While the winter storm may have prevented several matches from being played this weekend, it was unable to stifle the excitement that many other matches produced.
Along with the cancelled contests, this weekend may be remembered for the impact that results of the played matches will have on end-of-year seeding. Thirteen matches ended in 5-4 or 6-3 scorelines, including several upsets and other strong efforts from lower ranked teams.
Despite the reduced number of matches at the Pioneer Valley Invitational hosted by Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College, there was no shortage of drama. The host No. 25 Lyons impressed in three matches, winning all three, including an upset victory over No. 21 Wesleyan.
The No. 22 Hamilton women played well too, holding off strong challenges from No. 23 Colby and No. 27 St. Lawrence. The Saints women earned their own impressive upset, taking down Colby in a tight 5-4 match.
Other impressive results on the women’s side included No. 6 Stanford protecting their home court against visiting No. 4 Yale, No. 15 Williams claiming a strong victory over No. 13 George Washington, and No. 8 Drexel pulled out a 5-4 win over No. 12 Cornell to maintain their Top-8 standing.
This weekend’s men’s results showed just how tight positions 9 through 19 are in the current set of rankings. No. 16 Cornell earned a monumental win, 5-4, over No. 9 Drexel, only to fall just short by the same score the next day against No. 10 Western Ontario.
No. 19 Williams also put a scare into several lower ranked teams, taking out No. 17 Franklin & Marshall 5-4 before falling in close 4-5 contests to No. 13 Navy and No. 14 Virginia. Not to be outdone, No. 18 Middlebury upset No. 15 Brown by that same 5-4 scoreline. Extending farther down the rankings, No. 31 Wesleyan scored an emphatic 7-2 win over No. 28 Haverford, handing the Fords their first loss of the season.
In a potential trap weekend after its huge victory over Trinity midweek, the No. 2-ranked Rochester squad carried their momentum effectively into their two road matches. First, they outlasted No. 5 Columbia 6-3 in a marathon match. Then, they turned around the next day to earn a valiant victory over a game No. 7 Yale squad by the same score.
Although there are only a few matches during the week this week, it is “regional rivalry” week with high-impact contests on the docket:
- Trinity hosts Yale for two Top-8 match-ups
- Virginia is home against George Washington in battles for Top-16 positioning
- Bowdoin and Colby renew their intra-Maine rivalry tonight
- No. 21 MIT men look to unseat No. 20 Bates in Boston