Squash seniors reflect on Wellesley athletic experiences
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 22:02
In the past four years, the squash team has experienced an incredible upward trend, winning the 2010 E Division Cup, jumping to the D Division in 2011 and joining the C division last season. Blue squash has climbed 15 spots in the rankings over the past three years, in part due to the three seniors who have been a part of the team’s recent transformation. Margo Sulmont ’13, Cara Kaufman ’13 and Emaline Surgenor ’13 have been playing squash at Wellesley for four years and are proud of the team’s improved performance against regional opponents.
All three athletes started to play squash seriously in college, though Kaufman is the only senior who had had prior squash experience.
“I started playing my first year at Wellesley. Cara [Kaufman] was my hall-mate and she encouraged me to try out for the team. I was looking to be involved in a sport so I decided to attend the tryouts,” Surgenor said.
“I didn’t know anything about the sport and I stumbled upon it during a fitness break during orientation. I had never played a racket sport before and I thought it was a great opportunity to learn,” Sulmont stated.
Initially, the transition to collegiate-level squash proved a challenge because most of the teams Wellesley faced were made up of players with years of experience playing competitive squash. However, the seniors saw the situation as an opportunity for growth. “It was definitely frustrating at first. We lost a lot my first year. We only won a total of four matches the whole first year,” Surgenor said. “Last year we finished 23rd, and in the C division, so that change has been rewarding and worth waiting for.”
As the team improved their rankings throughout the year, they became more competitive against teams that used to beat them easily. “We’re able to beat teams that we’ve lost to in the past, like Tufts and Smith. We did really well at Seven Sisters this year and our higher ranked competitors are looking out for our team,” Surgenor said.
“We have improved greatly both in skill and ranking, and I am excited to see the team continue to improve and evolve even more over the next few years,” Kaufman added.
All three seniors enjoyed being student-athletes at Wellesley and agreed that the experience enriched their four years here, even if it was a challenge at times. “It’s difficult when you have to sacrifice other activities that you’re interested in for squash. For example, there were many lectures and events that I would have loved to attend but they coincided with practice or matches,” Sulmont. “However, I do not regret missing out on these things because I’ve had such a great time being on the team and competing. I’m also grateful to have learned a sport during my time here that I will be able to play the rest of my life.”
“Being a student-athlete has been one of the best parts of my Wellesley experience. I have enjoyed my time immensely and gotten so much out of the experience. I will definitely miss it next year,” Kaufman added.
After graduation, all three seniors plan on continuing to play squash by joining squash clubs. Sulmont looks to join a women’s league.
Wellesley squash recently celebrated their Senior Day by defeating Tufts 9-0, avenging a loss from earlier in the season. The squash season ends with the Howe Cup Nationals this weekend at Yale.