Raising up the rackets

The LM squash team, often forgotten by LM students, embarks on their season. Players are ready for the action and fun of the season

Photo courtesy of Pexels

When LM students think of winter sports, their minds often go to basketball, swimming, or winter track. Rarely does anyone think of a certain sport: squash. Despite being one of the most well-run and enjoyable teams, people often don’t recognize that the team even exists. Squash, like every other sports team in LM, deserved to be properly recognized.

To understand the squash team, one needs to understand the game in general. At the most basic level, squash is like a game of tennis. Firstly, you’ll need a racket specifically designed for squash, a squash ball, and a court. Players wear formal athletic clothing, normally in white, on a squash court that consists of a square box with a front, a back, and two side walls. The game begins when one player serves the ball from the serving square. The server hits the ball against the front wall of the squash court so that it bounces back to the other half of the court. The goal is for both players to return the ball to the front wall, only allowing it to bounce once on the floor before hitting it. When returning the ball to the far wall after it has already bounced on the floor, it can be bounced off the side walls of the court, but not the floor again. The first player who fails to successfully return the ball loses the point. Throughout the entire game, players must hit the far wall of the court, in between an upper line and a lower line as indicated on the wall. If a player fails to do this, it is the other player’s point. A squash match is won by the player who wins the best of three or five games. Each game goes to eleven points, but must be won by at least two points. In reality, there are many more aspects and strategies to the game that make it much more complicated, but these basic rules allow you to understand squash at its most basic level.

The coach of the LM-Harriton squash team, Gina Stoker, has plenty of expertise with the sport as she has professional squash experience. At her peak in 2006, she ranked 47th in the world. She last played for the England women’s national squash team during the 2017 PSA World Tour and now works for the Cynwyd Club, a private club that features an impressive squash program. 

The squash team pulls from both LM and Harriton in order to create a single team. Practices are held twice per week for JV and each weekday for Varsity at the Cynwyd Club. This creates a situation where the people who take the sport seriously play more, while those playing mostly for fun don’t have as much of a time commitment. Since the number of courts is limited, practices for both boys and girls are held together. While each practice is focused on improving and getting better, the team is still mostly lighthearted. Lila Schwartzberg ’24, a member of the team, notes, “Each practice is a lot of fun. It’s definitely something that I enjoy doing.” The team has a positive attitude and focuses on having fun along with winning. Competitions are also regularly held against other schools.

The LM squash team includes many aspects that make it one of the most fun and engaging teams to be a part of. Players get to interact with people from the other high school, practice in impeccable squash facilities, and choose their level of commitment. Players have a fun and rewarding team to be on along with professional coaching. This remarkable team should be recognized for the phenomenal experience it provides for its members.

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