by Tom Utescher
After a 2-0 start on the squash season, Springside School slipped back to the .500 mark last week, suffering losses against two formidable Girls Inter-Ac League rivals.

The Baldwin Bears, solid from top to bottom, took a 9-0 decision at Springside on Tuesday, and the second setback came two days later at Penn Charter, where the Lions won a few matches at the bottom of the ladder but were defeated 7-2 by the host Quakers.

While longtime PC mentor Geoff Shields remains in command of the boys’ team, internationally-known pro instructor Damon Leedale-Brown has taken charge of the girls program while also assuming the title of Director of Squash at the school’s Kline and Specter Squash Center, which opened during the 2007-2008 season.

Prior to the Springside match last Thursday, the Quakers had opened the winter campaign on Tuesday with an 8-1 win on the road at Shipley. The PC franchise has returned most of its players from last season, but did lose number one Sarah Domenick, now at Brown University.

No worries for Charter fans, since a new number one has arrived from Episcopal Academy. Transfer Margaux Losty is still a freshman, but last year as an eighth-grader she was already one of the top players on EA’s highly-regarded squad. In a four-game bout on Thursday, she lost the third round to Springside junior Libbie Maine, 13-11, but won the other three, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3.

In positions two through six, each of the PC players prevailed in three straight games. Junior Tara Harrington won 11-0, 11-1, 11-3 over the Lions’ freshman number two, Caroline Canning, and one rung down the ladder Quakers senior Colleem Fehm dispatched visiting eighth-grader Francesca Fabiani, 11-3, 11-3, 11-0. One of Springside’s best players, senior Annie Maxwell, is still out with an injury, but is expected to return shortly.

At number four, three 11-1 games took Amanda Roberts past Springside’s Kelly Brady in a clash of two juniors, and in the fifth spot eighth-grader Izzy Hirshberg topped Lions senior Amanda Culp, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9.

As at number four, the number six match featured identical game scores; here it was a figure of 11-4 that gave senior Demi Angelakis the victory in three games over visiting junior Sam Blake.

In the seventh set-to, Charter senior Margaret Hilton and Springside junior Ellie Stout split a pair of 11-9 games at the start of their match, then Hilton finished it by taking the next two, 11-2, 11-5.

The Lions came away with a pair of wins for the afternoon, as freshman Courtney Hamilton and senior Carolina Concannon were victorious at eight and nine, respectively. Hamilton overcame Quakers sophomore Ryann Shaffer, 11-1, 11-2, 11-1, while Concannon conquered a fellow upperclassman, Kate Higgins, 11-2, 11-7, 11-1.