February 5, 2009


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Penn Charter girls take third, GFS fifth at MASA Tourney

Girls from area schools enjoyed a good deal of success at last weekend’s Middle Atlantic Squash Association Tournament in Lawrenceville, N.J., but in the end Episcopal Academy took top honors as a team for the ninth year in a row.

The nine players on each squad were seeded in nine different divisions, and with winners in four divisions and one runner-up, the EA Churchwomen compiled a total of 29 points to beat out host Lawrenceville School, which won four division titles and finished with 26.5 points. Episcopal junior Libby Eyre proved the best of the best, winning the Division 1 championship over Chloe Blacker of Pingry School (Martinsville, N.J.), 11-5, 11-7, 11-0.

Third in the team standings, with 25 points, was Penn Charter, which had been considered a strong contender for the title. Although junior number one Sarah Domenick was unable to play in the MASA tourney, the Quakers had all of their other eight players reach the finals. Only Lexi Glassman won for PC in the championship round, though; the Cornell-bound senior captured the Division 3 crown by beating Episcopal’s Monica Stone, 15-13, 11-3, 11-5.

The best finish by a local player in Division 1 was a fourth-place showing by Germantown Friends freshman Carey Celata. That helped the Tigers place fifth in the team scoring with 13 points, one spot behind Baldwin School (17.5).

Agnes Irwin was sixth with 9.5 points, and half-a-point back in seventh place was Springside School. Lions freshman Ellie Stout reached the semifinals in Division 8, and wound up fourth overall. Rounding out the team standings were Shipley (5.5 points), Pingry (four points), Lower Merion/Harriton and Hill School (two points each). Hill won the team sportsmanship award at the event.

All of the Penn Charter players received a bye in the opening round of the tournament, and in Division 3 Glassman recorded wins over Avery Safford of Shipley (11-6, 11-2, 11-3) and Lawrenceville’s Leila Shayegan (12-10, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8) before beating Stone in the finals. One spot above, PC’s Tara Harrington, only a freshman, went through to the Division 2 finals before falling to Episcopal’s Sarah Mumanachit, a senior who is ranked seventh in the nation in the Under-19 class.

In Division 4 through Division 9, Penn Charter also placed second, thanks to the efforts of (in division order) junior Skylar Dickey, freshman Amanda Roberts, sophomore Colleen Fehm, junior Morgan Strauss, and sophomores Margaret Hilton and Demi Angelakis.

Celata, the ninth-grade number one player for GFS, prevailed in her first two matches, then succumbed to Pingry’s Blacker in the semifinals of the main draw. In a third-place playoff, she was defeated by Alexandra Sawin of Baldwin. Sophomore Lyles Swift-Farley also gave a fourth-place performance for the Tigers. Her progress in Division 4 was halted by the eventual champion, EA’s Margaux Losty.

To afford more playing opportunities, most athletes who left the main draw kept on competing in a consolation bracket. Four different players won for Germantown in the consolation finals; senior Annie Tickell in Division 2, freshman Lydie McKenzie in Division 3, sophomore Charlotte Martin in Division 7, and senior Emma Crimm in Division 8.

Crimm had lost her second match of the tourney to Springside’s Stout, who had beaten Hill School’s Jackie Yordan in a first-round bout. The only Lions player to reach the main semifinals, Stout fell to PC’s Hilton and then lost the third-place playoff for Division 8 to Episcopal’s Grace Baena.

Three other Lions players went into the consolation bracket and made it to the finals. Here, sophomore Amanda Clup won in Division 5 and freshman Sam Blake won in Division 9, while senior Devon Winter succumbed in her Division 6 consolation final. Springsiders Annie Maxwell, Libbie Maine, Gretchen Carlson, Lena Rice and Kelly Brady each won their opening match and lost the next one, which meant they were done for the weekend.