Varsity Girls Squash
Varsity Squash Teams Become National Champions
Last weekend was a truly remarkable one for Potomac's girls and boys varsity squash teams as they swept the competition in the 2018 US Squash High School National Championships in Philadelphia.
The girls varsity squash team seeded 5-8 in Division 4 of the High School Team Championships, and took home the national title with a 4-3 victory over Westminster Schools of Atlanta. To get to the finals, Potomac beat Tabor Academy 4-3 and Darien High School 6-1. In the semifinals, they toppled number-one seed Middlesex School in a very close 4-3 match.
In the finals on Sunday in Philadelphia, freshman Elizabeth Egger led off with a brilliant 3-0 trouncing of her opponent. Senior captain Justine Thoma, sophomore Jun-Young Hong, and senior captain Caroline Jackson faced tough opposition, and came up short. Next, freshman Aalia Husain forced her opponent from corner to corner. Sophomore Charlotte Ellis won three games, and senior captain Mary Kate Ausbrook played the final match, to the deafening chants of the Westminster crowd.
Mary Kate split the first two games, lost the third, and won in the fourth, bringing the game score to 2-2. Sensing the tide had turned, the Potomac team amped up the cheers, and Mary Kate took the final game with an impressive 11-4 score.
The boys team entered the championships seeded at third place in Division 3. They began their campaign against Millbrook School in the Round of 16, winning a closely contested match. In the quarterfinals, the Panthers faced the Packer Collegiate Institute, cruising through with a 6-1 win.
The semifinal was a repeat of last year’s Round of 16 match against Rye Country Day School. This year, RCDS was seeded second in Division 3. Last year’s defeat was still fresh in Panthers’ minds and served as excellent motivation to overcome their opponents. Freshman Eric Lovallo managed to defeat his opponent in a nail-biting five-game match, clinching the fourth win needed to put Potomac through to the final.
In the final, the Panthers faced The Masters School. With the overall score tied at 3-3, freshman Matthew Granovsky made an impressive comeback after losing the first two games, and ultimately won final score of 11-4.
Girls Varsity Head Coach
A native of Washington, DC, Carole Grunberg learned to play squash at Vassar College, where she played two years on the varsity team. She has won seven individual U.S. National Masters Championships, and two US National Team titles in the Howe Cup. At Potomac, Carole served as girls JV coach from 2008 to 2016, and she now coaches the girls varsity. Her varsity team placed second in division III in the 2016 U.S. High School National Team Championships, and a number of Potomac graduates have gone on to play varsity squash at Princeton, Cornell, and other top-ranked universities.
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Mary Kate Ausbrook2018