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Winter Sports Highlights 1.28.19

Basketball - First Girls’  
Jan. 21: Basketball - First Girls’ 20 vs. Ethel Walker School 75
First Girls’ Basketball lost 20-75 to Ethel Walker’s with a mostly below-average effort all-around. The game was never close. Bella Tawney ’22 had 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. Sam de Kanter ’22 and Margaret Kennedy ’22 were the leading offensive players.
 
Jan. 23: Basketball - First Girls’ 26 vs. Williston Northampton School 56
Westminster fought hard against a superior opponent, especially in the first half, but struggled to match Williston's effective ball movement and missed a number of makeable shots. The team was down 25 at the half and couldn't close the gap in the second even after Williston cleared its bench. Margaret Kennedy '22 played great defense and distributed the ball effectively. Bethany Winters '20 led the team in scoring. Bella Tawney '22 had eight points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots; and Sam de Kanter ’22 fought hard against taller opponents and grabbed eight rebounds.
 
Jan. 25: Basketball - First Girls’ 37 vs. Kingswood Oxford School 34
Westminster built a 12-point lead in the first half thanks to great defense and excellent transition offense, led by Margaret Kennedy's '22 seven first-half points. The teamextended its lead to 33-18 early in the second half, but KO used pressure defense and excellent ball movement to come within a point with 32 seconds remaining. Bella Tawney '22, who had 16 points, 17 rebounds and four blocked shots, extended the lead to three with two free throws, and the visiting Westminster Martlets defended two last-ditch three-point tries as time expired. Sam de Kanter '22 also played well and grabbed eight rebounds, many on the offensive end.
 
Basketball - First Boys'
Jan. 23: Basketball - First Boys’ 59 vs. Salisbury School 62
Salisbury traveled to Westminster for an old-fashioned show down. The game went back and forth the entire time. Both teams showed a bunch of heart throughout the game. The game came down to the closing minutes and Westminster had a chance at a tie but missed the three-point shot. Tavian Montanez ‘21 had four three pointers. Joel Pullen ‘20 and Chris Robinson ‘20 both had solid games. Also, Kyle Hoffman ‘19 had a great all-around game. It was a great team effort.
 
Jan. 26: Basketball - First Boys’ 30 vs. Avon Old Farms School 57
Westminster traveled down Route 10 to AOF for a big night game. The first few minutes were shaky for both ballclubs due to the nerves. AOF led after the first half but the game was still in reach for the Martlets. The Martlets then went on a scoring drought for 10 plus minutes, which led to their demise in the second half. Joel Pullen ‘20 had 18 points for the Martlets. Jack Devlin ‘20 and Kyle Hoffman ‘19 both played well for the Martlets on the defensive end.
 
Basketball - Second Boys'
Jan. 23: Basketball - Second Boys’ 48 vs. Salisbury School 56
The first half was relatively even before Salisbury made a substantial run. With eight minutes left in the first, Westminster settled into some bad habits, not boxing out on the defensive end and suddenly throwing up sloppy NBA-range threes on the offensive side. Salisbury led 25-15 at the half. The Martlets tried chipping away in the second half, an all-too-familiar spot for the home team. They actually outscored their opponent 33-31 in those 16 minutes but couldn't quite catch up to the Crimson Knights, eventually losing 56-48. Eddie Lie-A-Cheong '19 led Westminster's scoring with 14 points and five rebounds. Henry Mitrano '19, back from his sojourn out west, added 10 points and much needed leadership, and Roman Mitchell '20 provided a lot of spark off the bench, netting eight points in the second half, including a couple of three-pointers. Lukas Dudzik '19 had six boards and a couple of nifty steals.
 
Jan. 26: Basketball - Second Boys’ 45 vs. Avon Old Farms School 60
During the Jan. 26 contest, Teddy Schellbach '20 sliced and diced his way through the lane en route to 20 points for Westminster. The Martlets fell into a hole early but played better basketball in the second half, chipping Avon's lead to 10 or so points before losing by 15. If they're going to be on the winning end again, Westminster will have to play smarter closeout defense and box out harder. They also have to find a way to score consistently for 16 minutes instead of just pouring it on in the second half. Raymond Liu '22 added a little shake and bake of his own, dropping 10 points, including two threes and a nice step-back move. Brad Donegan '20 and Gio Hamilton '19 added some spark off the bench.
 
