Northampton, MA — Since the NESCAC championships were first held five years ago, the Trinity men and women have gone undefeated in the tournament. This year was no different, with both Bantams squads picking up a fifth consecutive NESCAC title.
All teams that competed this weekend MUST record their match scores as soon as possible in the US Squash Database. If scores are not reported, it is impossible to rank teams accurately, and penalties, including possible removal from the rankings, will occur.
The more surprising news to come out of the tournament was the success of the Middlebury women. Williams has been a consistent presence in the women’s NESCAC finals. Middlebury has been stronger this season, but coming into the weekend, the Panthers were still duking it out with Bates and Amherst. Middlebury’s 6-3 win over ninth-ranked Williams should put them ahead of the pack.
After this weekend, the women’s “B” Division looks like it may be one of the most closely contested brackets at the National Team Championships. The Bates women avenged an earlier loss to Amherst with a 6-3 win over the Jeffs in the NESCAC quarterfinals. The Bobcats did defeat Middlebury earlier in the season, but they also lost to Williams 7-2 early in January, on the return leg of their training trip. With 5-4 wins over Williams and Middlebury, Brown looks like the team to beat, but with so many close matches, it could be anyone’s championship to win.
Mount Holyoke, another women’s “B” Division team, won their fifth consecutive Seven Sisters title. The Lyons swept Vassar and Smith en route to the championship. Smith’s 6-3 win over Wellesley should have rankings implications; the Pioneers, the Blue, and the Northeastern Huskies have all traded wins this season.
Penn is making the women’s “A” Division interesting this year. A week ago the Quakers upset Princeton, and this week they nearly unseated top-ranked Harvard. The Crimson hadn’t dropped a match all season until they played Penn, coming away with a 5-4 win. On Sunday, Harvard defeated Princeton.
In men’s action, several teams fell just short in bids for upsets. Colby, ranked 22nd, held off 24th-ranked Hamilton 5-4 in the first round of the NESCAC tournament. BC came within a match of cracking the top thirty, but Northeastern edged out the Eagles 5-4. On Thursday, Kenyon improved on a 3-6 loss to Denison early in the year; the Lords, who hosted the match, fell 4-5 to the Big Red.
As of publication, most of the other men’s matches were decided by wide margins. Next weekend will see the top teams in action, with Princeton hosting Rochester and Trinity, and Yale traveling to Harvard.
Coaches, Team Contacts, and SIDs may nominate players to be the [hpow] by contacting Michael T. Bello. Nominations are due each Monday by 6 PM ET.