After extending its title run at the recent U.S. High School Championships, the Greenwich Academy squash team capped its season Sunday by continuing another streak.
With six players winning their respective divisions, Greenwich Academy kept its tight grip on the New England Interscholastic Squash Association Class A championship.
The Gators won the NEISA Class A championship for the ninth straight season, totaling a team score of 63 points. Sacred Heart Greenwich produced its best showing at the NEISA Class A Championships, placing second in the team standings (56 points), followed by Deerfield Academy (last season’s runner-up).
The U.S. High School Team Squash Championships, which concluded on Feb. 23, saw GA win the Division I title for the fifth straight season. Sunday’s victory at Deerfield Academy gave the Gators their 22nd New England championship, overall.
“It was a great performance at the New England tournament from all of our players, especially after winning nationals,” GA coach Luke Butterworth said. “For them to finish one last task of the season in the manner they did was very impressive. They showed great character on the court and got the job done.”
In the No. 1 player bracket at the NEISA tournament, Sacred Heart eighth-grader Caroline Fouts won the title. Fouts registered a 3-1 win over Greenwich Academy senior Emma Carney (10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).
“It was a really good match by both players, from start to finish,” Butterworth said.
Fouts went 3-0 on her way to winning the New England title in her bracket. She advanced to the finals with a 3-0 victory against Isabella Rolfe, a Greenwich resident, from Deerfield Academy.
“No other eighth-grader has won that title in the tournament,” Sacred Heart coach Celia Pashley said. “Caroline was so impressive throughout the whole tournament, looking so strong and mature, despite her young age.
“It was a historical weekend for Sacred Heart. Finishing second in Class A at the NEISA tournament is the school’s best-ever finish,” Pashley added.
Carney, who was victorious in the championship match of the recent national tournament, moved on to the New England final by defeating Charlotte Bell of Nobles and Greenough, 3-0, in the semifinal-round.
Greenwich Academy senior Binney Huffman captured the No. 2 player title, defeating Sacred Heart senior Katie Keller in championship match, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3. The matchup was a rematch of the national tournament semifinals, which was won by Keller.
“Binney was out there to win her last match for GA squash,” Butterworth said. “She started playing squash for GA as a seventh-grader and has put in six years of great work for the team.”
Huffman was a 3-0 winner against Deerfield’s Griffin Dewey in the semifinals, while Keller beat Mariam Elkheshan from Phillips Andover Academy, 3-2.
In the No. 3 player bracket, Gators junior Brecon Welch won her first New England title, topping Devon Lesperance (Deerfield) in the final, 11-4, 11-2, 11-8. Welch won all three of her matches in the tourney, 3-0.
“Brecon continued to impress,” Butterworth said. “She put up strong performances the entire weekend and her final match was the peak of her performances,” Butterworth said.
Emma Trauber, a GA freshman, took the No. 4 title. She was victorious against Madeline Schwarz from Sacred Heart, 11-6, 12-10, 11-2 in the finals. Trauber was a 3-0 winner against Skyler Spaulding of Andover in the semifinals. Schwarz earned a spot in the finals with a 3-1 semifinal win over Maeve Baker (Deerfield).
In Division 5, Gators junior Lindsay Westerfield notched a 3-0 triumph against Willow Woodward (Deerfield), taking the matchup, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10.
“The way she played today was a great way to end her season,” Butterworth said. “She showed what she is capable of.”
Annie O’Connor of the Tigers topped Andover’s Charlotte Toogood in the third-place match, 3-1.
Seniors Megan Meyerson (No. 6) and Penny Oh (No. 7) also won their respective New England division titles for GA. Meyerson beat Sarah Stonestreet (Deerfield) 3-0 in her championship match, while Oh won her match against Sacred Heart’s Mary O’Connor in three games. Claudia El-Masry from Sacred Heart finished third in the No. 6 division, posting a 3-2 win against her Andover foe in the third-place match.
“This is a great achievement for our team,” said Pashley, whose squad played without No. 3 player, senior Erin O’Connor, in the tournament. “The team spirit made it possible, as well as their hard work. I couldn’t be prouder of these girls as a coach. It was an amazing way to finish a historical season.”
Carney (Stanford), Huffman (Harvard), Meyerson (Columbia) and Oh (UPenn) will each continue their squash careers at the collegiate level.
“I am very proud of our team and the season we had,” Butterworth said. “Winning nationals and New Englands are always our goals, so to accomplish our goals is something to be proud of.”