Basketball - Third Boys'
Jan. 23: Basketball - Third Boys’ 27 vs. Avon Old Farms School 39
In their closest-fought battle yet, the Martlets of Westminster Third Boys’ basketball saddled their horses and galloped down the road to face off against the fearsome Winged Beavers of Avon Old Farms. Starting the game off with a bang, Baker "Cookie Dough" Morton '22 drained a three-pointer, setting the Martlets on what would be a nine-point breakaway for the majority of the first half. The Winged Beavers clawed their way back, tooth and nail against all odds despite impressive defensive play by Jack "Halfway to the Moon" Roberts '20 and yet another star performance by Harrison "Gimme the Loot" Lehman '21. At halftime, the Beavers had brought the score to 15-14, and the Martlets continued to hold them to a single point difference for the first nine minutes of the second half, trading points like blows in a boxing ring. Third Form hopeful Kade "Cereal Course" Smith proved to be a playmaker in the second half, though in the end the team found its battleship sunk by a string of three-point shots from the Winged Beavers.
 
Jan. 26: Basketball - Third Boys’ 20 vs. Choate Rosemary Hall 37
It was a crisp winter afternoon as the boys of the Westminster Thirds Basketball team traveled to Wallingford, affectionately known as “Wally-world,” to take on the Boars of Choate Rosemary Hall. The gentlemen boarded the bus and entered hibernation, a long rest that continued long after they disembarked and took to the court. The first half was sleepy and the boys lagged behind as the Boars came out with vigor, yet honorable mention goes to Carter “Cotton Candy” Henshaw ‘20 with impressive defensive play. He was supported by Tunji “Optimus” Osho-Williams ‘21, who led the team in spirit and big stops as the team ended the first half down 4-18. The second half began with a bang, and Jack “Poppa Smurf” Roberts ’20 wasted no time putting up baskets, posting and roasting to close the gap. Though he didn’t connect as often as usual with the rim, Ben “Febreeze: Fresh Laundry” Mihailovich ‘22 continued to be a standout team player, connecting passes and making shots with ease. The final score was 20-37, and the ride back to Simsbury wasn’t solemn but energetic as the boys spoke of future battles to be fought.
 
Hockey - First Girls'
Jan. 23: Hockey - First Girls’ 1 vs. Williston Northampton School 3
The team hit the road again to face-off against a tough Williston team. The team put up a great effort in the first, outshooting its opponents in the first five minutes. With under a minute left, Williston capitalized on a 2-on-1 and ended the first with the lead. Westminster struggled to find the momentum in the second and Williston made the most of some missteps and increased the lead 3-0 heading into the final 16 minutes. Westminster used the intermission to refocus and committed to sticking together and cutting the lead. Great saves by Mandy Busky '21 helped swing the momentum to her team early. Casey Winslow '21 and Margaret Sadak '22 were doing the hard work in the corners, and generating a good forecheck. Jill Parsons '19 picked up a cycle from Jenny Guider '20 and walked to the front, beating the goalie with a bar-down shot. With just under six minutes left, the team was energized and increased the pressure. Taylor Adams '20 had a great chance off a play from Abby Munger '20, but the Williston goalie got a stick on it to send it wide. The final second ticked down, and Westminster couldn't strike again, but it felt good to win the period, and to play till the end.
 
Jan. 26: Hockey - First Girls’ 1 vs. Tabor Academy 1
Westminster hosted the No. 1 placed team in New England Jan. 26. The Martlets had spent the last few practices refreshing their discipline in the team systems and the extra focus paid off as they put together their most complete team effort to date. Tabor took to the ice as if they did not just have a nearly two-hour bus ride. Westminster answered their call and worked to keep it simple on their break-outs and to put the puck on net at any chance. The first period was even in shots and in score, but the start of the second bent clearly to Tabor's advantage. The Seawolves pinned Westminster in its own zone for the first four minutes of the period. Goalie Mandy Busky '21 was key in helping her team weather the storm. With good defensive help by center Megan Rittenhouse '20, the Martlets finally found their groove with the break-out. Captain Jill Parsons '19 drove the offense by keeping her feet moving on her zone entry and supporting the cycle deep to generate shots. The second period ended with the score locked at 0-0. In taking the ice for the third period, each team was on edge, hoping to put away the go-ahead goal. At the nine minute mark, Tabor finally broke the stalemate as it pulled the puck off the half-wall from a broken break-out play by Westminster. The forward cut across the hash marks and placed a perfect shot back across and over Busky's shoulder. In that moment, the momentum dissolved from the Westminster bench, and the team knew it would be hard to get back in it. The forwards took to the ice ready to work and in a fantastic play immediately after the goal, Sofia Kuusisto '19 found Jenny Guider '20 for a quick shot that rebounded to Emma Gurnell '21 who finished it by scoring the tying goal just 23 seconds later. Westminster's confidence was renewed, but work still lay ahead. The team found itself on the penalty kill for the final minute and Tabor really put the pressure on. But practice paid off as the PK unit was disciplined and managed to break plays and ice the puck. Overtime started with 12 seconds remaining on the penalty, but Rittenhouse made sure the puck got deep right off the face-off. Westminster had its own power play chances and had two incredible back door opportunities to which the Tabor goalie answered exceptional saves. The final seconds ticked down, and while the team would have liked a few more minutes to pull it off, the girls were really pleased with their team effort. The team caught a glimpse of what a force it is when it stays focused and works together.
 
