"HOW PLAYING COLLEGE SQUASH PREPARED ME TO GO PRO"
Harvard University, Class of 2016
Highest WSA Ranked American Ever (# 7)
Played # 1 Harvard, 2012-2015
Went Undefeated over her college career
4 Time Intercollegiate Individual Champion
3 Time Team National Champion
4 Time All-American
When I was a senior in High School, I had the option of either going to college and playing college squash or going straight onto the Professional tour for squash. I was already ranked in the top 20 and playing my best squash to date, so it would have been ideal to play professionally instead of going to college. However, I chose to go to college for the next four years and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. College squash was something completely new to me and an experience that I learned immensely from and will forever cherish. Having competed for myself since I started playing tournaments whether it was in juniors or professionally, I never got to experience that team aspect and camaraderie that exists in college squash. No longer are you playing just for yourself, but you are now playing for the team of a group of girls or guys where your success translates to the overall team’s success. Going to college and playing in a team aspect prepared me for playing on the professional tour once I graduated because I had to learn how to perform under a lot of pressure with boisterous crowds cheering for me and against me. Since I was recruited to play in college, the level of college squash has only gotten stronger and made it much more possible for kids to raise their level and compete at the highest level.
When I graduated in May 2015, I was ranked #10 on the PSA World Tour, which was my highest ranking at the time. People ask me all the time how I managed to go to college, play college squash, and keep up playing in professional tournaments (as an amateur at the time), all while still improving my squash and keeping on top of my studies. It came down to time management and organization. I had the resources to improve my squash whether it was working with the coaches, hitting with the men’s team, or training with players in the area. At times, academics would have to take priority over squash when it came to exam time. However, during the season or when the academic course load was lighter, I would be able to get proper training in for squash. If anyone is ever deciding over going to college and playing in college squash versus going straight onto the Professional tour, I always encourage going the college route because it’s an experience that one cannot obtain elsewhere. Playing for a team is something really special and it pushed me to work harder for my teammates and become a team player, which I’ll never forget.