Coming out of the Thanksgiving break, many teams looked to fit in some key matches before the grind of finals sets in. This weekend was also an important time for teams with conference affiliations to schedule those critical non-conference match-ups. As it turns out, the results of some of those non-conference contests will send ripples up and down the CSA rankings.
Headlining these intriguing match-ups was the trip that the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University Men took to upstate New York to take on the University of Rochester and St. Lawrence University. In the end, it was the men from the mid-Atlantic who took three out of four matches, causing an early tremor at the top of the men’s rankings.
A pair of upsets started things off on Saturday, when No. 13 Princeton, in the biggest upset of the weekend, took down No. 4 St. Lawrence by a 6-3 margin and No. 6 Penn handled No. 5 Rochester by the same score. Penn clinched a sweep of the weekend with a 7-2 victory over St. Lawrence on Sunday, while Rochester bounced back with an 8-1 over Princeton.
On the women’s side, it was two teams without conference affiliation who caused the biggest stir with upset victories. No. 28 Mount Holyoke College traveled to Clinton, NY on Sunday, giving the No. 22 Hamilton women everything they could handle in a close 5-4 loss. However, the lower-ranked Lyons carried that momentum to the next match, upending No. 24 St. Lawrence with a great 8-1 performance.
The University of Virginia also made the trip to New York, landing in the Big Apple for four matches in three days. On Saturday, the No. 12 Cavalier women first put a scare into No. 7 Columbia, ultimately succumbing 6-3, but they turned that score around with a monumental victory over No. 8 Cornell that evening. In the third match of this important triad, Columbia edged Cornell by that same 6-3 score on Sunday.
In other matches between teams adjacent in the rankings, the No. 8 Yale men cruised to an 8-1 victory over No. 9 Drexel at home, while the No. 21 Franklin & Marshall women took it to No. 20 Wesleyan, emerging with their own 8-1 win. While spread fairly well apart in the rankings, the No. 20 Middlebury men pushed No. 10 Navy to the limit, falling in the end by a close 5-4 score.