Graduating seniors Elizabeth “Daisy” Lentz and Udai Pal were honored with the 2019 DeRoy Sportsmanship Awards during the second annual US Squash Junior Awards Dinner Saturday night, March 16, at the Boar’s Head Pavilion in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Since 1998, the DeRoy Sportsmanship Award has been given to one female and one male high school senior who displays exemplary on and off court behavior while competing at a high level in squash. Both players addressed the junior squash community during the dinner, reflecting on their formative experiences in junior squash.
Pal, a native of Hillsborough, California, will graduate from Crystal Springs High School before attending Williams College in the fall.
“Squash is meant to be fun,” Pal said, “When you’re out there having fun sportsmanship and fair play come naturally. There is nothing quite like being on court when you can’t feel your legs and it’s only the second point of the match. There is nothing quite like that feeling of hitting a perfect drop, or accidentally hitting the nick. Or when you lose a long rally and can only look back to the crowd and smile knowing that you did everything you could. To all of you who still have years of junior squash left to play, enjoy it while you can.”
Lentz, a Philadelphia native, will graduate from Germantown Friends School before attending Columbia University in the fall.
“My parents never put any pressure on me to win, and to me I played the sport because I loved it,” Lentz said. “To everyone out there, play the game because you love it. I want to thank the game of squash for teaching me how to stay determined and focused while standing in a box, hitting a ball against a wall with countless people watching. Thanks to US Squash, I’ve been able to spend quality time with my family and create countless memories wherever the game takes us.”