Anckermann Earns Betty Richey Squash Award

???SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Feb. 19, 2009) – In the midst of the College Squash Association (CSA) Howe Cup National Championships last weekend, Mount Holyoke College senior Pamela Anckermann was presented with the Betty Richey Award for the 2008-09 season. The award is handed out annually to the best all around senior collegiate squash player in the nation. Anckermann was the first player in program history to earn the honor.

Named for women’s squash pioneer Betty Richey, the trophy is given to the collegiate player who best exemplifies the ideals of squash in her love of and devotion to the game, strong sense of fairness, excellence of play, contributions and leadership. Captains and coaches vote to determine the recipient.

AnckermannRichey began coaching and teaching at Vassar College in 1937. She started the first women's intercollegiate matches along with the University of Pennsylvania and Wellesley College before intercollegiate competition was condoned for women. In 1965, she was among the founders of the Intercollegiate Women's Championship. When intercollegiate competition came to Vassar, Betty launched varsity teams for women’s and men’s squash and tennis as well as field hockey. Toward the end of her career, she turned her attention to women's squash and was involved in the beginnings of the organization of collegiate competition. After her retirement from the faculty, and therefore the coaching ranks of Vassar, in 1978, she continued her support of squash by running the Howe Cup National Championships each year until 1984.

Anckermann has been dominant during her capstone season as a Lyon. Playing the number one position for first year head coach Allen Fitzsimmons, she has dropped just five games en route to a dual match record of 21-1. She will ride a 14 match winning streak into the upcoming CSA Individual Championships. Since Ankermann’s arrival in 2005, the Mount Holyoke squash program has burst onto the national scene. Over her four seasons, the program has surged from a ranking of 25th in the nation to 11th. The Lyons currently rank third among Division III institutions in the country.

In 2005, Anckermann left her home in Guatemala to attend Mount Holyoke and play squash for then head coach Pamela Saunders. This was a major risk for one of the most highly regarded recruits in the world. Not only was she living in a foreign country more than 2,000 miles away from home, but she was also joining a program and coach that were both unproven at the time. Four years later, her team is knocking on the door of national prominence, and she has been named the best all around player in the nation. Ankermann has occupied the number one position in the Lyons lineup from day one. Over her four seasons, she has posted a dual match record of 78-2, and she will leave the college as the top player in program history.

Mount Holyoke rounded out its 2008-09 campaign with an overall record of 15-7. The Lyons closed out their season at the Howe Cup over the weekend. After cruising to a 7-2 triumph over Bates College in the Kurtz Cup (B Division) quarterfinals, they suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 setback in the semifinals against Dartmouth College. They rebounded with a 7-2 win over Bowdoin College to secure 11th place nationally. 15-7. On Friday, February 27, Anckermann and some of her teammates will compete in the CSA Individual Championships at Williams College.

Betty Richey Award Winners:
1984 - Nina Porter - Trinity
1985 - Mary Hulbert - Harvard
1986 - Phoebe Trubowitz - Yale
1987 - Ingrid Boyum - Harvard
1988 - Diana Edge - Harvard
1989 - Demer Holleran - Princeton
1990 - Emily Forster - Colgate
1991 - Lee Belknap – Franklin & Marshall
1992 - Hope MacKay – Princeton / Meredith Johnson - Colby
1993 - Katie Foster - Colgate
1994 - Margo Green - Franklin & Marshall
1995 - Margo Green - Franklin & Marshall
1996 - Lissa Hunsicker - Pennsylvania
1997 - Harriet Ells - Amherst
1998 - Heather Duckworth - Dartmouth
1999 - Devon Kennedy - Brown
2000 - Katie Patrick - Pennsylvania
2001 - Julia Beaver - Princeton
2002 - Olga Puidgemont-Sola - Cornell
2003 - Runa Reta - Pennsylvania
2004 - Amina Helal - Trinity
2005 - Frances Ho - Yale
2006 - Michelle Quibell - Yale
2007 - Catherine McLeod - Yale
2008 - Miranda Ranieri – Yale
2009 – Pamela Anckermann – Mount Holyoke