Wellesley, MA — With many first-time squash players in the ladder, Wellesley got off to a slow start last season. But the Blue finished strong, going undefeated at the Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup) and winning the inaugural E Division title.
Players who came into last season with minimal experience are now returning as division champions, and with several incoming players with squash experience joining the ranks, the Blue are looking to move up into the D Division.
The returners can also find inspiration in the success of last season’s captain, Ashley Stevens. Stevens, who graduated last spring, was the winner of the 2010 Wetzel Award, which is presented annually to a senior who began playing squash in college and has progressed to a high level of skill, demonstrates sound understanding of the game, and exhibits good sportsmanship and a positive demeanor on the court. Several members of the team had another opportunity to learn over the summer when they watched the WISPA tournament at Cross Courts in Natick, MA.
The three first-year players joining the team should make an immediate impact. Rosemary O’Connor, a Michigan native who graduated from Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School, and Emma Haley, a Portergaud School alumna from Charleston, are expected to play in the top 3. O’Connor was ranked 68th GU19 in 2009, and Haley was ranked 125th GU19 in 2008. Green Farms’ Dorothy Vickery will likely play somewhere in the middle of the lineup.
All three new players have many interests outside of squash. O’Connor was All-State and All-American in swimming, Haley is an accomplished soccer player, and Vickery has been involved in Middle Eastern Studies and worked on an independent study in Arabic.
The addition of experienced players should be a boon to the team when they take on Haverford and Northeastern at the beginning of the season. Haverford finished just ahead of Wellesley in the national rankings last season, and Northeastern also competed in the D Division. Other key matches for the Blue will be Smith, Boston College, and Connecticut College. Smith, BC, and Haverford should all be within reach for Wellesley, and Conn and Northeastern will be good tests to see how far up the rankings they can go.
A new assistant coach will help the team work toward its competitive goals: David Renninger, a former Conn College player who is currently head squash coach at Boston Sports Club, Allston.
The team also participated in the American Cancer “Making Strides for Breast Cancer” Walk along the Charles River in Boston on October 3rd.
2009-2010 SEASON RECAP
Season Record: 4-22
Final Ranking: 33
Team Championships: 33rd Overall; 1st in the E Division
2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW
Program Status: Varsity
Head Coach: Wendy Berry
Returning Players from Team Championships: Ally Ewing (3); Jen Hsu (10); Cara Kaufman (4); Margo Sulmont (6); Emaline Surgenor (9)
Graduates on Last Season’s Team Championships Roster: Rachel Amrhein (8); Lauren Dow (7); Ashley Stevens (1); 2009-2010 Captain; Wetzel Award Winner); Laura Weyl (2); Jess Whitley (5)
Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster:
- Expected to play in the top 3: Rosemary O’Connor and Emma Haley
- Expected to play in the middle 3: Dorothy Vickery
Captains: Emaline Surgenor and Margo Sulmont
Team Goals: Move up the rankings into the 20’s and compete in the D Division
Key Matches: Smith, Boston College, Northeastern, and Connecticut College
To read other team previews, please visit the 2010 – 2011 College Squash Preview Page.