Hockey - First Boys’ 
Jan. 21: Hockey - First Boys’ 3 vs. Avon Old Farms School 0
Westminster and Avon play a home and away series each year, and it is one of the best rivalries in prep hockey. Lately, the Martlets have had an edge in the win column, winning the last five contests. Likely a record of some kind in the history of the two schools, it never gets old beating the crosstown rival Winged Beavers. While pulling into Avon’s campus, they had a welcoming committee of three students in shorts and no shirts, waving a flag. Obviously the atmosphere of this game would be electric. Avon’s fans funneled into the rink 60 minutes before puck drop. Avon was quick up front and created some opportunities off its rush but Ian Shane ‘20 was equal to the task turning away all 11 shots in the first 18 minutes of play. Westminster had a few chances as the first wore down but the Avon net minder played big. The second started with both teams exchanging chances. Westminster finally broke the scoreless tie when Sean Clarke ‘19 fired a shot from the half wall that the tender had a hard time warding off. The rebound found Nate Pane ‘19 who fired it past the tender to give the Martlets a 1-0 lead. Avon had a few power play opportunities in the second but the Martlets’ PK weathered the storm. The third was the best period for Westminster. The Martlets executed their game plan well and were patient. Five minutes into the third period, Jordie McKenna ‘19 found Iggy Belov ‘20 who fooled the goalie on a breakaway and roofed a backhand, bar down, to take the 2-0 lead. Westminster had to kill several penalties down the stretch, but Belov was again the benefactor of a good fore check that forced a turnover in the Avon slot. Belov corralled the loose puck and put it away for his second of the night. Shane took the “first star” award, turning away 44 shots.
 
Jan. 23: Hockey - First Boys’ 4 vs. Deerfield Academy 3 (OT)
The Martlets set off for another huge contest Jan. 23 coming off their win at Avon Jan. 21. With only one day to rest, this would be a challenging game against a very capable opponent. Deerfield has had a very good season and has consistently been ranked in the top 10 in New England. They have an older team, a very good goaltender, and are very well coached. Deerfield didn’t play have a game Jan. 21, and they were quick to the puck right from the opening drop. It took the better half of the first period for Westminster to gain its footing and string together a few shifts with consistent pressure. DA got on the board first just about two minutes in, but as the period wore down Jordie McKenna ‘19 picked off a puck at his blue line creating a 2-on-1 with Quinn Armstrong ‘20. McKenna gave Armstrong a nice cross-ice pass and Armstrong buried the puck in the back of the net. The second period was a much better period for the Martlets. McKenna scored his second of the day off a nice pass from Will Gilson ‘20 to give Westminster the 2-1 lead. Minutes later, Gilson scored from the point with a nice shot that had eyes through a screen in front: 3-1 Westminster. At this point the momentum was fully behind the Martlets, however a five-minute major giving DA the power play would result in two power play goals that quickly changed the entire face of this contest. Tied at three and killing off another penalty at the start of the third, Westminster was on its heels a little, however, the team continued to generate quality chances throughout the game. With about 75 seconds to play, a DA player took a five-minute hitting from behind that sent the Martlets to the power play. Though unable to take advantage in regulation time, McKenna would net a great goal at the start of OT. Ned Blanchard ‘20 found McKenna flying to the left side and McKenna fired a shot glove side high that knocked the water bottle off to give Westminster the 4-3 OT win. It was a big win on the road.
 
