Caroline Fouts certainly didn’t leave the U.S. Junior Squash Championships empty-handed.
A Sacred Heart Greenwich junior, Fouts exited the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia on March 20 holding a cup shaped trophy, while wearing a gold medal around her neck after posting one of her biggest victories to date at the prestigious tournament.
Fouts won the U19 age division at the U.S. Junior Championships, defeating top-seeded Lucie Stefanoni of Darien in the championship match, 3-1. The second-seeded Fouts won the match, 15-13, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7 in forty-five minutes to capture her first national title in any division.
“It feels really rewarding after all of the hard work I’ve put in all season to come up with a win,” Fouts said to US Squash. “Especially playing someone like Lucie, who I’ve played multiple times this season and it’s gone back and forth. I’d like to thank my coaches for putting all of the hard work into my game and inspiring me to always work hard.”
Fouts, who played at the No. 1 position for Sacred Heart Greenwich during the team’s season this past winter, plays squash year-round and trains with LBSQUASH, which is coached by Luke Butterworth.
She trains under the tutelage of Butterworth who runs LBSQUASH at Greenwich Academy, where he coaches the school’s squash team.
“The National Junior tournament is the pinnacle of the season,” Butterworth said. “You have to be ranked among the top 32 in the country, so it’s the best of the best in each age group. All the best players from the country are in each bracket.”
As a sophomore at Sacred Heart, Fouts could have competed in the U17 division at the national tournament, but she opted to play in the U19 bracket.
“She wanted to qualify for team USA for the World Junior Championships this summer, that’s why she played in the higher division,” Butterworth noted.
By winning the U19 title at the U.S. Junior Squash Championships, Fouts did indeed, qualify to compete with Team USA at the World Junior Championships to be held in August. She will represent US Squash at the No. 1 player at the World Junior Championships.
During the first four rounds of the U.S. Junior Squash Championships, Fouts posted 3-0 victories in each of her matches.
“She started off in the early rounds playing some really good squash,” said Butterworth, who proudly coached and watch Fouts at the tournament. “In the early rounds she used good variations to get used to the courts. She was seeded No. 2 in the event and she didn’t drop a game until the final.”
A 3-1 win in the finals of the U19 girls bracket gave Fouts the title.
“She was over the moon,” Butterworth said of Fouts’ reaction to winning the championship. “She has lived the highs and lows of an athletes’ season, overcoming injuries then getting back to full fitness. She didn’t let herself get too high when she won some major events. At nationals, she went there to win and was a huge success.”
Recently, Fouts began playing on the Professional Squash Association Tour. She played her second professional event two weeks ago, in Florida, advancing to the semifinals. She defeated the world’s No. 100-ranked player from Malaysia on her way to reaching the semifinals.
“She is very determined,” Butterworth said. “To achieve what she has achieved this season is outstanding.”
Today, Sacred Heart Greenwich announced that Fouts was named the NEPSAC Squash Player of the Year for the excellence she displayed with the Tigers during the winter season. It is only the second time in the school’s history that a player has received such an honor.