Two pioneering players have been chosen for the highest honor in American squash: induction into the United States Squash Hall of Fame. The Class of 2019 is Ginny Akabane and Bunny Vosters. To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the merger of the men’s and women’s national squash associations, this will be the first all-women class of inductees. The induction ceremony will be held at a gala luncheon courtside at the FS Investments U.S. Open before the finals on Saturday October 12, 2018. Register for the Hall of Fame Luncheon here.
Ginny Akabane learned squash at Radcliffe in the late 1960s and became a dominant player in the 1970s. She won the 1975 National Singles, beating future Hall of Fame Barb Maltby in the final. She also captured the Canadian national title in 1973 and 1974. An early convert to softball, Akabane played on the first Team USA women’s squad to enter the world championships in 1979 and won the 1979 Hyder Cup. Back surgeries cut short her playing career, but Akabane was always known for her gracious on-court demeanor—she was honored with the inaugural Feron’s Wedgwood Sportsmanship Award in 1979. Akabane’s off-court contributions were equally impressive. In particular, she was the president of the U.S. women’s association from 1979 to 1981 and played a central role in merging the men’s and women’s associations, ending a half-century separation and positioning squash for tremendous growth. For her work in navigating this complicated process, Akabane was awarded the 1982 Achievement Bowl.
Bunny Vosters (1919-1999) was one of the greatest squash doubles players in history. A top tennis player (she reached the quarters at Forest Hills in 1948 and went on to capture more than forty U.S. national titles), Vosters took up squash in her forties. She won eleven National Doubles titles, tied with Hall of Famers Diehl Mateer and Alicia McConnell for the most all-time (she also lost twice in the finals). She was also the oldest person to ever win a U.S. national open squash tournament—she won her first title at age forty-three in 1962 and her last title in 1977 at age fifty-eight. Playing with Jeanne Classen, Betty Meade and her daughter Gretchen Spruance, Vosters was an irresistible force on the right-wall. Vosters was a top singles player, ranked as high as third in the nation. She was a longtime board member of the women’s association, representing her hometown of Wilmington, Del.
The United States Squash Hall of Fame was founded in 2000. Based at Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale, it is the only national squash hall of fame in the world with annual inductions and a bricks-and-mortar location. With the additions of Akabane and Vosters in the Class of 2019, there will be sixty-five members of the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame.