The New Canaan Country School girls’ squash team earned a fifth place national ranking following three days of hard-fought matches in the 2017 U.S. Middle School Team Squash Championships held at Yale University Jan. 27-29.

Seeded in Division I, the sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls played a total of four matches, winning three.

“They battled with focus, energy, emotion, poise and enthusiasm, while always displaying tremendous sportsmanship,” coach Cynthia Badan said.

Members of the team included seventh grader Amanda Miller of New Canaan, sixth graders Maeve Baker & Cece Salvatore both of New Canaan, eighth grader and team captain Griffin Dewey of New Canaan, seventh grader Ella Schoonmaker of Darien, eighth grader Daly Baker of New Canaan and seventh grader Mary Duffy of Darien.

The boys’ squash team enjoyed success as well; in Division II competition, eighth grader James Kontulis of New Canaan played in the team’s number one spot, earning victories over Brunswick, TEVF of PA, and Rye Middle School.

Seventh grade teammates Peter Miller, Stanley Bright and Cody Comyns all of New Canaan and eighth grader Charlie Von Stade of Rowayton gave their best efforts, battling flu and other obstacles, ultimately settling for a 1-4 tournament finish.

The 10th annual tournament, although a national event open to all fifth through eighth grade teams, drew heavily from CT, PA, MA and MD with a total of 70 teams and 450 players competing.

Country School varsity squash co-captains ninth graders Griffin Dewey of New Canaan and Bo Zeigler of Rowayton accompanied their middle school teammates, providing leadership and team spirit throughout the weekend.