Philadelphia’s Agnes Irwin School and Episcopal Academy both claimed the first Middle School national title in program history, defeating perennial title contenders Greenwich Academy and Brunswick in the finals Sunday, February 13, at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.
Fifty-two teams competed in the fourteenth edition of the Middle School Nationals across five divisions. View all results on the Middle School Nationals tournament page. Tournament photography will be available on the US Squash Smugmug page.
In a repeat of the 2014 Middle School Nationals girls division one final between the Owls and Gators, it was Agnes Irwin who prevailed for the first time in program history. The Owls edged the final 3-2 with No. 3 Beatrice Bullitt clinching the victory in three games against the defending and eight-time champions.
“It was a special day and this is a special group, at the beginning of the season you could feel the vibe that things were going well and that this was a tight-knit group and I’m so happy for all of them,” said Fabio Cechin, Agnes Irwin Director of Squash. “This wasn’t the first nor will it be the last final against Greenwich Academy. Today we managed to play a bit better than them but it could have gone either way. It’s just so nice to have middle school and high school nationals back again, you could see the smiles on everyone’s faces, we were all just happy to be here. It’s just a great experience for everyone. Everyone was trying their hardest, it didn’t matter about winning or losing it was about learning and supporting your teammates. Thanks to Agnes Irwin and their support of the squash program. The whole school is involved with the squash program and we’re so grateful to the kids, parents, teachers and entire Agnes Irwin community.”
The boys division one final also came down to the wire and the No. 3’s deciding the match. Episcopal’s Brandon Bin clinched the Churchmen’s first national title in three games.
“I’m very proud of the boys,” said Lyall Patterson, Episcopal Academy Director of Boys Squash. “We have a group that have basically grown up playing squash together, lower school all the way through 8th grade. They had a really good season, and have great chemistry and they managed to raise their games 20% when it mattered through nationals. You can see how much it means to them and they deserve it, they’ve worked so hard this season and are one of the best teams I’ve worked with. Brunswick are a powerhouse of the squash world. They’ve won middle schools six times before. So we knew we were up against it in the final. It came down to the number 3’s and Branden Bin put the game of his life together to bring it home for Episcopal. It’s such a pleasure to share a national final with a team like Brunswick at the new Specter Center, on the glass court, and a great crowd. It was an amazing first year of Middle School Nationals being hosted here and we can’t wait to come back in 2023 and experience it all again. It’s been an experience that these boys will cherish for a lifetime. I’d also like to thank the two coaches of our A and B middle school teams, Brian Callahan and Dave Mecante, who put endless hours of work all year and now we have two titles to show for it. This was our superbowl and both teams managed to bring it home.”
Both Agnes Irwin and Episcopal Academy won two titles over the weekend, as the Owls defeated Greenwich Country Day and Churchmen defeated Rye Middle School in the finals.
Rhode Island’s Moses Brown captured the program’s first Middle School title in any division, topping the boys division three round robin with Darien Middle School placing second.