November 9, 2012

Season Preview: Women’s squash relying on steady growth from young roster

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's squash team will rely on the promise of youth as it looks to make continued progress in 2012-13.

This year's squad, led by co-captains Randee Johnson and Caroline Nightingale, hopes to use the experiences gained last season as it persists in its goal to improve up and down the roster.

Having played in 19 contests last season, sophomore Alex Love looks ready to make an impact at the top of the Fords' ladder.  Senior Alisa Strayer will be counted on for her competitive intangibles while sophomore Samara Flug, 6-5 in her first collegiate season, is someone primed to contribute once again.

Seniors Hannah Miller and Miriam Fuchs also bring veteran experience as Haverford will feature six new players this season. Highlighting the array of new faces is freshman Bethany Simmonds who could make an immediate impact for the Fords. Simmonds along with Emily Berlin, Alyssa Kaden, Alyssa Lichauco, Sarah Madigan, and sophomore Avery Weisel have been valuable additions to the squad.

"I am really pleased with the attitudes of the newcomers," said head coach Niki Clement. "They are keen to improve and to get their games to the next level and have been information sponges. Each one has taken in the feedback the coaches have given them thus far, and consequently I expect a lot of growth from this season."

Clement, in her third year at the helm, feels the women will face some tough challenges early. "We have players at the top of the line-up who are playing at higher ladder positions than they have in the past," said Clement.  "I expect the group to be resilient, though, with that challenge and continue to make huge strides as the season progresses."

Haverford, ranked 29th in the national preseason rankings, faces another tough schedule this year. Vassar College, University of Virginia and Colgate University will present a challenge as their rosters are heavily populated with experienced players.

The season begins on Saturday, Nov. 10 with contests against host Vassar and New York University.