Natasha Belsky Honored With Wetzel Award

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Natasha Belsky was honored with the 2019 Ann Wetzel Award (l to r: CSA Executive Director David Poolman, Bowdoin Head Coach Tomas Fortson, Belsky, Bowdoin Assistant Coach Dave Suitor; photo credit: Michael T. Bello)

Natasha Belsky of Bowdoin College was named the 2019 Ann Wetzel Award recipient before the E Division Final of the 2019 Women’s Team National Championships at Trinity College on Sunday.

The Wetzel Award is presented annually to a senior woman who began playing squash in college and has progressed to a high level of skill, demonstrates sound understanding of the game, and exhibits good sportsmanship and a positive demeanor on the court.

The award is named for Ann Wetzel. The 1964 national champion, Wetzel founded the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s varsity team in 1970. During the more than 20 years she coached at the University of Pennsylvania, Wetzel taught hundreds of women the game of squash. Through her love of the sport and her passion for teaching, she gave many women the opportunity to experience the thrill of intercollegiate squash.

Belsky only started playing squash during her sophomore year at Bowdoin, when she broke into the starting lineup and competed at the No. 8 position. After amassing two wins in her first year, Belsky made major strides in her second year (junior year), winning nine matches and finishing the year at No. 6 on the ladder. With a good deal of turnover on Bowdoin’s team, Belsky stepped right in to a leadership role for her senior season, playing in the No. 2 position and earning the team’s captain role.  She is also a two-time CSA Scholar-Athlete Award winner.

Head Coach Tomas Fortson shared these proud words about Belsky: “Natasha has grown significantly during her three seasons playing squash. She plays number 2 for our team. She is our team’s Captain and has ton of leadership responsibilities, given how young we are and the challenges of a winless season. Our team morale is excellent despite our struggles. Her ethical and moral values are superb and are well represented in her on-court behavior. Despite her full plate and the lack of constant competition, her skill level has increased significantly compared to when she first started.”

Belsky is the third Wetzel Award winner from Bowdoin in the last six years.