This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Mary Ellen McIntire
The men’s and women’s squash programs opened their seasons with decisive victories over Georgetown on Friday night, with both teams defeating their District rivals 9-0.
The Colonials emerged strong and ready to play, despite head coach Wendy Lawrence’s concerns that opening the season’s play against a cross-town rival would distract GW.
“It’s our first match of the season, so the pit bull is always that people are real nervous. There’s this expectation of Georgetown’s rivalry; it’s the first match of the season; you’ve got all these hometown crowds here,” Lawrence said. “So the big worry is that people are a lot more wired and pump a lot more adrenaline surging through their body than they realize, and they kind of forget basics, and they’re not thinking of their game plan.”
Junior Islam El-Fiky was a standout competitor, soundly defeating his opponent in three games: 11-6, 11-5 and 11-6. The rest of the No. 17 men’s team was equally sound. Seniors Jose Calderon and Adam Pistel, juniors Sam Ehrlich and Player Haynes and freshman David Moxley all picked up victories.
Lawrence said her teams have three goals for the season: to move up in rankings, to never be upset and to defeat teams the Colonials have not beaten before.
“The higher we get in the rankings, the harder that is,” Lawrence said. “We got a pre-season ranking this year of 14. We moved up one from the end of last year. We’re trying to shoot to get two, three or four spots higher.”
The No. 14 ranked women’s squad also came into their match determined to send a message to the Hoyas. Sophomore Jackie Shea said she thought the team came out pretty strong because it concentrated on being well-prepared for competition.
“We’re trying to focus on going back to basics,” Shea said.
Shea, who won her match 3-0, with scores of 11-5, 11-6 and 11-7, is joined in the women’s top three by sophomores Kelly Barnes and Adriana Calderon, who both won their matches 3-0. Senior Lauren Mathieu earned a narrow 12-10 win in her first set, sweeping her opponent 3-0.
Even with successful matches across her rosters, Lawrence still focused on how she can help her players improve going forward, examining how their play changes under pressure.
“We start practicing in September, and we don’t end until the first week of March,” Lawrence said. “It’s a constant struggle to keep these kids from being sick and hurt.”
The Colonials next travel to Annapolis, Md. on Nov. 12, where the women will face Drexel and the men will take on both Drexel and Northwestern.