Winter sports teams gain success at FAA and NEPSAC tournaments


Madison Hart '24

Sacred Heart winter sports teams finished their season with the FAA and NEPSAC.

The Sacred Heart Greenwich basketball, diving, squash, and swimming teams spend the winter months competing against regional teams in preparation for the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) and New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) tournaments.  These tournaments begin in late February and early March, marking the gradual conclusion of the winter season.

Sophomore Gabriella El-Masery competes in a match against Greenwich Academy.  Courtesy of Mr. Christopher Pope

This year, Sacred Heart’s varsity squash team finished their regular season with six team wins and one team loss which placed them as the second seed in the FAA playoffs.  Squash coaches Mrs. Celia Pashley and Mr. Peter Kearney instructed the team during the 2021-2022 season. 

Sacred Heart hosted the FAA squash finals February 7.  The varsity squash team advanced in the tournament and reached the final round of competition.  In the final match, they faced the Greenwich Academy (GA) undefeated varsity A team.  Sacred Heart suffered a 2-5 loss to GA.   

The team rebounded one week later with a second place finish in the NEPSAC championship at Phillips Andover Academy.  Every player on the varsity team ranked in the top four for the first time in Sacred Heart history.  Sophomore Caroline Fouts finished in first place as an individual player for the second time in her squash career. 

Coach Pashley commented on how the diverse personalities and work ethic of the squash team contribute to the program’s success.  She also reflected upon the personal and coaching relationships she has formed with players. 

“It is such a great group of girls,” Coach Pashley said.  “A lot of different personalities but when we are all together we are like one big family.  They are all enjoyable to coach and I really enjoy working with them.  To create a bond between a player and coach throughout the years is so special and I think it is something that I have with these girls.  It is a fun but hardworking group.” 

The Sacred Heart varsity basketball team faced Greenwich Country Day School (GCDS) in the FAA quarter-finals game February 22.  Varsity basketball coaches Mrs. Ayo Hart and Mrs. Carol Leib led the team to a 71-34 win and onto the semi-finals against St. Lukes School, the number one seed, February 24.  Sacred Heart entered the second half of the game one point behind St. Lukes School but fell short, losing by 16 points.

The varsity basketball team finished their season competing in NEPSAC Class A Tournament where they held the number five seed.  The team played Kent School in the NEPSAC quarter-finals March 2.   Sacred Heart posted a 49-51 victory over Kent, making school history as the first Sacred Heart basketball team to compete in the semi-final game.  The team played against number the first seed, Thayer Academy, in the semi-finals.  Sacred Heart lost to Thayer Academy 56-67.

Senior Sarah Augustine takes the tip-off against the Storm King School February 27.  Courtesy of Mr. Christopher Pope

Senior Sarah Augustine, co-captain of the varsity basketball team, expressed her excitement in regard to her team’s results this season.  She commented on the special characteristics that her teammates have displayed this winter.

“This team is one of the most special teams I have been [a part of],” Sarah said.  “I think what separates us from other teams is the strong bond we have created on and off the court.  Our team ranges from an eighth-grader all the way up to seniors, but no matter what we know everyone on the team always has each other’s back.  This bond we have created truly helped put us at an advantage because of the connection we have created on the court, as well as the amount of trust we have in each other.”

Upper School diving coach Mrs. Maureen Arnold worked alongside Sacred Heart divers to help the team finish their season with four wins and two losses.  The diving team participated in the FAA Tournament at Hopkins School February 11.  Sophomore Katie O’Brien and eighth-grader Emma Beatty finished in the top five at the tournament.

Sophomore Katie O’Brien represents the Sacred Heart diving team.  Courtesy of Mr. Christopher Pope

Junior Victoria Zacco, Katie, and Emma traveled to Deerfield Academy March 2 to compete in the NEPSAC tournament.  All three divers qualified for the semi-final round.  Following the semi-finals, Emma and Katie advanced to the finals, finishing in sixth and eleventh places, sequentially. 

Katie has participated in diving on the Sacred Heart team for three years.  She commented on the focused atmosphere and close relationships of the diving team.

“This team is very dedicated and every day at practice we are always working hard and learning as much as we can,” said Katie.  “I am going to miss the bond that this team has because we all get along great and it is a great way for us to create friendships from grade to grade.”

Sacred Heart swim coaches Ms. Keegan Reed, Ms. Maura O’Grady, and Mr. Pierre de St. Croix instructed the varsity swim team in the 2021-2022 winter season.   The team finished their regular season with a record of 13 wins and five losses.  

Following a second place finish at the FAA tournament, swimming competed in the NEPSAC Championship Swim Meet against 11 other teams in the Northeast region.  The meet took place at Phillips Exeter Academy, beginning March 5 and lasting until March 6.  Eighth-grader Lauren McCauley, freshmen Victoria Mordaunt and Irene Robredo, and sophomores Jane Cary and Emma Robredo advanced to finals in their respective events.  Sacred Heart finished seventh overall in the NEPSAC championship. 

Senior Fiona Powers competes in a freestyle race.  Courtesy of Mr. Christopher Pope

Emma believes that the values of Sacred Heart have manifested themselves in her swim team this season.  She commented on her team’s dedication and bravery.

“The values of Sacred Heart such as sisterhood, courage, enthusiasm, and consistency, were ever present in our season this year,” Emma said.  “The team was committed not only to working hard in practice but also making sure everyone felt included and welcome.  It also takes a lot of bravery for a swimmer to race their hardest and be willing to put in the effort to get better every day, and yet, our entire group embodied this attribute all season long.” 

Featured Image by Madison Hart ’24