Charlottesville, VA – Each season the Virginia men’s squash team presents two awards: Team MVP and Most Improved Player. The Team MVP Award is a signal honor and a career achievement for those so recognized. This year’s recipient, Henry Woodworth, is the first player in program history to earn this distinction twice in his career. In so doing, Henry sets the standard that much higher for current and future players. Assistant coach Grant White presented the award to Henry with a brief speech at the end-of-season Award Banquet. The text below is a reprint of the remarks, with minor revisions.
Our first finalist for the 2017 MVP Award is Harrison Kapp. Harrison amassed a 13-3 record in his first year for a 81% win percentage and he picked up clutch victories against both Navy at the start of the season and against Williams College in our 5-4 win at Team Nationals. Harrison is nominated for our team Most Improved Award as well as for this MVP award, which speaks volumes about not only his high level of performance in matches but also his commitment to improvement all season long.
Stewart Staunton is our second finalist for MVP. A fourth year and team co captain, Stewart capped his UVA squash career with a record of 12-4, which works out to a 75% win percentage, including a 7-4 record against varsity teams. His most impressive wins came against GW and against Middlebury during the regular season, with the latter performance helping us seal a 5-4 win over the Panthers. Stewart was a leader off of the court as well, helping guide this year’s young squad to a record high finish.
Henry Woodworth set the bar for exceptional match performance for our squad last season. This season, as our reigning MVP, he raised that bar. Once again, he was unstoppable when he was tuned in. He also developed different physical and mental capacities that allowed him to be relentless in different ways when his command of shots eluded him. What was the value of this evolution? By the numbers, it meant an 11-4 overall record and a team-leading 67% win percentage against varsity opponents. By the matches, Henry helped us to victories and gave us a fighting chance when we needed it the most with wins against Middlebury, Navy, and GW in the regular season and with an undefeated 3-0 mark at Team Nationals. And, like Harrison, Henry is also a contender for the men’s team Most Improved. Add all of that up and it equals the first ever back-to-back MVP Award winner in program history.
Congratulations to all three of our nominees, and to our winner, Mr Henry Woodworth.