College players returned from Thanksgiving break for a flurry of competition as teams jockey for position in the first half of the season. Home field advantage was flipped on its head over the weekend, with many road teams claiming wins and upsets.
The University of Virginia traveled to Ithaca to take part in matches with Columbia and Cornell. The No. 17-ranked Virginia men pulled off the best win in the history of the program by upsetting No. 13 Cornell 5-4 on Saturday. Virginia’s success was driven by five-game wins from twin brothers Grayson and Killian Bubrosky at the No. 6 and 8 positions, respectively. The team result portends a bright future for the first-year varsity program.
The Yale men’s and women’s teams opened their seasons with a successful 2-0 road trip as they faced Drexel and Franklin & Marshall. The No. 9-ranked Yale men defeated No. 7 Drexel 6-3, a win that avenged a 5-4 loss in the 2017 nationals and that will likely place the Bulldogs back in the top eight of the rankings.
The St. Lawrence men—ranked No. 3—also began their season with a 2-0 road trip, defeating No. 8 Princeton 5-4 on Saturday and No. 5 Penn 6-3 on Sunday.
No. 29-ranked Vassar women’s team did take advantage of playing at home by capturing its most significant win in several years on Saturday, upsetting No. 23 Bates. Vassar’s depth drove the team’s success, as the team won the bottom five positions highlighted by a comeback from 2-1 down by No. 7 Emma Glickman.
The Dartmouth women and men defended their top-ten rankings by each going undefeated on the weekend, including wins against George Washington and Franklin & Marshall, as well as the Naval Academy for the men.
Capping the trend of success on the road was Tufts with men’s and women’s wins over home team Wesleyan. The men’s match was a significant upset relative to the rankings, with Tufts entering at No. 29 and Wesleyan at No. 25. The 7-2 match was punctuated by a tight match at the top position as Tufts’ Raghav Kumar took the fifth game 11-9.