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Inspired by the best: Girls squash meets nation’s top players


By Julia Harris, Staff Reporter

Imagine having a front row seat to watch the nation’s top players of your favorite sport. Members of the girls’ squash team were fortunate enough to experience just that. 

On March 1, sisters and Harvard graduates Amanda and Sabrina Sobhy returned to the Berwyn Squash Club, the place where they started their squash careers and where Conestoga’s team currently practices. Amanda Sobhy is ranked as the number one women’s squash player in the United States, and Sabrina Sobhy is number three.  

Girls squash coach Sunil Desai was disappointed that his players couldn’t compete against other schools this season. He felt that some of the newer girls had yet to experience real squash. Having played squash his entire life, he had always stayed connected to the squash community. That’s how he discovered that a new squash national center is currently being constructed in the Philadelphia area — where Amanda and Sabrina Sohby will be based. When Desai heard about the center and realized how close the sisters were located, he asked them if they would be willing to come do a clinic for his team. 

“Although such a clinic would be a good idea in any year, it was extra special to do it this year,” Desai said. “It was good for (the sisters) to get out there and give a little bit of advice to the players. Because of the fact that they are young women, they can be role models (for the girls). This is something that everyone sitting in that room is capable of if they really put their mind to it.” 

At the clinic, ’Stoga players got the chance to demonstrate their squash skill sets with a few drills and received constructive feedback from the professionals. Amanda and Sabrina Sobhy then played an exhibition match and answered questions from the girls. Freshman Kayla Allen expressed her gratefulness for this opportunity and was in awe of the sisters’ talent.

“It was a great experience,” Allen said. “The advice I received was very helpful. I was also mesmerized by their skill and power when they played against each other.”

Senior team captain Caroline Young said that seeing professionals play after a long time impacted her personal squash journey. 

“I haven’t seen live squash since last February, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it when we got to watch them play,” Young said. “It was crazy and so inspiring seeing them play. You always forget what you’re working towards but (seeing them play) showed that.” 

The ’Stoga squash players, their coach and the professionals all agree on the importance of having fun while playing. Desai repeatedly pointed out that during the exhausting looking exhibition match, the sisters were smiling the entire time. 

The pandemic has been a major setback for many athletes, and with no matches the girls on the squash team were in a tough position. Young mentioned that she was at a point where she had lost the motivation to play squash, but seeing the sisters switched her mindset. 

“Watching them play and hearing them talk about it made me want to start playing more and taking it seriously again. Even if I don’t have an end goal in mind, which I always did. Just playing for the love of it,” Young said.

Julia Harris can be reached at [email protected]

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Julia Harris
Julia Harris, Staff Reporter