Jan. 26: Hockey - First Boys’ 4 vs. Kent School 3 (OT)
The Martlets were back on the bus Jan. 26, this time heading to Kent to face-off against the Lions, who, while inconsistent this season have frequently been in close games with high-ranked opponents. The reports did not disappoint, as the Lions were fast and physical in the first period, pushing the Martlets on their heels from the very first puck drop. Their forwards were big and played a heavy game in the offensive zone. Westminster scrambled to keep pace in the opening frame, and was lucky to escape down by one heading into the second. The second period was a touch better than the first for the Martlets, but Kent kept pushing and caught the Martlets sleeping in the D zone. The Lions were able to put two more in the net before the end of the second to take a 3-0 lead. With just over two minutes in the second remaining, Westminster had a power play and Ned Blanchard ‘20 found Nate Pane ‘19 on the doorstep to earn one back. The score was 3-1 heading into the third. The third was the best period of the day for Westminster with better effort in every area of the ice. Westminster outshot Kent 12-3 in the third. With about three minutes left, Iggy Belov ‘20 picked the pocket of a Kent forward taking the puck in and scoring a goal to cut the lead to one. A few minutes later, Sean Clarke ‘19 buried a rebound to tie the game. For the second time in two games, OT would be needed to close the game. With 30 seconds left to play in OT, Pane forced a turnover at the Westminster blue line that sent Clarke down the ice alone on a breakaway. Clarke closed in on the tender and the trailing Kent defender tossed his stick in desperation prompting the official to raise his hand signaling a penalty. Clarke still managed to get a shot off that the tender saved, but Darion Benchich ‘20 stopped on the net and stuffed the rebound home to give the Martlets the win with just 15 seconds left on the clock. Ian Shane ‘20 was great in net all night.
 
Hockey - Second Girls'
Jan. 23: Hockey - Second Girls’ 4 vs. Loomis Chaffee 2
After a lackluster start with Loomis putting the puck in the net just 13 seconds into the game, Westminster rebounded with solid offensive production from the blue line, to finish the first period with a 2-1 lead. Caroline McDermott ’20 evened things up with 8:36 left in the period, and Jenna Kosior ’21 knocked in a rebound off a shot from Ellie Cramer ’22 just minutes later. Westminster went on to dominate the second period, but Loomis’ goalie kept the game close, letting in just one goal, another shot from the point, by Susie Renehan ’19. Early in the third period, Natalie Rubin ’19 added one more goal to Westminster’s tally. Loomis snuck in a second goal midway through the third, but was not able to mount a comeback, and Westminster finished strong, winning the game 4-2.
 
Hockey - Second Boys'
Jan. 23: Hockey - Second Boys’ 2 vs. Williston Northampton School 2
The Martlets hosted a hardworking Williston Northampton team and survived a desultory effort to post a 2-2 tie. All credit is due the Wildcats, as they continued to put forth an impressive effort and grew stronger as the game wore on. They scored the equalizer with only eight seconds to go in the third period and battled throughout the ensuing OT for a tie they well deserved. For their part, the Martlets scored on the first two shifts of the game and seemed to be headed for a rout, but did not build on that early success. Lacking a sense of proper urgency or a real commitment to the structure and balance necessary to consistently pressure an opponent, the Seconds did not play their best. Though they ultimately outshot the visitors 31-18, few of those shots were quality scoring chances and the Black and Gold could not seem to penetrate the Williston defense for a second or third chance at the puck. The Williston goalie, after a shaky start, really settled in and made save after save, posting a 44-minute, 29-save shutout after Westminster's quick lead. Will Scott '20 performed admirably in the Martlet net, turning aside 16 shots, and it was really defensive breakdowns in front of him that led to both Williston scores. The first Martlet goal came a scant 30 seconds into the game, as Aidan Petrie '20 dug the puck out of the corner and fired it on net; it caught just the right spot above the Williston keeper's skate and snuck in. Alec Paro '19 added to the lead moments later when he ripped home a slap shot from the top of the circle after two quick passes from Alex Tonioni '22 and Nate Stevens '21 opened up space for him. But that was it on the scoresheet for Westminster. Several chances went for naught in the second period, and the Martlets more often turned the puck over or threw it away rather than playing disciplined, simple, up-tempo hockey. Predictably, the tables started to turn in the third. Williston scored its first goal on a breakaway — one of nine conceded by the home side in the game, a telling number — when a mishandled pass on the offensive blue line was pounced on by a Wildcat who went in alone to push the puck past Scott. Then, with the game clock winding down, a lazy line change by the Martlets led to a face off just outside the defensive zone which, seemingly impossibly, yielded an opportunity for Williston as the puck and one of the team’s forwards got behind the Westminster defensemen. A scrum resulted, and suddenly the puck was in the back of the Westminster net. Overtime was highlighted by a scoring chances for both sides – Hunter Johnson '21 rang a hard shot off the far post, and Scott made his best save of a really good tipped shot – but 2-2 was the final.
 
