W. Squash Captain Downs Nation's Best

“You know what, I’ve been having a little trouble seeing the board.”

—“What line can you see on this chart?”

“Nothing.”

—“By your having trouble seeing the board, well, can you see a board?”

This exchange took place last week, when Louisa Hall, the junior co-captain and No. 1 player on Harvard women’s squash, finally went to see an eye doctor.

—“How long have you been in school?”

“Three years.”

—“So you’re basically telling me that you just don’t look at the board in school.”

Hall now wears contact lenses on the court and sports plastic tortoise shell glasses off of it. Turns out that she plays more by hearing than by seeing.

“The other day I had a walkman, and I was hitting with it on,” Hall said. “I just kept missing the ball.”

Truth is truly stranger than fiction because before she even saw her doctor, Hall won the Harvard Club of New York Invitational on Jan. 22 by defeating the legendary Khan sisters, the top two women in the nation. The tournament was the first of six qualifications for the U.S. national team traveling to the Pan American games, held this summer in the Dominican Republic. What’s more, Hall had never beaten these players before.

“In the past it’s been that I’d definitively lose to the Khan sisters,” Hall said. “This year I’d really like to beat the Khan sisters consistently.”

Latasha and Shabana Khan are the highest ranked U.S. women in the world at Nos. 24 and 30, respectively.

One Down, Five to Go

Facing Shabana in the opening round, Hall claimed a gritty 9-6 first game before swiftly taking the second 9-2. Shabana, 34, who defeated the 20-year-old Hall last June at the Team Trials for the World Championship squad, retired after being down five points in the third game.

Hall then dispatched of Yale’s No. 1, freshman Michelle Quibell, in a 9-0, 9-5, 9-1 semifinal rout.