Northampton, MA — The Richey Award is given annually to the women’s college squash player who best exemplifies the ideals of squash in her love of and devotion to the game, her strong sense of fairness, and her excellence of play and leadership.
Coaches consult with their teams and vote on the candidates at the Women’s National Team Championships. Each school has two votes: a team vote and a coach’s vote.
This year, there were many talented nominees. The Executive Committee selected the three finalists for the Richey Award (listed alphabetically; click on the athletes’ names below to see photos and videos of them playing):
Nabilla Ariffin (University of Pennsylvania): Ariffin is a three-time Second Team All-American and was twice selected to the All-Ivy League Team unanimously. Ariffin started out playing number 2 during her first year, when Penn made it to the finals of the Women’s National Team Championships. She has topped the team’s line-up since her sophomore year, playing number 1. She has served as co-captain for two years, and in 2012, she teamed up with Penn co-captain Pia Trikha to win the Intercollegiate Doubles championship. Says Penn head coach Jack Wyant of Ariffin, “Nabilla is a charismatic young woman–beloved by her teammates and respected by opponents for her talent and dedication to fair play. She possesses great athleticism and tenacity on court. ‘Nob’ (as she’s called by teammates) trains exceptionally hard and leads through example. Off court, Nabilla has an engaging, optimistic personality. She’s performed brilliantly in the classroom making her a student-athlete in the truest sense.”
Julie Cerullo (Princeton University): Cerullo is a three-time First-Team All-American and a three-time member of the All-Ivy League Team. She primarily played at number 2 during her debut collegiate season but has since played number 1 for the Tigers. She won the consolation finals of the 2010 Individual Championships and has reached the semifinals the past two years. The co-captain of the 2012-2013 Tigers squad, she is a two-time Academic All-Ivy honoree. Princeton head coach Gail Ramsay had the following to say about Cerullo: “Her leadership and team camaraderie have help unify the Princeton team in many ways. She is hard working and organized and through her example has motivated her peers to set their goals high and to be determined to meet them. Her planning and organizing have been a big part of her own development, and her teammates can see how important it is to have a vision and to follow up with hard work. In her leadership role Julie has helped me to understand and connect better with her and to other team members. She has a mature approach to relationships, and I have found this to be important uniting the team. She is very objective and honest which are valuable qualities to have and to share.”
Pamela Chua (Stanford University): Chua earned Second Team All-American honors as a first-year player and was named First Team All-American her sophomore and junior years. She has played at the top of Cardinal line-up throughout her four years. A senior co-captain, Chua has set a standard for competitive play and for on-court behavior for her team. She has also been recognized as a scholar athlete. Stanford head coach Mark Talbott says Chua “exemplifies sportsmanship and has every day of her collegiate career. Pam is an example to all other players of the way to behave on court. She has never complained, and she plays the game the right way: she gets out of the way and rarely has a let. She respects her opponents and understands sportsmanship. She is the leader of this team and has been since the day she walked on campus. Everyone on the team (and all those outside who know her) adores this quiet, kind woman. She is thoughtful, incredibly reliable, respectful, and fun; she also has a good sense of humor. She loves the sport and it has been a major part of her life. She is a wonderful representative of women’s collegiate squash.”