Jan. 26: Hockey - Second Boys’ 0 vs. Kent School 3
The Seconds traveled over hill and dale on a chilly January Saturday for an early evening tilt with the Lions of Kent, losing a spirited, well-played hockey game 0-3. The reinforced hosts attacked with a high-paced, pressuring game and kept the Martlets on their toes for the full 45 minutes. Both goaltenders played very well. Jack Schroeder '22 making 22 saves and the Kent keeper delivering 21 saves in shutting out the Black and Gold. The Martlets produced several good scoring chances over the course of the game, including more than a few mad scrambles in front of the Kent net that their keeper somehow managed to turn aside. For their part, the Lions scored their first goal early in the first when an unfortunate, unforced turnover by Westminster in its own end left Schroeder literally defenseless. They added a second in the middle frame when a strong, fast and skilled Kent forward was able to beat three Martlets along the far wall before cutting to the net and lifting the puck over Schroeder. Kent's final goal in the third period came after a determined Martlet flurry yielded an odd-man break the other way for the Lions and while Schroeder did his job with the initial couple of saves, the scrum ended with the puck in the back of the Westminster net. While certainly disappointed in the loss, the coaches were pleased with the overall effort of the Seconds and a renewed commitment to playing structured and balanced hockey after a lackluster effort in the previous game. Several Martlets played smart, hard-nosed hockey, including the always-reliable Aidan Petrie '20, Hunter Johnson '21, Will Rizzo '21, Ryan Huntley '21 (who at times was everywhere), Alec Paro '19 (whose leadership on the ice and bench earns special mention), and the defensive corps of Alec Tonioni '22, Nate Stevens '20, Ben Michaud '22, Wes Oltsch '20, Rex Flinn '21 and Owen Murphy '22. This D group was much improved over last Wednesday, headmanning the puck with confidence and handling the big, physical Kent forwards with grit and grace.
 
Hockey - Third Boys’ 
Jan. 21: Hockey - Third Boys’ 1 vs. Simsbury High School JV 5
Boys’ Third Hockey was at it again at Jackson Rink Jan. 21 against a Simsbury squad that came out strong in the first and took advantage of what was an uncharacteristically lackadaisical effort from the Westminster bench. Playing without quite a few skaters due to suspension and injury, the boys slept-walked through the first period and found themselves in a 3-0 hole. However, after a brief moment of spirited reflection in the break, they came out and Jack Kelly '22 crashed the net hard and got Westminster on the scoreboard with about 11 minutes left in the second. From there, it was a dogfight that saw physical play and opportunities on both ends of the ice. Once again, Rich Mugler '22 kept us in it behind inspired play from Charlie von Stade '21, Owen Murphy '22 and Beck Winsor '21 among others. While the score ended up lopsided, playing this team 2-1 over the last two periods shows the capability of the boys to hang in there in the face of adversity.
 
Squash - First Girls'
Jan. 23: Squash - First Girls’ 1 vs. Choate Rosemary Hall 6
The girls traveled to Wallingford without No. 1 Valeria Osorio '19, but she would not have provided enough help to change the outcome against one of this year's top teams in New England. Five of the top seven players mustered only four or five points in their matches. Rebecca Sargent '20 fought to a 5, 4, 2 loss at No. 5, which counted as a relatively strong showing, especially given the quality of many of her rallies. That said, Georgia Swank ‘19, who kept the Martlets from returning home empty-handed, turned in the performance of the day. Her 5, 9, (9), 8 win was earned with timely power and depth, plus tenacious defending. Annabel Bradley '19 also found some success in a tight exhibition loss (10, 7, (10), 4).
 
