Connecticut’s Kent School and Greenwich Academy successfully defended their high school national titles as Kent made it back-to-back Justi Cups and Greenwich Academy augmented its incredible record of seven straight Patterson Cups and fourteenth overall Sunday, February 26, at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.
The 2023 U.S. High School Championships was the world’s largest squash tournament with a tournament-high 187 varsity squash teams fielding nearly 1,700 player across thirteen divisions at the Specter Center, Penn Squash Center, Drexel Kline & Specter Squash Center, Germantown Cricket Club and Springside Chestnut Hill.
View all results on the High School nationals tournament page. Watch match replays from the Specter Center on the US Squash Youtube Channel. Tournament photography is available on the US Squash Smugmug page.
After winning the program’s first Justi Cup in 2022, Kent emphatically defended their national title with a 6-1 win against Philadelphia’s Haverford. Sean Kiernan, Lachlan Sutton and Faazil Khan put the Lions up 3-0 and one win away from clinching the title, but Haverford’s Devon Li saved a match at the No. 5 position to put the Fords on the scoreboard. Kent’s No. 1 Hollis Robertson then stepped up to earn the title with a, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 win over Haverford’s Andrew Glaser.
“It’s really special to be part of a winning group like this back to back years,” said Robertson, Kent co-captain and a graduating senior. “This group was capable of winning four tough matches, performing well and acting well–as coach would say ‘winning well.’ I think this year’s team might even be better than last year’s team. It was a fun atmosphere all weekend, even against a team like Haverford with all of their fans. We always love playing in front of a big crowd whether they’re rooting for or against us so I’m glad they came.”
“I’m really proud of the boys, from the top of the ladder to the bottom, and all of our training squad, managers, coaches, and all of the parents who supported us throughout this season,” said Nikhil Seth, Kent head coach. “It’s a team effort and making it through a tournament weekend with four matches in a row and as difficult as they were, it shows that our systems are working. Kudos to all of the players for bringing it all together when it mattered most. Some of our guys do really well under pressure and it’s a new experience for some of our guys so the important part is just sticking together under the circumstances. All of our guys did really well in that regard and should be proud of themselves. Thanks to US Squash for all of the effort of putting together such an amazing tournament.”
Shortly after the Justi Cup was decided, Greenwich Academy extended its remarkable record of seven straight national titles and the school’s fourteenth since the Patterson Cup’s inception in 2005 in a rematch of the 2022 final against Philadelphia’s Baldwin School. Unlike 2022 where the Gators were two seeds, GA entered the final as the favorites but met stiff opposition in the Bears. The first two sets of matches split with Ella Schoonmaker and Charlotte Pastel winning for GA, and Naomi Jefferson-Sambanis and Rashi Goverdhanam both won five gamers for Baldwin. With the score at 2-2, GA No. 1 Emma Trauber won a decisive 3-0 match to set up a winning opportunity for No. 6 Charlotte Tompkins, who took a 2-0 lead against Baldwin’s Olivia Choo. Choo fought back to force a fifth game, but Tompkins was able to seal the title 11-8 in the fifth for GA.
“It feels great to win again, this team worked so hard for it,” said Trauber, a GA co-captain who ends her high school career with four Patterson Cups. “We trained hard every day and became closer every year, I’m so proud of everyone. It was a nerve-racking and tough final, but I had full confidence in all in every one of us, and we all played our hearts out and in the end it paid off.”
“It’s truly amazing to win seven straight Patterson Cups,” said Luke Butterworth, GA Head Coach. “I couldn’t be prouder of the girls and all of their effort. To come in every year with a target on your back and to be able to play in such an intense environment is something special that these girls possess the belief in themselves to go out there and play. As a coach it’s an inspiration to keep me going and keep working on helping these girls be better squash players, but also be better people. Moments like today where the Baldwin girls put them under so much pressure, and it was so intense–to come through and win it is super special. I’m so proud, that’s all I can say.”
Of the eleven lower divisional finals, six ended with a 4-3 scoreline.
New York’s Rye Country Day School fulfilled their top seeding in the boys division II, defeating Pingry in the final 5-2. The girls division II final came down between top seeds Andover and two seeds Tabor, which Andover claimed 5-2.
In the girls division III, Bryn Mawr upset top seeds Westover in the quarterfinals and put together a surprise run to the finals. Two seeds Taft would go on to take the title, defeating Bryn Mawr in a 6-1 final. Cleveland’s University School upset boys division III two seeds Noble and Greenough in the quarterfinals and went on to earn the title in a close 4-3 final against top seeds Shipley.
Both division IV finals weren’t contested by any of the top four seeds and both were decided by 4-3 scorelines. In the boys final, Massachusetts’ St. Mark’s School defeated Kentucky’s Louisville Collegiate High School, while the Kent School earned its second title of the weekend against Massachusetts’ Berkshire School.
The girls division V final produced another close 4-3 scoreline with Maryland’s St. Paul’s School defeating Pittsburgh’s Shady Side Academy. Atlanta’s Westminster School, the two seeds, earned the boys division V title with a 5-2 win over unseeded Dexter Southfield.
Boston’s Brookline defeated Thurgood Marshall Academy 4-3 in the boys division IV final, while New York’s Horace Mann topped the girls Division IV round robin with Briarcliff placing second.
Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s took the boys division IIV title with a 4-3 win over Shady Side Academy.