At the beginning of February, Kristyna Alexova ‘19 of the Bates women’s squash team played terrifically and kept improving her individual record. Alexova, from Boskovice, Czech Republic, played at the No. 3 position for the Bobcats and went 4-0 over the span of the week. For her performances, she earned NESCAC Women’s Squash Player of the Week. This marks Alexova’s first time that she has received this award. About her play, she says, “I felt really good last weekend. The team has been helping me a lot after rejoining post-study abroad.” Making the adjustment from a semester abroad back to the middle of a busy season cannot be easy, but clearly Alexova has done an impressive job. Success in squash at Bates is not new to Alexova, who has been selected first team All-NESCAC in both 2016 and 2017, her freshman and sophomore years at Bates.

During her first year at Bates she played at the No. 1 position for Bates and compiled a record of 21-5. That same year she competed as an individual at the national championships and even advanced to the Holleran Division (C) finals. Last year, she played at the No. 1 and No.2 positions for Bates and compiled a record of 16-5. As Alexova gains more experience on the team, she continually shines as a squash athlete, sweeping individuals in high-stakes competitions such as the NESCAC tournament.

Back to this year, last week, Alexova began with a 3-1 win in her match as the Bobcats took on the Polar Bears, ultimately defeating Bowdoin 9-0. In this match, Alexova lost the first set 10-12, but then won three straight with scores of 11-5, 11-7, and 11-5. Next, on Saturday, February 3 she first played Middlebury and then Wesleyan. Against Middlebury, she won her match 3-0, and then beat the Wesleyan player 3-0 as well. In the match playing the Panthers, she won the sets by scores of 11-6, 11-5, and 11-8. Later in the day, she beat the Cardinals in her match with sets of 11-8, 11-5, and 11-9.

To conclude the NESCAC tournament, the Bobcats played Tufts on Sunday, February 4. Alexova swept her match then, as well, winning 3-0 with sets of 11-7, 11-7, and 11-8. As a team, the Bobcats placed fifth in the tournament. Looking at the season as a whole, she says, “I think everyone is in good shape, including myself. We have some really great young players on the team, and I think the season went great overall.”

Still to come is team nationals next weekend, followed by individual nationals in March. When asked about the team matches coming up, Alexova says, ” I believe we worked really hard and we can win every single match. Hopefully everybody stays healthy so we have our best chance.” Although the NESCAC season may be done, she is still focused on finishing the rest of the season strong.

Ultimately, as Alexova completes her third year at Bates and third season on the squash team, she reflects on what the experience has been like so far: “Bates Squash has taught me a lot about teamwork and time management. I have really enjoyed being with my teammates both on and off the court. We had some great times together. I think Bates Squash has a very bright future ahead.”