Playing in the number three spot against fellow junior Danielle Reisley of Penn Charter (top right), SCH’s Courtney Hamilton stretches out to get to the ball. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

When the girls’ squash teams from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Penn Charter played at SCH last Tuesday, the line-ups had changed a bit since the two teams met on January 14, but the outcome was pretty much the same.

The SCH Lions, who had won 6-3 on the road in the middle of the month, once again employed their team depth to overcome the Quakers, this time by a score of 7-2.

As in the first match, PC prevailed at number one and two, but did not claim the number five match as it had back on the 14th. Then, PC’s Ryann Shaffer had overcome fellow senior Hannah Baxter, but this time Baxter was out of action with an ankle sprain. Lions junior Sarrah Schreffler, who played number six when the teams first met, bumped up to number five last Tuesday and defeated Shaffer, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3.

Down the ladder from there, the Lions also moved up, and all were successful. Junior Leah Beight ascended to play the Quakers’ senior number six, Emma Ebert, and won 11-7, 11-1, 11-5. Charter junior Gabi Bembry occupied the seven spot the first time PC played the Lions, but she is now enrolled in an off-campus study program.

As a result, Charter senior Rachael Garnick and SCH sophomore Allison Day played against each other for a second time, but now at number seven in the order instead of number eight. The outcome didn’t change, as Day was the winner once again, 11-4, 11-1, 11-2.

With junior Sydney Stokes also unavailable to play for the Quakers, the visitors had two new athletes in the eighth and ninth spots last Tuesday. At number eight PC’s Claudia Dykstra succumbed to fellow junior Weatherly Saunders, 11-3, 11-4, 11-1, while in the ninth position Charter freshman Jordan Schwartz fell to Lions junior Nina Nalle, 11-2, 11-3, 11-3.

Higher up the Springside Chestnut Hill team ladder, junior Courtney Hamilton and freshman Samira Baird had recently swapped positions for the second time this winter, with Hamilton climbing back up to the number three spot where she’d started out the season. This also meant that the two Lions swapped Penn Charter opponents from the ones they’d faced on January 14.

The Quakers’ junior number three, Danielle Reisley, had a strong third game, winning 11-1, but Hamilton captured the match by winning the first, second, and third rounds, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7. In the fourth flight Baird beat Leigh Steinberg, another PC junior, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5.

The top two bouts featured the same match-ups as on January 14. Sophomore number two Izzy Hirshberg, a mainstay of the Quakers’ squad this winter, overcame hardworking junior Caroline Canning of SCH, 11-9, 11-1, 11-8.

Margaux Losty, a junior, has occupied the number one position for PC all year, and sophomore Francesca Fabiani earned that spot on the Lions’ ladder just a few weeks into the season. The SCH tenth-grader gained a 6-5 edge in the middle of the first game before Losty rallied to win the segment, 11-7.

Fabiani lost a number of points in the second game on shots that traveled just south of the border, striking the tin below the lower boundary on the front wall. Losty won this one, 11-3, and although Fabiani picked up her point total again in the third game, the Quakers junior ended the match by prevailing, 11-7.

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