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Greenwich Academy & Brunswick Win

By Rob Dinerman, March 2, 2006
Squashtalk Independent News; ©
2006 SquashTalk LLC

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Greenwich
Academy Captures Tenth Straight, Brunswick School Takes
Third Straight

Some
of the top independent school players who competed
this weekend at the New England "Interschols" .
. photo © 2006
Vaughn Winchell.

In
a compelling demonstration of the depth and skill that
has become their squash program’s trademark, the girls
of Greenwich Academy, led by veteran coach Karen Schmidt-Fellner
and No. 1 player Caroline Sennatt, swept to victory in
the season-ending New England Interschols, which was hosted
at the Phillips Exeter Academy, where Schmidt-Fellner starred
as a prep-school player in the late 1970’s. It was the
10th consecutive team title for the all-girls school, which
is connected to the all-boys Brunswick School, which won
the boys Interschols crown for the third consecutive year.

Greenwich
Academy’s total of 144 points far exceeded that of Groton,
which placed a distant second with 118. Rounding out the
top eight teams were Milton (96), St. Georges (85), Choate
(84), Taft (79), Exeter (71) and Noble & Greenough
(63). The boys competition, played at Groton, was much closer,
with Brunswick garnering 111 points, five points better than
Taft’s tally of 106, followed by Groton (80), Belmont Hill
(77), Milton and Exeter (tied with 75 points each), St. Pauls
(63) and Westminster (57).

Both events in the A bracket, which consisted of the top
16 teams in New England, featured seven separate flights,
with the No. 1 players of each school competing in one draw,
the No. 2’s in another, and so on. Points are awarded based
on order of finish, with each winner of the boy’s tourneys
adding 18 points to his school’s total, 15 points for the
runner-up, 14 for finishing third, 13 for fourth, and so
on. The girls had a slightly different point system:
22 points for the champion, 18 for second, 16 for third,
14 for fourth, etc.

The
system does mean that someone could be the second best
squash player in all of New England and not get a chance
to compete for the New England Interschols title if the best
player happens to be from the same school. The boys crown
was won by top seed Mark Froot of Belmont Hill, who defeated
Will Morris (St. Pauls) in the quarters and Nikhil Seth in
the semis, both in three, before out-playing the second-seeded
Reed Endresen of Rye Country Day 9-1 9-7 6-9 9-3 in the final.

Seeding
also held up in the girls division, with No. 1 Sydney Scott
of Taft prevailing over No. 2 Alia Aziz of Groton, 5-9
9-5 9-5 9-5 in the final.

Scott
and Aziz blanked Caroline Reigeluth (Westminster) and Sennatt
in their respective semis. The latter is one of four seniors
in Greenwich Academy’s top seven, which means that there
is at least the possibility that the extraordinary team
depth that has so often keyed the school’s dynasty may
become less of a strength next season, when Coach Schmidt-Fellner
will have more holes than usual to fill.

The varsity members of the two Greenwich-based perennial-New
England champion day schools have both an excellent squash
facility to practice in and, perhaps more significantly,
access to a plethora of expert pros and coaches based at
private and public clubs in the Greenwich/Westchester area.
Included in this number are recent USSRA Hall Of Fame inductee
Peter Briggs, PSA and ISDA star and current USA men’s team
coach Chris Walker, two-time S. L. Green champion Damian
Walker, two-time S. L Green winner and ISDA standout Preston
Quick, former WISPA top-25 Narelle Krizek and her husband
Rob, former world No. 2 Rodney Martin and premier British
coach and former U. S. age-group champion Richard Millman.

Coach
Schmidt-Fellner herself has been the manager of the USA
women’s team for many years, and she seems confident that
she can successfully replace the quintet that will be graduating
this spring. There is no question, according to Exeter
boys and girls coach Kirk Randall, who served as tournament
chairman for the girls event, that the depth and quality
of prep-school squash has grown considerably throughout the
2000’s, and this trend seems likely to continue, as does
the growth of junior squash nationally during the foreseeable
future.



 






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