Andover Girls Squash has brought home a national championship and a resounding 6-1 victory against Exeter this season, as well as a 14-4 record that catapulted it into the top teams in the league. As an individual sport, the unity of the team as a whole is due in large part to Co-Captains Adèle Bernhard ’14 and Madeleine Mayhew ’15. With seven years of Varsity experience between the two of them, including four combined years as Captains, the two have made an enormous impact on their team.

Andover finished out its season at Interscholastics this past Sunday, finishing seventh out of 16 teams at Groton. Bernhard, who will graduate this year and has been a stalwart anchor from the number one position for four years and a Captain for three, ended her career at Andover with a 12th place finish at the tournament.

Mayhew, defending the number two position, finished highest among team members. Mayhew won four of her five matches en route to a fifth place finish in her division.

“I was so happy to share my first year as Captain with Adèle,” said Mayhew. “There is no better role model for the job.”

Both Captains have been part of the squash team since their Junior years, solidifying Andover’s dominance at the top of the ladder.

“This team has taught me so much about what it means to be a teammate. Coming from the individual circuit, I had never played on a team before and my fellow teammates and Coach [Jennifer] Elliott gave me a new perspective on competing and training for something larger than myself,” said Bernhard.

“I will really miss the people,” she continued. “I want to be remembered as a Captain who cared deeply for her team and who inspired her teammates to push themselves farther than they thought they could.”

The Andover team has been on an upward trend for the last four years now, improving its record each year

and culminating this year into a national championship.

“I am so proud of the Varsity Squash girls this season. Out of all the seasons during my time at Andover, this season definitely was the tightest knit. The team did an amazing job motivating and supporting one another on and off the court,” Bernhard added.

In a sport that traditionally promotes competition among teammates and individual play to grab higher ladder spots, the Co-Captains have created a Andover strong bond of team chemistry.

Mayhew said, “A lot of high school teams are very competitive within their own ladders, and their goals are to play in college, not to bond as a team. Our program really emphasizes the intensity, but also the team aspect. That is what is essential to our success.”

Both Mayhew and Bernhard have had great moments over their careers playing squash for Andover. For Bernhard, a four-year Senior from New York, NY, the infamous Andover/Exeter match has a special place in her heart.

“The greatest moment would have [had] to be the home match against Exeter this winter. We had a lot of excitement leading up to the match, and I always love seeing Coach [Elliott] get hyped up for the big rivalry. We ended up sweeping, but it was really the energy amongst the team that made it such a special bonding moment,” said Bernhard.

Mayhew, a three-year Upper also from New York, NY, cites a moment from this year’s season as her favorite as well. “Probably winning Nationals this year. It was so rewarding and was a true testament to our hard work… For me, it is always important to remember that it is a team effort,” said Mayhew.

Andover will look to continue improving next season, despite losing the superb play from both Bernhard and Misha Hooda ’14, who played at the number seven position. The team looks forward to seeing leadership from the four rising Seniors: Mayhew, Hannah Burns ’15, Emma Crowe ’15 and Camille Price ’15.