Women’s squash wins OUA gold

Women’s program on the rise, Richmond named OUA MVP

Women’s squash won their third straight OUA title this weekend.
Women’s squash won their third straight OUA title this weekend.
Credit: 
Supplied by Shawn MacDonald

Over the last three years, the women’s squash team has ascended to the top of Ontario university squash. On the weekend, the Gaels went a perfect 40-0 at the OUA championships in Waterloo to complete the “three-peat” — their third OUA championship in as many years. 

The sweetness of victory didn’t end after the medals were handed out to the women, as top-ranked Ali Richmond captured the OUA female MVP award while Alysha Anzik joined Richmond in being nominated as OUA All-Stars.

The men competed in the championships as well, finishing just short of the podium, ending the season fifth in the OUA.

Going into the championships, the Gaels hadn’t lost a match all season and though the final score line made it appear to be smooth sailing, the team felt the pressure of such an important event.

“I think there was definitely pressure for us to maintain that result but we were also feeling pretty confident because of our 

pre-season results,” Richmond said, reflecting on the tournament just a few days after its conclusion.

According to Richmond, there were also lots of unknowns going into the championships, but that made the championship even sweeter.

“Every year the competition has gotten harder and harder so I think that each year we can pull out a win is definitely more meaningful than the last,” she said.

Richmond conceded in a very humble manner that the weekend was very exciting and “a great showing from us.”

Anzik and Richmond, both in their third year at Queen’s, have now seen three seasons of successful squash with the team and took some time to reflect.

“As a team overall we’re very close. We’re very lucky that we all support each other and that off the court, we’re very good friends,” Anzik said, emphasizing the importance of the team’s tight-knit environment, despite squash being an individual sport.

Richmond agreed with Anzik, saying, “it really helps that we all really support each other outside of the sport as well.”

Now the reigning OUA MVP, Richmond reflected on her personal achievement

“It definitely meant a lot seeing how there are a lot of good players playing in the OUA. I definitely have my team to thank because they’ve been pushing me all season, so that definitely helps.”

Though the team is still basking in the glory of their latest instalment of dominance, the Gaels are looking forward to the next season with optimism. Only three veterans will be graduating in the spring, leaving spots open for a young crop of talent coming in.

“Hopefully we can expect that the new rookies can gain some confidence and play in those upper spots where we’re going to need them next year and hopefully continue our success with four OUAs,” Anzik said.

Richmond remains confident in the team’s group of players regardless of any additions, boldly stating that if they keep on the same track they’ve been on for the past three years “we can definitely pull out another title.”

Head Coach Lisa Coates is also looking to the future of the team, however, with a much broader lens on the significance these championships for the Queen’s squash program as a whole.

“I think once you sort of develop a reputation as a place to study and a place to play squash, and if they know there’s a good 

group of women to train with, that makes it all the more enticing to come here,” Coates said. 

Coates says she’s already receiving emails from players despite not actively recruiting any athletes.

 

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