For many athletes, elevated expectations come with crippling performance challenges. But as Harvard squash champion Gina Kennedy went from being one of the top performers in the country to becoming the player to beat in all of women’s college squash, she dazzled under the spotlight.
Harvard women's squash defeated No. 2 Princeton to take home the Howe Cup. This marks the sixth consecutive year in which Harvard has won the national championship.
Senior squash co-captain Gina Kennedy commands one of the most demanding schedules on campus between training, school, and matches. In such an individual sport, the veteran star talks performance, teamwork, and the future.
Friday’s win against No. 13 Brown (pictured above) and Sunday’s triumph versus No. 4 Yale would mark the Crimson’s 12th and 13th victories against ranked opponents, helping Harvard to its perfect 13-0 record. Feb. 15 will break the ranked opponent streak for the Crimson as the team squares off with an unranked foe for the first time this season against the Big Red of Cornell.
After bursting out to a commanding 2-0 lead over her opponent, No. 3 Trinity College’s Nanna Carleke, Harvard junior Hannah Craig fell just short in the third and fourth games. In the decisive fifth game, Craig responded with a dominating showing, overwhelming Carleke with an 11-2 victory to secure the seventh seed matchup for the Crimson. It was one of Harvard’s eight victories in its 8-1 romping of the Bantams on Feb. 5.
Not only did both squash teams meet those expectations, but they smashed them, as both went undefeated and cruised to national championships.
The Harvard squash program ended its impressive season winning both Men’s and Women’s Team National Championships and Men’s and Women’s Individual National Championships.
The Harvard women’s squash team finished its historic season over the weekend in the national championship with yet another shutout 9-0 win. Though the team has retained an impressive level of squash excellence, this season was even more remarkable, as every single player on the team went undefeated.
Of the six freshmen joining Harvard’s storied squash program this year, three hail from Cairo, Egypt. They are the latest set of top recruits from a country that dominates the international squash scene.