With the conclusion of the winter season, both the varsity and JV teams can look back on the 2016-17 season with pride, with a strong performance in both the ISL and national tournament. The varsity team, at 17-1, clinched another ISL championship with a perfect regular season record. The JV had a similarly impressive undefeated ISL record with an overall record of 12-2, with both losses coming at High School Nationals against varsity programs.
On February 14, both teams traveled to Connecticut to compete in High School Nationals. In the first round, the varsity defeated St. Paul’s, winning six out of the seven matches. In the quarterfinals, the team defeated a tough Gilman team in a 4-3 thriller that came down to the last match. To start off the match, Jack Bell and Andrew Lee each won 3-0 and 3-1 respectively; however, Gilman fought back, taking positions three and five against John Paul Champa and Robert Williamson. Tied at 2-2, Dougie Conigliaro lost in a close 4 games, while James Bell defeated his opponent, also in 4. With the team score tied, the match was left on #4 Alex Kurtin’s racquet. He swiftly took the first two games 11-2, 11-6, but his opponent took the third 11-9; nevertheless, Alex returned to form in the fourth game, winning 11-9 to both seal the match and secure a semifinal opportunity. . In its only loss of the season, Belmont Hill succumbed to Haverford, the eventual winner of the National Championship.
To finish off the season, the varsity team headed to St. Paul’s to compete in the New England Class A tournament. The team had to compete without Dougie Conigliaro, who was unable to compete due to a hamstring injury; however, Jack Winston stepped up to fill the hole in the lineup. Even without a fully healthy team, varsity still fought valiantly, managing to secure a fourth place finish to end another successful season. The New England Tournament also marked the last time that James Bell, John Paul Champa, Alex Kurtin, and Robert Williamson would compete in Belmont Hill squash uniforms, and they all look toward collegiate squash opportunities. The varsity squash team will look to returners Jack Bell, Andrew Lee, Jack Winston, and Dougie Conigliaro to uphold the tradition of excellence for the Belmont Hill varsity squash team.