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Weekend Recap: Five Champions Crowned

Alina Bushma (Drexel) vs. Maria Moya-Lopez (UVA)
Drexel’s Number 2 player Alina Bushma (right) helped lead the Dragons to their first Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference Championship against Maria Moya-Lopez and the University of Virginia on Sunday. (photo: David Keating)

A total of five conference champions were crowned on Sunday after another busy weekend leading up to the CSA National Collegiate Championships.

Liberty League Championships

The top seeds from both the men’s and the women’s divisions of the Liberty League Championships were able to hold serve and bring home the titles. With the tournament split between University of Rochester and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, each host was able to secure a taste of glory.

William Smith captured the championship at home on Sunday morning against Bard. The previous day of the round robin competition saw the Herons take out St. Lawrence and Vassar at Rochester, surrendering only 3 individual matches throughout the tournament. This was William Smith’s third Liberty League title and first since 2006.

Rochester rolled through the two-day competition, taking home their second straight Liberty League Championship, and eighth overall. The No. 5-overall-ranked Yellowjackets were unfazed by the weekend competition, losing only one individual match during the tournament.

Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference (MASC) Championships

With an expanded roster of teams in Year 2 of the MASC Championships, Washington, DC played host to an exciting weekend of squash.

In their first year as members of MASC, Drexel arrived with the top seed in both the men’s and women’s division. Only the Drexel women were able to maintain their seeding, however, as they cruised to a 4-0 record over the course of the weekend. The clinching match was a 7-2 victory over second-seeded Virginia on Sunday morning at Squash on Fire.

The men’s competition, a seven-team draw with Drexel earning the first-round bye, featured several close matches and at least one major upset. After dispatching the fifth seed, MIT in the first round, fourth-seeded Franklin & Marshall took on Drexel in the semifinals. Drexel, who was missing their top two players due to injury, stumbled out of the blocks and could not recover, ultimately dropping a 5-4 decision to the underdog Diplomats.

That result paved the way for second-seeded Vriginia to capture their second MASC title in as many years. Results of 9-0, 8-1, and 8-1 against Dickinson, George Washington, and Franklin & Marshall, respectively, illustrate the path Virginia cleared on its way to the championship.

New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women’s Championship

Heavy favorites Trinity College matched their number-one seed during a trip up the road to Wesleyan University for the NESCAC Women’s Championship. The Bantams showed why they are ranked 3rd overall in the country with three convincing wins over Bowdoin, Middlebury, and Williams in the final.  Only Williams was able to win an individual match from the champions.

After very close rankings left the three-, four-, and five-seeds in doubt heading into the competition, it was fifth-seeded Middlebury who came out on the long end of the stick. Despite the loss to Trinity, Middlebury scored victories against close competitors Bates and Amherst to clinch a successful weekend.

Other Results

While the Ivy League does not hold a post-season championship event, at least a portion of the League titles were decided over the weekend. Both top-ranked Harvard teams overcame the competition against Brown and Yale to clinch at least a share of the 2020 Ivy League Championships. Wins against Cornell in Ithaca this coming weekend will see the Crimson claim the outright titles again.

Besides the champions-elect, Ivy League matches also produced some of the most exciting matches of the weekend. Each Columbia team was involved in one of them, with the No. 11 Lion men capturing a big upset over No. 4-ranked Princeton in New York on Sunday, while the No. 6 women fell just short against No. 7 Penn on Friday evening. Both Brown teams put a scare into Dartmouth on Sunday, ultimately falling by very close scores of 5-4 and 6-3.

Many clubs used the weekend to work on their match fitness in preparation for the upcoming CSA National Collegiate Team Championships, beginning with the women on Feb. 21-23 in New Haven, CT.

Full results from the weekend, as well as upcoming matches, can be found here: Women and Men.