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Winter Sports Recap 2023

March 7, 2023 — As the 2023 winter sports season drew to a close in March, Winsor teams and their coaches gathered to celebrate at the annual Winter Athletics Banquet, honoring the basketball, ice hockey, swim, and squash teams.

Director of Athletics Sherren Granese welcomed everyone and called to mind a few highlights of the season. 

“From watching the games, meets and matches, I couldn’t be prouder of how each of our athletes represented Winsor, both on and off of the court,” remarked Coach Granese.  

“This winter,” she continued, “I saw us constantly working hard, cheering each other on, and pushing one another until the last whistle was blown. Congratulations to all of our athletes, for representing Winsor with dignity and class, and for always getting back up back up when you were knocked down.”

Coach Granese extended a special thanks to the coaching staff, parents, and the Athletics Department, before turning it over to the coaches.

Read what the coaches had to say about each of the teams this season:

Junior Varsity Basketball  
With this team being one of the youngest junior varsity teams, not only for Winsor, but in the entire EIL, this group of athletes surpassed any expectations that we had for them. Every day they showed up to practice ready to work hard and get better. They were always ready to learn, asked great questions, and were ready to try new things. This year we committed to having high energy and communication throughout the season. The team that started this season back in November would get absolutely crushed if they played the team that this group became by the end of the season. The team was such a fun group of kids that shared a genuine love and respect for each other. They pushed each other, held each other accountable, and helped themselves and their teammates get 1% better every day. The games that were won were great, but the fashion in which this team won games is something that everyone should be proud of. The coaches couldn’t be prouder of all of you for your hard work and dedication and we can’t wait to see the impact that you will make on the basketball program in the years to come. Congratulations, JV basketball!
 
Varsity Basketball
The varsity basketball team returned to the court for the 2022–2023 season with three senior captains, one returning starter ,and five new team members. The team faced many injuries and challenges throughout the season, but they never stopped fighting and working hard to get better. In the second game of the season, the team beat EIL rival Portsmouth Abbey, with only five varsity players, in a tight game that came down to the last possession. They willed their way on the defensive end and showed heart and determination throughout the entire game. The team followed up this game with another victory over rival Dana Hall. No matter what the score was, the team continued to battle to the end of every game with many new players having a chance to step up and make their mark. A highlight for this season was Winsor completing a season sweep of Portsmouth Abbey. The varsity team graduates four seniors from the basketball program who have a combined 16 seasons, of which 11 are on varsity, a great display of commitment and dedication. Congratulations, varsity basketball!

Varsity Ice Hockey 
Winsor varsity hockey had an exciting season that included a return of the alumnae game, a trip to watch a college game, and an incredible evening of playing Beaver Country Day School at Fenway Park. The team put in a lot of hard work and tremendous growth was seen by all of the team members. The returning players welcomed several new players and they brought enthusiasm and a sense of fun to all our activities, including hard practices, team dinners, and long bus rides. The season culminated in a hard-fought 3-2 win against Beaver on senior day — a great way to cap off the six-year careers of our four seniors. Congratulations varsity hockey!

Junior Varsity Swimming  
It was an amazing season for the junior varsity swim team, one of our best yet! We averaged over 15 personal best times at each of our meets this season. In our final meet against Andover JV, we had a season high of 21 PRs, an amazing way to cap off the season. The JV swim team faced off against Dana Hall twice, increasing our team score by five points the second time we played them in an extremely close meet. All 14 swimmers were determined, supportive of their teammates, and put their all into each and every practice and meet. They cheered each other on through pool workouts, dryland sets, and meets. Returning swimmers did not hesitate to help out when newer swimmers had questions or needed help in any way. Led by exemplary captains Bella Holt ’27 and Sabina Stevens ’26, the 2022–2023 JV swim team had an outstanding year!

Varsity Swimming   
With the senior captains leading the way, the varsity swim team had an incredible season. The team finished the regular season with an undefeated record of 9-0. Twice the team matched up with Dana Hall and beat them, the first time by two points and the second time by four. We also had an exciting two points victory over ISL power house St. George’s school, that came down to the final relay. At EIL championships we finished a close second place, but swam our hearts out and set numerous records. The team swept the 100 butterfly with Sophia Cukras ’26 leading the way, setting a new school record with a time of 1.00.39. Both the 200 and 400-yard relay teams were outstanding, with Winsor taking first place in each event.  

