Lubin Courts see action as women's squash
prepares for winter of excellence
The upcoming 2001-2002 season of women's squash team is expected to be
a very successful one. With a strong tradition of excellence, the team
expects great results this winter.
Last year, the Bears finished ranked tenth in the country and lost the
Division II title after a tough match to Williams. The team was strong,
and one of last year's standouts, Dana Betts '01, went on to play professional
With that impressive finish behind them, the women look to live up to
a winning tradition again this year.
Two of the team's top players graduated last year, but the women are
still optimistic. "We've had some setbacks since graduating two All-Americans
and everything, but this is a great team that handles everything with
grace," Eileen Schneider '04 said. "We're focusing on getting
stronger and more fit than the competition.
"We also have a lot of new talent, so there's a great chance to
work on racquet skills and other basics," she continued. "[We
hope to] retain the number ten national ranking we had last year."
The team is guided by senior captain Cristin O'Brien this year. "So
far, she has done an excellent job of creating team spirit and motivating
the team," said junior Whitney Hodgkins. "I am very impressed
with how well she has done, especially after losing so many people from
last year. I anticipate that she'll continue to do well for the rest of
the season and...will improve with time."
With a mix of both returning players and upcoming younger members, the
women's squash team is quite diverse in terms of experience. According
to some of the players, the team dynamic is stronger this year due to
the hodgepodge of new players.
"Team spirit is very high, which is due in part to the new people
who are so excited about playing a new sport...it's also due to returning
players who are working very hard to make this season one [containing]
a lot of growth and team bonding. I think it is going to be a fantastic
year, and I am very excited about it," said Hodgkins.
The women return to campus for winter training on January 3, and seem
to look forward to the challenge of rough training. "January is an
intense part of the season, but it's a lot of fun and it is when a lot
of team bonding occurs," Hodgkins said.
"Put your back into it" is the women's motto this winter, one
that came from last year's captain and All-American Liz Steffey '01. "[It's]
a great song, and a great athletic sentiment," Schneider said.
The women's first challenge is a faceoff with Colby and Bates. "This
weekend's scrimmage is going to be huge, both as a test for ourselves
and a mark against other teams," Schneider said. "Last year,
we whooped them without dropping a single game, but we look forward to
a good challenge [this year]."