The College Squash Association (CSA) shared on Thursday that Mount Holyoke College’s Mihiliya Kalahe Arachchige, University of Virginia’s Emma Jinks, and Harvard University’s Hana Moataz are the finalists for the 2022 Betty Richey Award presented by the Aziz Family. The Richey Award, voted on by the CSA coaches, is the most prestigious individual honor bestowed annually to a current women’s squash student-athlete.
The recipient of the 2022 Betty Richey Award will be announced during the CSA’s live college squash awards show – THE SENIOR SERVE – on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 starting at 7:00 p.m. The Show will be streamed live on CSA’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels.
Top candidates for the Richey Award are those players who best exemplify the ideals of squash in their love of and devotion to the game, their strong sense of fairness, and their excellence in play and leadership. Nominees are also praised for their cooperation with opponents, coaches, and competition officials and their overall contributions to intercollegiate squash.
Once again this year, the Richey Award is presented by the Aziz Family, strong supporters of the College Squash Association and Yale Squash who have a history of success and an eagerness to sustain and grown women’s college squash. Daughter and Yale graduate Alia Aziz was the 2010 Betty Richey Award winner.
Finalists are listed in alphabetical order:
Mihiliya Kalahe Arachchige, Mount Holyoke College
Even though she did not arrive on the college squash scene with much fanfare, Mihiliya Kalahe quickly turned heads on Mount Holyoke’s campus and within the CSA with her early success and dedication to the game. The first season of her career was her most notable when she went 23-2 and narrowly lost the Holleran Cup North Division Final. During that time, she grew into her role as top player and team leader, as well as key recruiter and model ambassador for Mount Holyoke’s program. After overcoming the challenges of studying remotely from home in Sri Lanka while taking care of family during the pandemic, Kalahe finished her career on a high note this season. She won 17 of her final 19 matches, claimed victory in a Holleran Division consolation final, and earned a CSA Scholar-Athlete Award.
Head Coach Erin Robson glows about Kalahe’s impact on Mount Holyoke Squash: “Mihiliya deserves consideration for the Betty Richey Award because she embodies all the qualities coaches look for in their senior leaders. She continues to demonstrate her commitment to our program and to our success. She recruited tirelessly, she enjoyed working with every member of the team, and she served as an amazing role model for her teammates. She never stopped trying to help the team improve. Mihiliya brings her conscientious attitude to everything she does, and this serves to explain how coachable she has been during matches and practices.”
Emma Jinks, University of Virginia
The University of Virginia women’s squash team has improved its team ranking each year over the last few seasons, and team leader Emma Jinks has played a huge role in that improvement. In her first few seasons, Jinks played with poise and determination while taking on the toughest opponents at the top of Virginia’s ladder. In her senior season, her leadership and experience helped carry her team to key victories over teams for the first time and a berth in the Howe Cup national championship division. Jinks is an All-American, an All-Conference player, and recognized Scholar-Athlete who inspires her teammates and regularly exhibits a positive attitude and sense of fair play.
The Virginia coaching staff knows how meaningful Emma Jinks has been to the growth of their program: “Emma truly embodies the values promoted by the College Squash Association, particularly those recognized by the Richey Award. She has always been among the hardest workers on our team and she has inspired her teammates to emulate the approach that she takes to the game. As a result, the team around her enjoys the game more than ever before, even while working harder than they ever have. Emma gives every bit of effort she possesses in every match and fights for every point. And yet she treats her opponents with the highest level of respect. She is truly one of the finest representatives of the game that we ever had the pleasure to work with.”
Hana Moataz, Harvard University
Hana Moataz has contributed greatly to Harvard Women’s Squash’s historic winning streak and run of championships since she arrived in Boston, but the spotlight has really shown on her play during the second half of her career. Her runs to consecutive National Collegiate Individual Finals two years apart clearly demonstrate her excellent level of play, and her leadership and success in the classroom combine with her skill to create an all-around college squash competitor. Her team credited her with a captainship and Team MVP honors during her senior season, and she delivered by leading in all aspects of the college squash experience: sporting behavior, integrity, devotion to the game, and academic excellence.
The Harvard coaches recognize what a critical role Moataz played in their success: “Hana has been a leader for our team on and off the court. She was voted Co-Captain and team MVP by her teammates this year, contributing as one of the best captains our staff has ever had. She has excelled in the classroom and has been recognized for that success on the conference and national levels. Her drive and example will be extremely difficult to replace as she moves on to the next chapter of her career.”