By Michael T. Bello
Published May 25, 2016 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated May 22, 2016 at 8:07 PM ET

Wellesley CollegeNew Haven, CT — Kate Loftus of Wellesley was named the 2016 Wetzel Award winner.

The Wetzel Award 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.

To be eligible for this award, candidates may not have played squash before coming to college, and this limitation includes informal play as well as formal instruction. In essence, a player would not have picked up a squash racquet before coming to college.

The award is named for former University of Pennsylvania coach Ann Wetzel. During the more than 20 years she coached at the University of Pennsylvania, Wetzel taught hundreds of women the game of squash. Wetzel was inducted into the Women’s College Squash Hall of Fame in 1995 and the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame in 2003.

Candidates for the award are evaluated by a committee of college coaches. This year’s award was presented at the first weekend of the Women’s National Team Championships, which were hosted by Yale University.

Loftus, an economics major, began her squash career in 2012 – 2013 collegiate season. She went 3-8 in her inaugural campaign, competing mostly at the #10 position. During her sophomore year, Loftus moved up to the #8 and #9 positions. She helped the Blue Pride capture their first of three consecutive Seven Sisters Championships.

As a junior, Lotus continued to move up the ladder, representing Wellesley at the #7 and #8 positions. She earned her first of two CSA Scholar Athlete recognitions. As a senior, Loftus served as Wellesley’s captain and played #6 and #7 for the Blue Pride. She went 13-8 during her senior season.

She is the third player from Wellesley to win the Wetzel Award.