By Anne Bello
Published Oct 31, 2010 at 3:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 29, 2010 at 11:59 PM ET

Nashville, TN — The Vanderbilt Commodores are one-for-one with the Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup): on the their first-ever trip to the tournament, they won the Emerging Teams Division.

This isn’t a case of beginner’s luck. The Vanderbilt squash program has actively been involved in growing college squash in the Southeast, and before the women had their own team, they competed with the men. Vanderbilt made it to the E Division finals in their second trip to the Men’s National Team Championships, and the men’s team won the F Division last year. In other words, the Vandy program may be young and developing, but they are ready to play some serious squash.

And they are also looking to take the team to the next level. The Vanderbilt women are looking to field a full nine-player team this season. The team should get a boost in the spring semester when their top two players from last year’s team — Maggie Bouscaren and Lucy Rice — return from study abroad. In the fall, the team will benefit from the return of Gabriella Angiolillo, a co-captain with Bouscaren who studied abroad last spring. The team will also have three other new players. Senior Hanna Simonson, a tennis player, is expected to play at the bottom of the ladder. Two sophomores, Georgine Sillem and Lindsay Richer, will somewhere in the middle to the bottom of the ladder. The team expects to have first-year players join the program as well.

Vanderbilt will have the opportunity to work with a Louisville-based pro, Alladin Mitha, who will travel to Nashville to work with the team. Vandy also plans to volunteer with SquashSmarts, an urban youth squash enrichment program, when they travel to Philadelphia. Last season the team volunteered with StreetSquash when they played in New York City, a trip that also saw Bouscaren earn a 3-2 win over a Bates player in a thrilling match.

A key opportunity for play for the Commodores should be the annual SESRA tournament in Atlanta. Last year they scrimmages men’s teams, but as women’s squash in the Southeast continues to grow, hopefully they’ll be able to take on more women’s teams as well. “As one of only two women’s teams in the southeast, Vandy is helping promote the sport and establish programs at other schools,” explains team coordinator Max Franklin.

2009-2010 SEASON RECAP

Season Record:
2-3
Final Ranking: 37
Team Championships: 37th Overall; Emerging Teams Winner

2010-2011 SEASON PREVIEW

Program Status: Club

Returning Players from Team Championships: Noelle Winicki (3)

Non-returning players: Maggie Bouscaren (1; studying abroad, will return for spring semester); Grace Powell (4; studying abroad all year); Lucy Rice (2; studying abroad, will return for spring semester)

Additions to the 2010-2011 Roster:

  • Expected to play in the middle of the ladder: Gabriella Angiolillo and Georgina Sillem
  • Expected to play in the middle or bottom 3: Lindsay Richer
  • Expected to play in the bottom 3: Hanna Simonson

Captains: Maggie Bouscaren and Gabriella Angiolillo

Team Goals: Play first 9-player matches and win full team division at nationals

Key Matches: Round robins in Philadelphia and Atlanta

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