Playing hard at Harvard

Our young Athlete Ambassador, Amelia Henley, keeps us up-to-date with how she is getting on over at Harvard University, and the end of her first year competing in the Ivy League Championship.

And so my first college squash season has come to an end! It has been an amazing and extremely rewarding experience. After San Francisco we had a few hectic weeks filled with lots of matches. Although we were able to successfully win most matches 9-0, there were a number of tightly fought matches.

The match that was particularly close was against Trinity College on the 8th Feb, who were ranked 3rd in the nation. We knew that everyone had to give their best performance as they had very experienced top players, therefore we ensured our preparation was as good as possible. Each match was long and hard fought and luckily we had the home advantage with some very energetic and loud supporters. I had a close competitive match against an Egyptian girl at number 4 and was able to win 3-0 and the team ended up winning 8-1. We were extremely happy and surprised with the final result, however we had to make sure that we weren’t complacent leading up to the National Team Championships on the 24-26th February.

The team were able to beat Columbia 9-0 in the first round and then Princeton 8-1 in the semi finals. I won both of my matches 3-0. We then had the number 2 seed, University of Pennsylvania, in the final and we knew that they were going to be determined to take revenge after beating them in January. There were some amazing performances and close matches such as the number 3 winning 3-2 after coming back from 10-5 down in the fifth. I was very pleased to win in three games as I only just managed to win 3-2 when I played the same girl in January. Overall the team won 7-2 and we were all very overwhelmed and excited to win both the National Championships and Ivy League Championships, confirming our position as the best squash team in the nation.

I have thoroughly enjoyed travelling and competing with the Harvard Squash team. After a couple weeks break, I will now be spending the rest of the semester focusing on improving my fitness and doing some technique work with the coach. I am hoping to be playing in some professional tournaments in the summer after I finish my semester at the start of June.


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