by Tom Utescher
In their first home match of the new year, the racquetwomen of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy notched their third straight squash victory, rising to a record of 4-3 with last Wednesday’s 5-4 victory over the visiting Big Red of Lawrenceville School.
A day earlier, the Blue Devils gone on the road to launch the 2014 portion of their season, topping Girls Inter-Ac League rival Agnes Irwin, 8-1.
On Wednesday, host SCH was leading 4-3 when senior Caroline Canning clinched the team victory by winning in three straight games at the number two spot. She took the first two rounds, 11-5, 11-7, but Lawrenceville’s Nat Tung, also a 12th-grader, got out to a 3-1 lead in game three. Canning came on to capture six points in a row, then finished out the game, 11-7, to put Springside Chestnut Hill over the top.
Lawrenceville had to bump up players in its line-up for the match, since its regular senior number one, Mary Jo Mahfood, had suffered an off-court injury to her ankle.
As the bout got underway, the Blue Devils picked up some quick wins from sophomore Samira Baird and junior Allison Day. Baird beat the visiting number four, junior Alexis Slattery, 11-8, 11-2, 11-3, and Day won in the eighth spot, 11-5, 11-9, 12-10, over Big Red senior Courtnie Baek.
Lawrenceville had a three-game victory at number five, where freshman Virginia Schnaus stopped SCH senior Courtney Hamilton, 11-9, 11-5, 13-11, and at number nine, where junior Sinclair Meggitt captured a four-game match against another SCH senior, Leah Beight, with scores of 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9.
In the seventh spot, Lawrenceville junior Caroline Dragonetti won the first and fourth games, 11-9, 11-6, while Blue Devils freshman Grace Torsella took the second and third segments, 11-9, 11-4. Dragonetti went ahead 4-2 in the fifth, but Torsella turned it around to win 11-8, chalking up a “W” for the home team.
Next up on the same court, Torsella’s ninth-grade classmate Joia McGivern made short work of visiting senior Izzy Gotuaco at number six, winning in three games at 11-5, 11-5, 11-3.
A third SCH freshman, number three Taylor Ferry, was involved in a five-game match like Torsella, but here it was Lawrenceville junior Esther Baek who prevailed, 5-11, 11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-4.
After Canning’s triumph at number two gave Springside Chestnut Hill the fifth win it needed for the team victory, there was still one last match on the court. It’s junior Francesca Fabiani who has had to do the heavy lifting for SCH in the number one spot this season, facing the top players on the opposing teams and helping set the stage for her teammates to succeed father down the ladder.
Last Wednesday Lawrenceville senior Ashley Suan got the better of her in increasingly closer games, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10.