Squash - First Boys'
Jan. 23: Deerfield Academy Squash - First Boys’ 0 vs. Deerfield Academy 7
During last year's match versus Deerfield, the team noticed it had no seniors on the team, while the Martlets had five Sixth Formers in the top five slots. Not surprisingly, Deerfield was strong this year. They returned all of their starters and added a few more players. Sam Pagon '21 gave the best fight earning 16 points in his three games. Ethan Na '19 was also able to volley some open balls down into the nick, something he is getting better at day by day. No Martlet was able to earn a game. In the postgame debriefing the boys noted that the Deerfield players took immediate advantage of open balls by hitting controlling shots or sharp attacking shots.
  
Jan. 23: Squash - First Boys’ 4 vs. Millbrook School 3
After facing a strong and deep Deerfield team, the Black and Gold hosted Millbrook on the Dewey Courts at Deerfield. Although the 4-3 win was the same as last year's result, the match was not as compelling. Last year's match ended with two overset matches finishing side by side in one of the most exciting matches in coach Peter Doucette's 19-year tenure. A 4-3 win is always exciting and fun, but is typically full of four- and five-game matches. Today's tilt had only one five gamer and one four gamer, but was nonetheless a great team effort. At No. 2 co-captain Khalil Walker '19 faced off against last year's opponent. With four game points to take a 2-0 lead, Walker seemed poised to put the Martlets ahead. Unfortunately, Walker lost each of the last three games in tie-breakers as his opponent shook off his more than two-hour ride. Co-captain Nate Londal '19 was in a similarly tight match. There were lots of cross courts and boasts by both players, but Londal was able to more consistently establish length and control the T. Each game was neck and neck, but Londal pulled out the win for a key first round point. Co-captain Nate Swift '19 is improving by leaps and bounds, learning to turn on open balls in the middle of the court and looking to hit length. Down 0-2, Swift fought back with a flurry of high-intensity squash. In game five, his opponent absorbed the pace and controlled the loose balls, making Swift scramble to stay in points. Millbrook won and was up 2-1. Sean Gregg '22, Sam Pagon '21 and Ethan Na '19 came to the rescue. Needing to win three of the four second round matches, Westminster got just what it needed. Pagon continued his good play from his earlier match and took victory when his opponent defaulted in game two with a knee issue. Gregg played his best match of the season, mixing in backhand trickle boasts, cross-courts, and straight drops off a steady diet of straight rails. Gregg was patient on the backhand wall, waiting for opportunities to vary his shots. With his victory, the boys knew it all came down to Na, and everyone migrated to the last court to watch closely. Na's volley nicks have been improving daily, but he still relies heavily on his front court game to win rallies. His Millbrook opponent was great when moving forward and had fine touch and agility up front. Na lifted the ball and worked the back left corner to stay in front and using the back corners to win points. It was just enough to seal the win in his match and for the team.
 
Jan. 26: Squash - First Boys’ 0 vs. Phillips Academy 7
Jan. 26: Squash - First Boys’ 0 vs. Belmont Hill School 7
 
Squash - Second Girls'
Jan. 23: Squash - Second Girls’ 7 vs. Choate Rosemary Hall 0
Westminster traveled to Wallingford to face off against Choate at the Worthington Johnson Athletic Center with a full complement of 13 players. Choate’s coach brought down two additional players from varsity in order to have enough bodies for the match. Despite the additional challenge of facing off against varsity caliber competition at the numbers one and two, Westminster dropped only three games en route to a 7-0 victory to improve to 6-3 on the season. Winners included: Lauren Way '20, Clara Ekholm '20, Shelby Oken '22, Olivia Zhang '20, Anna Veber '21, Elaina Comia '19 and Daniela Mays-Sanchez '20. In exhibition play, winners were: Sasha van Vredenburch '21, Celia Sotirhos '21, Hannah Kaye '19 and Bennett Ghriskey '22.
 
Squash - Second Boys'
Jan. 23: Squash - Second Boys’ 0 vs. Deerfield Academy 8
The Martlets faced an undefeated and hugely talented Deerfield squad Jan. 23 (the best team by far that they will face this year) and lost every match and every game. In fact, five of Deerfield's JV players have played on the varsity in the past. That doesn't mean the boys didn't have a profitable experience though. Playing against better players lets you see what your strengths and weaknesses are and gives you clues about how to become a better squash player yourself. Many of the Martlets fought hard in every game, and coach Michael Cervas especially applauds the effort of Ral Reyes '21 and Quoc Truong '20. Mac Dye '20, the unofficial captain of the Seconds squad, introduced the team and gave an inspirational pep talk about how to play against superior players.
 
