Haverford School squash team wins national title

Haverford’s varsity A squash team won their first high school national title Feb. 12 at the 2017 HEAD U.S. High School Team Squash Championships in Connecticut, avenging their loss to Brunswick last year with a 5-2 victory over their biggest rival.

This year’s High School Nationals was the largest squash tournament in the world, featuring 1,500 players on 105 boys teams and 76 girls teams competing across 12 divisions at several schools all across Connecticut.

Haverford A entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed. Playing at the Westminster School, the weekend got off to a great start with a 7-0 win over Harriton-Lower Merion. The quarterfinal matches were a bit more difficult, but Haverford got a 6-1 victory over St. George’s School (R.I.).

In the semifinals, varsity A met the Belmont Hill School (Mass.) and again rolled to a 7-0 win. The match against Belmont featured a great effort by sophomore and No. 5 player Spencer Yager. Yager was down 12-10, 10-12, 10-12, and facing match ball in the fourth game. He saved seven straight match balls; won game four by a score of 12-10 then easily won game five, 11-3.

On Feb. 12, Haverford headed into the Justi Cup finals against rival Brunswick School varsity. Last year, Brunswick came from behind and narrowly defeated the Fords by a score of 4-3.

Determined to avenge that loss, Haverford immediately got off to a good start with a hard-fought 3-1 win by junior and No. 2 Peter Miller. Strong play by junior and No. 3 Grant Sterman and Yager resulted in a Haverford lead of 3-2 after losses by senior Bill Wu and junior Sam Turner.

The final two matches took the court, with one win needed to put Haverford over the top and give the school its first national championship. Senior captain and No. 1 Duncan Joyce narrowly lost his first game, then won his match 3-1 giving Haverford the title. Senior captain Will Glaser provided icing on the cake with a 3-1 win as well in the last match of the weekend.

Haverford’s 5-2 win snapped a 41-match winning streak for the Brunswick Bruins. Joyce, Glaser, Miller, and Yager did not drop a match during the entire tournament.

Coach Asad Khan, finishing his first season as The Haverford School’s Director of Squash Programs, said in his post-match interview with U.S. Squash, “It feels great to win our first title. I’m hoping for many more to come. Brunswick is a tough rival.”

Khan added, “The guys were hungry. I had to keep them calm … but they were hungry. They had learned their lessons and I think that was the most important part; let their rackets do the talking and not talking off the court. I think the guys did a good job with their sportsmanship and respect for the ref, which I was proud of. It’s easy to get carried away in those passionate moments when everyone wants to win. So sportsmanship is very important, and I couldn’t have been more proud of how the boys played.”

Haverford School’s Varsity B squash also had a standout weekend, winning the consolations of Division II. Coached by Sam Walters, the team defeated the A teams from Bronxville, Shipley, and New Haven, with their only team loss coming to eventual Division II Champion McDonogh (Baltimore). It was the B team’s best performance of the year and showcased the depth of Haverford squash.

Haverford Headmaster Dr. John Nagl sent this post-game message to the team: “So proud!”



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply