Dominating the T

The intersection of two red lines near the center of the squash court is called the “T.” Whoever controls the T controls the game. Players therefore need to win control of the T if they hope to win the game. And everyone knows you cannot just take the T. You have to earn it.

A key strategy in the game of squash is known as "dominating the T" where a player is in the best position to retrieve the opponent's next shot. Skilled players will return a shot and immediately move back toward the T before playing the next one. From this position, a player can quickly access any part of the court with minimum movement to maximize their effort.

According to the World Squash Federation, there are about 50,000 squash courts in the world, with 188 countries and territories having at least one. There are an estimated 20 million players worldwide. The sport is played in several variations with the international version being most dominant. Squash has been featured regularly at the multi-sport events of the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games since 1998 and has been a sport at the Pan American Games since 1995. Although players and associations have lobbied for many years for it to be accepted, the sport is currently still not recognized by the Olympic Games. The usual reason cited for its failure to be adopted for Olympic competition is the difficulty of spectators to follow the action, especially when watching on a television screen.

Born and raised in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia, and now a proud resident of Kuala Lumpur, Dina Rosli ’21 has been playing squash for 13 years and since the age of seven. Having just turned 19 in August she got her start in the sport following in her three older brothers’ footsteps and has since played semi-professionally for two years prior to arriving at Suffield this year as a postgraduate. Scheduled to play in the Malaysian Games in March, she earned Co-curricular Excellence five times throughout her high school career and was ranked #3 in Asian Girls Under 19 last August. She earned silver at the Hong Kong Junior Open last year, finished #2 at Nationals in February, and is currently ranked world #174 in professional squash. She is the first in her family to attend boarding school in the US.

“I arrived here on my 19th birthday after a 21-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur,” she notes. “Everything still seems very foreign to me but I’ve made very good friends who have made this transition to a new school in a new country very easy. I am here to prepare myself for a four-year college program. What I love about squash is that once you reach a certain level, the matches are played at a faster pace with critical points igniting intense feelings. The game requires good endurance and the most rewarding benefit is definitely the satisfaction of winning a close match against a strong opponent. I am excited to play here at vibrant Suffield Academy. The community and faculty are always willing to help us with everything we do. I hope that despite the pandemic we are able to carry on with our season.”

Assistant Director of Development Adam Pistel ’08 is also the girls’ varsity squash coach and he comments, “Dina is a phenomenal athlete and the highest ranked squash player Suffield has ever seen. Not only does Dina have incredible hands with the technical ability to place the ball anywhere on court, she also hits the ball with tremendous power. Dina has proven she can break into the top 100 players in the world and I am extremely excited for her to team up with Vasundhra Vasanthan ’22 and captain Giselle Ciriaco ’22 at the top of the Suffield ladder.”