On Saturday afternoon, the Virginia women defeated Yale for the first time in program history. The women secured the 5-4 win on the road and started off the season with success.
Grant White, Men’s and Women’s Assistant Squash Coach, shares that the team “tried to narrow the field of focus” heading into the match and while “that is not an easy thing to do in such a huge match, where the two teams are separated by just a single spot in the rankings. But this UVA team has put concerted effort into building our emotional and mental capacity, working with our sports psychologist Lori Freeman to refine the inner game in the same way we train to improve physically, technically, and tactically. White emphasizes “how great an asset Dr. Freeman has been for [them] not just this season but for the past several years”.
White goes on to state that each player “knew the importance of finding their own space and their own way to prepare ahead of her match; the intentional and, in many ways, professional manner in which they went about doing so is a defining characteristic of this team. To win at this level, you have to embrace the nerves and the big moments, and you have to be able to reset and settle back in when you find yourself in trouble and under pressure”.
The Virginia women start off the season undefeated, however, White is not just proud of the 3-0 start. He highlights “the depth of character and spirit we have manifested in order to get here. It was apparent in every match how much fight this team has, collectively and at the individual level”.
The Virginia women will travel to Philadelphia this weekend to take on Franklin and Marshall, Penn and Drexel where they look to continue their undefeated record.