Squash - Girls Varsity
vs. Hopkins Tournament
|Date:||January 18, 2014|
Event Recap:Hopkins Tournament
Heading south at midday, the Bears passed from winter white-out to spring rain, only to see the some venture out on a pleasant New Haven afternoon. The action was hot on the courts at Hopkins' Kneisel Squash Center, where Berkshire hoped to improve upon a solid finish in 2013. Supportive parents -- Brazos and Silvermans made the trek to cheer us on -- and collegial coaches and teams made the afternoon a fun one; inspired play from top to bottom of the ladder made it a successful one from a squash standpoint.
#1 Michealann Denton won her first two to earn a place in the finals and managed a scintillating game against K-O's talented Udolf, but Denton faded in games two and three and finished 2nd overall. (Denton's tough finish was compounded by a poor beverage choice at Dunkin Donuts on the way home, but the plucky co-captain vowed to "get the next one.") #2 Clementina Davila had a bye in the first and played a terrific match in the second round, coming up just a bit short against a hosting Hopkins player, then rebounding against Ethel Walker to take 3rd overall. #3 Olivia Silverman was dominant on the day, putting together straight-game victories in all of her matches and claiming 1st place with a finals win against Williston.
#4 Edeline Loh parlayed a first-round bye and a second-round victory into a yet another Berkshire-Williston final. Loh made some good adjustments in her match and tried out a new pre-serve sequence, but ultimately Eddie came up on the short end of a 3-1 thriller to claim 2nd place. #5 Allie Brazo found the going tougher in each round but still prevailed, claiming the final 3-1 against Hopkins. (This marked the second year in a row that the athletic senior has won her flight at the tourney. Go, Allie! [Brazo later sustained a burnt tongue from an over-hot DD salted caramel creation but felt capable of contributing to Trivia Night by the time we got back to campus.])
Things got ugly at #6 and #7, where the Bears took a physical beating but emerged with the laurels. #6 Serena Menges took a ball behind the ear in her first match, but won, then took one on the bridge of her nose in her second, and won again, then pushed to a 3-0 victory against Williston in the final (with no further injuries sustained). #7 Lucy Hollister, after celebrating two new puppies in the family -- dad stopped by campus on his way home to New Hampshire -- sailed through the first two rounds unblemished. In the final, Hollister met a stiff opponent in Williston and survived a nasty shot to the lower lip. "I really want to win," confided the teary but determined fifth former around her ice bag. Win she did, taking down her opponent three games to one and claiming Berkshire's final trophy on the day. (No word on whether she met with similar success, or parallel mishap, in terms of the knitting project she was attempting in the cramped van.)
The four-first place finishes, coupled with solid results from the other three Bears, gave Berkshire the team tally by a wide margin. Coach Kohlhepp admired the girls' efforts on the afternoon and was as relieved as his players when events ended a bit earlier that expected (with two schools dropping out because of weather). "The field wasn't quite as deep as it has been in years past," noted Coach K., aware that host Hopkins had rested their top two players because of lingering injuries, "but my girls got other there and took care of business."
Next up for Berkshire: a rare-this-season home match against Canterbury on Wednesday and the all-new Hamilton Showcase on Saturday, a tri-match against new rivals Nichols School and Blair Academy.