Charlottesville, VA – Each season the Virginia women’s squash team presents two awards: Team MVP and Most Improved Player. This year’s MVP, as selected by the UVA coaching staff, is second year Annie Tyson. Members of the program staff announced the winners and runners up for each award with brief speeches at the end-of-season Award Banquet. The text below is a reprint of the remarks accompanying the MVP presentation, with minor revisions.
Our first MVP Finalist, Julia Thompson, was a supremely reliable presence for our team, where she went 8-6 (which works out to a 57% win percentage). Playing in the #3 position usually meant she was one of the first up on court. The wins that she delivered so consistently went beyond the score card; her lead off scores allowed her teammates to step on court with a measure of confidence that was indeed palpable. As our squad picked up back-to-back 5-4 wins over GW and F&M to gain in the rankings, Julia provided us with 3-0 wins in both matches. And at Team Nationals, Julia was as solid as could be in a 2-1 weekend where she kept us alive in the early going against GW and helped lift us to a 6-3 win over Middlebury.
Sarah Doss is our second nominee for the award. Another huge contributor in her first year, Sarah Doss possesses the competitive spirit that allowed us to excel at Team Nationals as never before. Sarah went 9-5 at the #4 spot (that’s 67%–rounding up–for those non math majors in the audience) this season, and was a crucial part of all three of our 5-4 wins this year–none more dramatic than her performance against Williams in the consolation finals at Team Nationals, where she clinched a 5-4 come from behind win for us with just astounding retrievals in a five-game match. Somewhere in Sarah’s genetic code, the Atari “Pong” AI has been reincarnated.
As you’ve heard, Annie Tyson had some stiff competition for the MVP Award. But in this, her second season, Annie picked up right where she left off after her first year and went 11-4 for a win percentage of 73%, the top mark on the team. Over the course of her sophomore –excuse me, second year–campaign, Annie showed incredible determination and grit, and helped us at all the crucial moments: in 5-4 wins against Franklin & Marshall and GW, and at Team Nationals, where she was instrumental in leading us to consolation semis and finals wins over Middlebury and then Williams. And, like her fellow nominees, Annie did this with tremendous sportsmanship and a fantastic attitude. Our congratulations to you, Annie Tyson, and to our two finalists, Julia Thompson and Sarah Doss.