Squash - Third Girls'
Jan. 26: Squash - Third Girls’ 4 vs. Miss Porter's School 3
Third Girls' Squash Beats Porter's in a Very Close Match
This match saw phenomenal playing by all players. Every girl played her best game, and Maggie Chaves '19, Jacq Autorino '20, Aleyna Baki '21 and Georgia Nolan '20 earned Westminster the win. Exhibition matches were also excellent, with several players scoring games and matches off Porter’s.
 
Squash - Third Boys'
Jan. 23: Squash - Third Boys’ 2 vs. Choate Rosemary Hall 13
The Martlets lost to a deep and talented Choate team. There were some close matches, as Cooper Organ '21, Shane Wahlberg '19, Johnny Van Leuven '22 and Will Warner '22 all lost in four well-played, even games. Dinh Truong '19 and Max Hong '22 each stretched their respective matches out to a fifth and decisive game, with both players unfortunately unable to secure the victory. Truong played a heroic match, battling back from two games down (both 11-9 loses), to even things up at two all before succumbing in the fifth. On the winning side, Charlie Pappas '22 played perhaps his best match of the season, soundly defeating a very strong player in three straight games. The match of the day belonged to Jeremy Hopsicker '22. Alternating wins for the first four games, Hopsicker took control of the match in the final frame to win 11-4 for a satisfying and well-deserved victory.
 
Jan. 26: Squash - Third Boys’ 1 vs. Avon Old Farms School 13
Westminster lost to a fundamentally solid and deep Avon squad. The lone victory came from Johnny Van Leuven '22, who played steady and smart squash in winning his match in straight sets. Will Warner '22 got off to a nice start, winning his first game 11-8, but his opponent gradually figured things out and rallied back to win the next three. The match of the day was also the last match of the day. Playing in the exhibition court, Will Mell '21 found himself in a battle right from the start. He lost the first two games by the slimmest of margins, but then came back to win the next two in decisive fashion, keeping the ball in play and waiting for his opponent to make a mistake. Both players upped their game in the final frame, hitting one well-played shot after another, with the Avon player eking out a 11-9 win for the match. Kudos to Mell for his perseverance, determination and grace under pressure.
 
Swimming/Diving - First Girls'
Jan. 23: Swimming/Diving - First Girls’ 85 vs. Williston Northampton School 99
The Westminster girls put up a solid performance at home Jan. 23 but came up short against the defending Division 2 New England Champs, 85-99. The meet began with a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay by Campbell Swift '21, Angelesia Ma '20, Dorka Nagy '19 and co-captain Alex Wolf '19. Co-captain Alex Lin '19 raced to second place in the 200 freestyle, with Katherine Ashe '21 finishing third with a best time. Nagy came in second in the 200 IM, and Wolf and Ellie Thorson '21 placed 1-2, respectively, in the 50 freestyle. The dynamic duo of Cecilia Raymond '20 and Jane Ogden '19 took first and second in the diving event, and at the break the Martlets had the score tied. The Wildcats pulled away in the second half, but the Westminster girls put up some gritty swims to keep it as close as possible. Ashe swam a lifetime best in the 100 fly, good for third place, and Lin took second in the 100 free, with Wolf in fourth in nearly a personal best. Sydney Schuster '21 took third in the 500 free with her best time ever, and the 200 free relay team of Ma, Wolf, Thorson and Lin took second. Swift was second in the 100 back, and Nagy won the 100 breaststroke with a fast swim. Ashe, Thorson, Nagy and Lin teamed up in the 400 freestyle relay to finish the meet, swimming their fastest time this year en route to a second place finish. Also swimming best times were Schuster (200 free), Ashe (100 free), Clea Guerrand-Hermes '19 (50 free, 100 free), India Lalor '21 (50 free, 100 free), Isabel O'Connell '20 (100 free), Rachel Ha '21 (50 free), Simonne Ponce '21 (100 free), Sophia Coumantaros '21 (100 fly, 100 back) and Ma (50 free). Overall, the girls swam great and tapped into a collective energy that helped them rise above the accumulated fatigue of several weeks of tough training.
 
