Over Long Winter Weekend, the Girls Varsity and Boys Junior Varsity and Varsity squash teams traveled to Hartford, Connecticut to participate in the 2019 Head US High School Team Squash Championships at Trinity College. All three teams have had impressive seasons so far this year, especially at Nationals, in which the varsity boys placed 3rd in the nation, the girls finished 4th overall, and the JV boys claimed 1st place in the third division after being undefeated for the entire tournament.
Led by captains Teddy Durfee ’19 and Chait Shah ’19, the Boys Varsity Squash team currently holds a 16-3 record in addition to their impressive finish at Nationals. The boys defeated McDonough and the Brunswick B teams before facing the talented Brunswick A team, who went on to the win the National Championship. They then won against St. Paul’s 6-1 to claim the 3rd spot in the country. The first round match against coed, Baltimore-based, McDonough, proved their strength and endurance as they played hard to secure the 4-3 win. According to sophomore Merritt Wurts ’21, who currently plays at the #3 spot for Deerfield, “Adrian Todd clinched the win over Emily Schuster, the #5 girl in the country for U17,” which allowed Deerfield to win the match overall. In their two most recent matches against Taft and Andover, the boys team has won 7-0 against both opponents, and all season, they have only lost to Brunswick and Avon Old Farms in tight matches. In addition to New England’s at the end of February, they have two more matches left before the end of their season.
The girls’ varsity team faced four incredibly strong opponents throughout the tournament. According to Head Squash Coach Karinne Heise, “The girls defeated Penn Charter 6-1 in the first round and Choate Rosemary Hall in the second round 5-2, and they lost to Greenwich Academy 1-6 (the eventual national champions) and Baldwin 2-5 in the playoffs to compete for the 3rd and 4th rankings in the country.
Coach Heise reflected upon their season so far, saying, “It’s been a delight to coach this team, which does an exceptional job of balancing intensity, focus and all out competitive play on the court with humorous fun, concern for others and dynamic team bond- ing off the court. Ashley Manning and Harbour Woodward have both proven to be terrific co-captains as they model great work ethic and positive team spirit.” Senior co-captain Woodward ’19 also spoke about their recent success, saying, “We had some tough competition this year at nationals having to play against Choate whom we had lost to 3-4 earlier in the season. The energy felt high that morning and we all played incredible squash and defeated them 5-2. That was honestly the best moment of the weekend for me – seeing us come back from defeat and everyone playing their hearts out – it was truly special.” The girls are currently out to defend their 11-3 record as they have two more regular season matches left before New England’s.
Undefeated at Nationals and in their regular season, the boys’ junior varsity team currently defends a record of 15-0. They competed against many varsity level teams in order to win first place in the third division, which highlighted their depth and skill. In the first round, they defeated Horace Mann 6-1 before beating Germantown Friends 5-2. They then went on to win 4-3 against Tabor and 5-2 against The Hill School. Overall, the Deerfield squash teams represented the incredibly strong squash program here when they competed against many of the top schools in the country and finished in the top rankings. Both the girls’ and boys’ varsity teams will soon head to the New England Championships on February 23rd at Choate Rosemary Hall.