Season's Start - Buckingham Browne & Nichols 2018-19 Upper School Squash Blog 1

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BB&N’s Varsity and JV squads kicked off the season with an open house at INFINITUM Squash where they met the INFINITUM Squash coaching team, including their new Head Coach, Matt Sidaway. Practices began with Matt laying the groundwork for a season focused on technical improvement, developing a renewed team spirit and newfound self-belief.

Players were also introduced to Scott McCartney, who leads INFINITUM’s squash-specific strength and conditioning. Scott led a combined-boys-and-girls-teams session focused on injury prevention, agility, and developing practices for effective pre-match warm-up techniques. Both players and coaches were buzzing after the session - encouraged by the interest and commitment of the teams to their off-court work.

The first match of the season vs. Tabor was positive. Though the boys struggled with a shutout, they carried with them into the matches many of the themes and technical principles they had been working to solidify in practice under Matt. Despite the loss, Matt was pleased with the effort and attitudes as well as the progress with regards to the improvement in the level of squash in just a short time. The girls also posted a loss, but with the varsity at 3-4, narrowly losing to a tough side, the lasting sentiment was that of the great potential for the season ahead.

The next match vs. Brooks - a stronger set of teams - also posted a loss for both BB&N’s girls and boys, but the positives continued to show themselves. On the boys’ side, Ben Wiegand showed maturity with a thoughtful game plan though he ultimately succumbed to a stronger player. Cameron Gaisford played an impressive match, having raised his game to a new level; neck-and-neck the whole way through, Cam and his opponent played dynamic and clean squash for the duration of the match. His opponent saving a game ball against him, Cam ultimately lost the first 11-13 before losing the next two by similar margins. Gutted he couldn’t convert, Cam remained positive with the outcome, proud of the way he played, having given it his all and playing significantly technically improved squash. On the girls’ side, Anika Desai posted the only win of the day in convincing fashion and Annie Stockwell played a commendable, tight long match, ultimately losing in 4.

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Practices continued the next Monday with the boys playing Dexter, a developing team, mid-week. BB&N took a 7-0 win with very impressive play coming from a much improved Sam Subramanian who took out a tough opponent in three games. Ben Wiegand also battled back from a first game loss with a renewed game plan to win his match convincingly in 4.

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The end of the week produced the most exciting result of the season: a 5-2 win for the BB&N Girls vs. Dana Hall - a side BB&N had not defeated in many seasons. Hannah Sarnak’s performance was particularly impressive as she battled through a long, hard match to help secure the win for her team.

With exams the final hurdle before winter break, Matt feels encouraged both by the degree of competitiveness of the teams and their interest and willingness to make difficult technical changes with long-term results in mind.

With a holiday recharge on the horizon, The teams will reconvene post New Years for morning practice at INFINITUM before matches against Milton and Nobles to get the second half of the season’s match play under way.

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Chessin Gertler