The team had an amazing end of season at New Englands, finishing third with 291 points, ahead of St George’s, Dana Hall, and Williston Northampton, all of which had divers scoring points. We had a lot more outstanding times set at this meet, including nine PRs and three school records. Sophia Cukras ’26 set a school record of 55:45 in the 100 free, the 200 Medley relay of Holiday Host ’23, Leah Libman ’25, Sophia Cukras ’26, and Elena Toscani ’27 set a record of 1:01.56 and the 200 Free Relay of Sophia Cukras ’26, Laurel Halfman ’25, Alaina Cai ’23, and Ashley Xu ’23 set a record of 1:43:18. Congratulations varsity swimming on a great season, and thank you seniors for leading the way!

Junior Varsity 2 Squash   
Building on a long and esteemed history, Winsor’s JV 2 squash team logged another successful season, producing a final record of 4-0 in the EIL and 11-1 overall. Summing all our competitions, Winsor played 163 individual matches and won 130 of them, or 80%. A number of these matches were against co-ed teams, but Winsor’s great depth ensured that the team won the great majority of the time. Co-captains Jessica Wu ’24 and Sophia Lichterfeld ’24 helped to keep morale high by their energetic cheering and creative team bonding activities. Beyond just a winning record, the Wildcats had a lot of fun! Congratulations JV 2 squash on an outstanding year!

Junior Varsity 1 Squash  
What can you say about a team that never loses, has a record of 12 total wins and zero losses, and only a single match loss out of 83 matches in the entire season? This team is so deep in talent and strength that we can’t find competition for them around here. Winsor’s JV level of squash equals most team’s varsity team level, and that speaks for itself. Their best competition is within themselves. Coaches are proud and grateful to all JV 1 players for all of their hard work during practices, for their support to each other, for their happy faces while playing, and for pushing the varsity players to be better each day! 

Varsity Squash  
Winsor’s varsity squash team this season was filled with talented individuals, strong players and a mixture of ages from 12 to 18. The results speak for themselves; no team could even get close to the Wildcats during league matches. The team charged through the matches with ease against all four of their league opponents, without dropping even a game in any of the positions. These wins gave the Wildcats their 13th consecutive league title. 
 
The team traveled to Deerfield Academy for the New Englands Championships and finished in 3rd place behind Greenwich Academy and Hotchkiss School, taking home the biggest award they could possibly receive, this year’s Sportsmanship Award. The Wildcats finished their season at US High School Nationals in Philadelphia. There is no easy match in Division 1, where the 16 best high school teams in the US meet. Winsor finished an astonishing sixth place in the country out of the top 85 teams that attended the tournament. Congratulations varsity squash, you had an amazing year!

Honors
In 2003, Coach Szombati took over the squash program, and she has since taken the team from a 2-8 record in her first year to 13 league championships. This year, she was again voted EIL Coach of the Year for girls’ squash. 

This past winter we had several athletes receive All League and All New England Honors: 
Varsity Basketball EIL Honorable Mention Anissa Patel ’23
Varsity Basketball EIL All League Nell Sparks ’25
Varsity Basketball All New England Honorable Mention Nell Sparks ’25
Varsity Ice Hockey EIL Honorable Mention Natalie Pan ’23
Varsity Ice Hockey EIL All League Ally Kennedy ’23
Varsity Squash EIL All League Sora Karanja ’23, Lily Levitzky ’23, and Mina Subramanian ’24
Varsity Squash EIL Honorable Mention Judy Liu ’29
Varsity Squash EIL MVP and Player of the Year Sora Karanja ’23
Varsity Squash All New England Honorable Mention Mina Subramanian ’24 and Lily Levitzky ’23
Varsity Squash All New England Caroline Eielson ’24, Kaitlyn Doe ’27, and Judy Liu ’29

Varsity Swimming EIL All League 
Alaina Cai ’23: 200 IM
Sophia Cukras ’26: 50 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay
Laurel Halfman ’25: 100 Free, 200 Free, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay
Holiday Host ’23: 100 Back
Leah Libman ’25: 100 Fly
Ashley Xu ’23: 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay
Lidia Rodriguez ’23: 500 Free, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay

Varsity Swimming All New England
Alaina Cai ’23: 200 Medley Relay and 200 Freestyle Relay 
Sophia Cukras ’26: 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay
Holiday Host ’23: 200 Medley Relay
Laurel Halfman ’25: 100 Freestyle, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay
Leah Libman ’25: 100 Butterfly and 200 Medley Relay
Lidia Rodriguez ’23: 400 Free Relay
Ashley Xu ’23: 50 Freestyle, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay

Congratulations to our All League and All New England players!
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