By Anne Bello
Published Oct 6, 2010 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Sep 25, 2010 at 4:38 PM ET

Washington, DC — George Washington’s 2009-2010 season started slowly but ended with a dramatic championship win.

An early loss to F&M and several subsequent losses to “B” Division teams put the Colonials in the middle of the “C” Division coming into the Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup). A decisive second-round upset of Wesleyan, the top seed in the Walker Cup, however, showed that George Washington had improved considerably down the stretch. The Colonials nosed out Vassar 5-4 in the finals to win the first championship in program history.

The Colonials should be in a good position to carry over their end-of-the-season success into the new season. They did lose three seniors, including number 1 player and 2009-2010 co-captain Kate Bullard. However, George Washington will be getting six first-year players with plenty of squash experience. Jackie Shea, who was ranked 25th GU19 in the US at the end of the 2009-2010 season, is the Colonials’ first National Letter-of-Intent signee. The program will also get its first international players: Kelly Barnes, Bermuda’s 2008 under-19 and under-17 champion; and Kyung Min Kim, who trains with the South Korean national team. Barnes also played number 2 for Taft, and Kim went undefeated in ISL play at St. George’s, where she played number 7. Also joining the team will be Concord Academy’s Becca Imrich; Maya Nair, a graduate of the Hathaway Brown School; and Elizabeth Tapley, who played number 1 for Exeter and was MVP at Newton Country Day in 2009.

With the loss of Bullard and fellow graduates Mallory Ward and co-captain Chelsea Mouta, George Washington will be a young team; only one senior, Eliza Ehrlich, is on the roster. The team will, however, benefit from the experienced leadership of Wendy Lawrence, who has coached the GW men for several seasons. Lawrence is taking over after the departure of Maura Myers, who took the program from its infancy as a varsity team to the Walker Cup championship. Another new face will be Jake Gross, who will be the Colonials’ new assistant coach.

All these new members of the GW team will have their first major test earlier on in the season, when they will face Vassar for a rematch of the “C” Division final. Though there won’t be as much on the line, the match should be a good indicator of where the squad stands.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record: 9-6
Final Ranking: 17
Team Championships: 17th Over All; 1st in Walker Cup (C Division)

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Varsity

Head Coach: Wendy Lawrence (Succeeds Maura Myers)

Returning Players from Team Championships: Paige Beaton (6); Eliza Ehrlich (7); Donna Farizan (9); Tiffany Hingley (4); Toby Leventhal (10); Morgan Masiello (11); Lauren Mathieu (2); Caroline Shumway (3);

Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Kate Bullard (1; GW MVP; 2009-2010 Captain); Chelsea Mouta (5; 2009-2010 Captain); Mallory Ward (8)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster: Kelly Barnes, Becca Imrich, Kyung Min Kim, Maya Nair, Jackie Shea, Elizabeth Tapley

To read other team previews, please visit the 2010 – 2011 College Squash Preview Page.