By Tom Utescher
Two years ago, the racquetwomen of Germantown Friends were able to overcome visiting Lawrenceville School, 6-3, despite missing their original number one player. When the teams met again at the Germantown Cricket Club last Wednesday, the Tigers succumbed 1-8 to their Garden State guests, even though the Big Red played without their regular number two.
GFS still came away with an overall record of 5-3 on the season, while Lawrenceville rose above the .500 mark to 4-3.
This winter Lawrenceville has been overcoming some opponents that it’s struggled against in the part, and a lot of it has to do with a recent influx of squash talent. Last week the Lady Larries arrived at GCC with five new racquet-wielding students, and four of them topped their Tigers counterparts.
The exception occurred in the number one match near the end of the encounter. Lawrenceville junior Abby Dichter, a transfer from Radnor High School, started out with an 11-8 win, but the next three games went to sophomore Daisy Lentz (12-10, 11-9, 11-8), who provided GFS with its lone victory of the afternoon.
The outcomes on the court didn’t keep the Germantown Friends players from enjoying a Senior Day celebration for Caroline Caraballo, the lone 12th-grader on the Tigers’ roster. Caraballo found out last month that she was officially accepted at the University of Pennsylvania.
Playing in the number four spot, she won the first segment, 11-3, then Big Red freshman Margo Mancuso fought back to capture the next three rounds at eight, four, and six points.
Although she’s probably never heard it, Reggae icon Jimmy Cliff’s ditty “Many Rivers to Cross” could well be Mancuso’s theme song. Until recently, the Chestnut Hill native had been traversing the Schuylkill to attend the Baldwin School, and now she’s hopped over the Delaware to Lawrenceville.
Another Big Red freshman, Isobel Paine, didn’t recently migrate to New Jersey, but she did change schools, moving down Route 206 from Princeton Day School. Last Wednesday she won the number three match, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 against Germantown Friends sophomore Abby Duncan.
Senior number two Virginia Schaus, who was already at Lawrenceville before this season and who is headed to Middlebury College next year, emerged on top in a four-game bout with GFS junior Alex Pear, winning 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9. Schaus had bumped up on the team ladder since the team’s regular number two was out of action.
There was another Schaus in the house on Wednesday, with Virginia’s sister Hazel filling the number nine position for the visitors. A freshman who came to Lawrenceville from Connecticut’s Greenwich Academy, the younger Schaus prevailed in a five-gamer against Tigers sophomore Jane MacRae, 11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8.
One rung up the ladder, visiting junior number eight Claire Garcia overcame an increasingly feisty freshman for GFS, Lily Seldin, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10. Another Tigers ninth-grader, Katie Benoliel, took the number seven match to a fourth game before bowing to Big Red senior Jasmine Chu, 14-12, 12-14, 11-2, 14-12.
Lawrenceville’s Ellie Hopkins, a sophomore transfer from Episcopal Academy, won 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 when she squared off at number six against Claire Weiss, a Germantown Friends junior. The Lady Larries also captured the number five contest in four games, as junior Carly Martinson made it past Tigers sophomore Natalie Harrity, 12-14, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5.
GFS did win an unofficial official exhibition match, with sophomore Alice Daeschler topping junior Calee Schmidtberger of the visiting side.