Annie Roach ’18 is currently a sophomore at Wesleyan University, where she majors in English and Italian studies and competes on the women’s squash team. Prior to her time at Wesleyan, Annie was a force to be reckoned with at St. Andrew's as a three-sport standout in field hockey, squash, and tennis. Annie took some time to talk with us about the value of being a multi-sport athlete and how that helped her transition to college squash.
What originally attracted you to SAS as a student-athlete?
I was originally attracted to SAS as a student-athlete because SAS allows (and encourages!) students to take part in more than one sport during their time at school, and also encourages students to step out of their comfort zones and try new sports. Before coming to SAS, I had played field hockey and tennis (and continued to do so all four years) but had never played squash before. Although I was originally daunted, I grew to love it over the course of high school and decided to pursue it in college as well. I think being a multi-sport athlete was really important to me—you might not expect that playing field hockey would help one's squash skills and vice versa, but for me, I think it did!
How did Coach Foehl and Coach Speers help you improve?
Coach Foehl and Coach Speers really helped me improve in squash—I went from never having picked up a squash racket at the beginning of freshman year to playing #2 for the majority of my senior season, and their support and coaching was valuable to me. Part of what I love about squash is that it's such a community-bonding experience—the van rides to other squash-playing schools are long—and I think Coach Foehl and Speers did an excellent job of fostering a good team culture. We were always excited to travel together and spend time together. I also think particularly Coach Foehl pushed me to be a harder worker on the court; he didn't tolerate any laziness or slacking off, so by my senior year, my attitude, fitness, and focus improved a lot.
How did your time as a multi-sport athlete at SAS prepare you for the challenges that you faced as a collegiate athlete?
It was very easy for me to adjust to playing and practicing squash all year round, because I had always played sports all year round and was used to that kind of commitment and intensity. Many college athletes come in having only played their sport during its designated season, so it's sometimes a hard adjustment to be going at such an intense pace all the time. But having had the experiences that I had at SAS, I felt fully prepared for the preseason, the season, and the postseason.
Most memorable athletic experience while at SA:
Every year, competing in the state tournament for tennis was really exciting and memorable, especially because our tennis teams were (and are) really good! My senior year our girls team came in third in the state, and it's always such a fun experience to watch all the matches and cheer on teammates. During my senior year, our second doubles team (Mimi Wilmerding ’21 and Anya Dhawan ’19 went undefeated and won the state tournament easily, which was amazing to see.
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