By Anne Bello
Published Jul 10, 2013 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Jun 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM ET

New Haven, CT — Drexel University won the 2013 Most Improved Team Award.

The Most Improved Team Award is based on both the number of spots a team has improved in the rankings as well as the strength of the opponents they have surpassed. This award was first presented in 2010. This year’s award was presented at the 2013 Women’s National Team Championships, which were hosted by Yale University.

Four years ago, Drexel finished last among the nine-player teams at the 2009-2010 Women’s National Team Championships. Having competed in the Emerging Teams Division the year before, simply fielding a full nine-player squad was an accomplishment for the fledging club program.

Last season, Drexel competed as a varsity team for the first time. Already the team had made some strides, finishing third in the E Division.

2013 Women's National Team Championships: Drexel with the Most Improved Team Award

2013 Women’s National Team Championships: Drexel with the Most Improved Team Award

This season, however, the transformation was even more dramatic. The Dragons bypassed the D Division altogether and competed  in the C Division. After finishing the 2011-2012 season ranked 35th in the nation, they rocketed up the rankings to finish 2012-2013 ranked 20th. A 5-4 win over Mount Holyoke on the first day of the Women’s National Team Championships secured the record-setting finish for the Dragons.

In the space of four years, Drexel has been transformed from a squad trying to find nine players with some squash experience to a top twenty team. Any team that improves from 35th to 20th is making great strides; a team that does it in a single year has accomplished quite a feat.

The 2012-2013 Drexel team was led by head coach John White, assistant coach Sean Wilkinson, and co-captains Anna Schmiedicke and Atiqah Sharin.

This is the first time Drexel has won the Most Improved Team Award.