helen Mak had a rollercoaster of a match, winning 12-10, 11-3, and 12-10 for a second Deerfield point.
Over in the odds, sophomore Emma Johnson fell in three at #5 so that the day was tied 2-2 with Westminster. Up at #1, senior Tori Waterfall traded games with her opponent, losing 5-11, winning 12-10, and then losing 4-11. Waterfall had a long road ahead of her if she wanted the win, but showed her characteristic refusal to conceded and ground out two wins, 11-7 and then 11-3, to give Deerfield a third point. Senior Cameron Garner stepped on the court with determination, winning 11-9, 12-10 with a well-matched opponent, but her player got fired up and came back to win 12-10, 11-6 in the next two. The fifth game was a nail-biter, and Garner worked to stay on her toes, but dropped the game 8-11 so that Deerfield was tied 3-3 with Westminster.
It all came down to #7, ninth-grader and squash newcomer Isha Rao. In her first non-exhibition match of the season, Rao got off to a bumpy start, losing 13-15, 9-11. Yet she was not ready to end the day and came back, incredibly, to win the next three games, 11-8, 11-5, 11-3.
Sophomore Daisy Dundas did a great job with her two exhibition matches as well, losing a tough five-game set at the #8 spot and pulling off a clean 2-0 victory in #9. Dundas has played a startling number of matches this season thanks to her willingness to get on the court and compete, and is improving apace as a result!
The team is delighted to add another win, especially such a hard-fought and unpredictable one, to its record for the season. The group will spend the week honing their skills for what should be a big challenge against an impressive St. Paul’s JV team up in Concord on Saturday.