This Friday, the Virginia Squash team will take on George Washington University at the McArthur Squash Center at Boar’s Head Sports Club. For the first time, the Varsity squad will be competing for the Founder’s Cup, a new annual competition.
Though many people are unaware, squash, a historically popular racket ball game in Europe, is a Varsity sport at UVa. The game, according to second-year Annie Tyson, can be compared to a mind game and requires much mental strength and agility.
“Squash has been described as chess played at 100mph because the players have to be thinking at least three shots ahead at all times in order to be successful against their opponent,” Tyson said.
Annie Tyson encourages the Charlottesville community to come watch the match.
“Having a large audience at any sporting event shows that the team has the school’s support behind them which can be a huge morale boost when it comes to game time,” Tyson said, “In an individual sport like squash, some of the players feel more pressure when a lot of people are watching them because the focus is entirely on them. For others, it can provide motivation, which can make them play better.”
Tyson’s second-year teammate Maddie Mayhew has a few tips for fans that have never been to a squash match before.
“Fans should look out for what we call “nicking” the ball. That is when the ball lands directly on the crack between the side wall and the floor boards, and the ball dies completely,” Mayhew said, “They almost automatically win you the point and are also super exciting to hit because they can be rare!”
When it comes to cheering on the team, Tyson compares the etiquette to that of tennis.
“The audience should only cheer or clap between points and when they do cheer it should only be positive,” Tyson said, “You’ll also see that we referee each other’s matches, which is unlike any other sport and brings a sense of ownership to each match because you are calling both for and against your teammate with the help of your opponent.”
The match begins at 6 pm at McArthur Squash Center. The voice of the Cavaliers, David Koehn, will announce both men and women’s teams, with a possible appearance by CavMan.