Jan. 26: Swimming/Diving - First Girls’ 79 vs. Canterbury School 21
Jan. 26: Swimming/Diving - First Girls’ 61 vs. Westover School 39
The girls improved their dual meet record to 7-1 on Jan. 26 by beating Canterbury and Westover on the road. The girls took over the lead in the fourth event and never relinquished, registering a host of best times along the way. The 200 medley relay team of Campbell Swift '21, Dorka Nagy '19, Katherine Ashe '21 and co-captain Alex Wolf '19 took second, and co-captain Alex Lin '19 won the 200 freestyle, with Sydney Schuster '21 in second. Nagy won the 200 IM with a solid swim while Annie Brewer '21 took third with a season-best time, and Ellie Thorson '21 and Wolf went 1-2 in the 50 freestyle. The divers delivered a 1-2 finish from Cecilia Raymond '20 and Ola Szopa '20. (Raymond earned her first-ever score of nine from the judges on a beautiful inward dive pike.) Lin swam in-season best time to place second in the 100 free, with Wolf in third with a lifetime best. Lin, Clea Guerrand-Hermes '19, Thorson and Wolf teamed up for the win in the 200 free relay, and Swift delivered another come-from-behind win in the final inches of the 100 backstroke with another personal best. Nagy took second in the 100 breaststroke with Brewer in third, and the 400 freestyle relay team of Ashe, Thorson, Schuster and Lin placed second. Other best times were swum by Guerrand-Hermes (50 free, 100 free), Simonne Ponce '21 (50 free), India Lalor '21 (50 free, 100 free), Sophia Coumantaros '21 (50 free), Michelle Wu '21 (50 free) and Ashe (500 free).
 
Swimming/Diving - First Boys'
Jan. 23: Swimming/Diving - First Boys’ 82 vs. Williston Northampton School 88
The Martlets swam fast at home Jan. 23 in a meet that came down to the wire, but even a victory in the final event was not enough to get the win against a strong and deep team from Williston. The meet began with a nail-biter of a race in the 200 medley relay in which Max Larock '22, Eddie Shin '21, co-captain Matt Norris '19 and Jason Shi '21 went back and forth with their Wildcat counterparts until Shi opened up the lead for good on the final leg. Larock was right back in the water for the 200 freestyle and he trailed his opponent by a half-second throughout the race before turning on the jets and racing into the lead with inches to go in the final lap. Co-captain Emmett de Kanter '19 took third and Kieran Haug '21 placed fourth, both with their fastest times this season. Hudson Stedman '21 and J-C Lane '21 both then swam lifetime best times in the 200 IM to place first and third, respectively, and things were looking pretty good for the Martlets in the early going. Shi took second in the 50 free with a fast time, but Williston went 1-3-4 and took a few points back. Norris and Shi went 2-3 in the 100 fly, Shi with a personal best, and de Kanter was second in the 100 free with his fastest time this season, but the point total was shifting in favor of the Wildcats. That came to a halt when Norris and Haug dominated the 500 freestyle with a 1-2 finish, but Williston jumped right back on top as their 200 free relays placed first and third, with Shin, David DeFronzo '19, de Kanter and Liam Seeley '20 placing second. But wait!... Larock swam his best ever 100 backstroke time, Stedman took third, and Lane took fifth and suddenly it was a one-point margin again. Williston closed the door, however, with a 1-2 finish in the 100 breaststroke, despite strong swims by Shin and Leo Kolomeiskii '21, who finished third and fourth, respectively. De Kanter, Shi, Norris and Larock swam their fastest 400 free relay yet this year to win the race, but Williston's 2-3 finish resulted in a six-point loss for the Martlets. Other best times included Haug (50 free), Shin (50 free) and Kolomeiskii (100 breast).
 
Jan. 26: Swimming/Diving - First Boys’ 83 vs. Canterbury School 94
The boys traveled to New Milford Jan. 26 and took on a small but talented team from Canterbury that was ready to compete. Westminster won the opening event, the 200 medley relay, swum by Max Larock '22, Eddie Shin '21, co-captain Matt Norris '19 and Jason Shi '21, and Larock won the 200 free (and later won the 100 back), but then the Martlets accumulated fatigue began to emerge, with a couple of key swimmers well off their usual in-season times. There were many bright spots, however, including lifetime best swims by Shi (50 and 100 free), Hudson Stedman '21 (100 fly and 100 free), J-C Lane '21 (200 IM), Grant McCargo ’21 (50 free) and Shin (50 free, 100 breast).
 
 
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