Middlebury

Men's Squash Eyes NESCAC Crown

January 29, 2014

Fifth-seeded Middlebury looks to hoist the conference trophy this weekend when the three-day 2014 NESCAC Men’s Squash Championship commences on Friday. For the first time in the history of the event, an institution other than Trinity will be hosting the championship as Hamilton’s Little Squash Center will serve as the host for this year’s championship bracket matches, while select consolation matches will take place at Colgate’s Huntington Gymnasium. The NESCAC title will be determined on Sunday, February 2 at 1:30 p.m.

After capturing its 14th College Squash Association (CSA) National Championship in 15 years a season ago, the Bantams have rolled to a perfect 11-0 mark thus far this season. Trinity has won both of its matches against NESCAC foes by identical 9-0 scores and posted victories over perennial powers Yale and Rochester in the last week. The Bantams topped Williams 8-1 in last year’s NESCAC Championship. The two teams have met in the finals in each of the past seven seasons.

The Bantams will face the winner of Friday’s first round match between eighth-seeded Colby (8-8) and ninth-seeded Hamilton (6-7). The Mules are 3-5 against conference teams heading into the weekend, including a 6-3 win over the Continentals on January 18 at the Amherst Round Robin. However, Hamilton owns a 3-1 record versus Colby in prior first-round matches following last year’s 5-4 victory. Each of the last three meetings have been decided by a score of 5-4. Trinity recorded a 9-0 win over the Continentals in last year’s quarterfinal matchup.

Bates (8-5) earns its first No. 2-seed since 2008, as it looks to make its first appearance in the NESCAC Final after reaching the semifinals each of the last seven years. The Bobcats own a 6-1 mark against NESCAC foes this season, with the lone blemish coming to Trinity in Bates’ first match of the season on November 23. The Bobcats rattled off eight straight wins following the meeting, but have lost four consecutive matches since January 19.

Up first for Bates will be the winner of the match between seventh-seeded Amherst (4-8) and tenth-seeded Connecticut College (9-10). The Lord Jeffs are 1-4 versus league foes with their win being an 8-1 decision over Colby on January 18. The Camels are 1-7 against NESCAC opponents, but are riding momentum into the championship having won  four of their last six matches, including a 7-2 victory over Tufts. Amherst and Connecticut College did not face each other this season, but squared off a year ago in last year’s first round. The Lord Jeffs prevailed 7-2 to reach its seventh quarterfinal match before falling to Williams, 9-0.

Third-seeded Williams (10-11) will be looking to return to the NESCAC Final for the eighth-consecutive season. The Ephs have posted an impressive 8-1 mark against NESCAC opponents this season, with their only loss coming to Bates on January 11. They swept Amherst and Wesleyan over the weekend to secure their 15th straight Little Three Title.

The winner of Friday’s match between sixth-seeded Bowdoin (7-8) and 11th-seeded Tufts (4-12) will earn the right to take on Williams. The Polar Bears are coming off back-to-back wins at the Yale Round Robin last weekend. Bowdoin, which was a semifinalist in 2008 and 2010, is 4-5 in conference meetings. The Jumbos struggled at the start of the season, but have turned it around in 2014 going 3-4 in the month of January. Bowdoin defeated Tufts in the only head-to-head contest of the year, 9-0, on November 23. This marks the first NESCAC Championship meeting between the programs.

Fourth-seeded Wesleyan (11-5) and fifth-seeded Middlebury (7-6) have received first round byes and will square off in Saturday’s quarterfinal round. The Cardinals earned their highest seed in the history of the event after starting the season 8-1 and posting a mark of 4-1 versus league foes, with their only loss coming against Williams last weekend. The Panthers have an identical 4-1 record against NESCAC teams with a loss to Williams on January 18. The two teams will be facing each other for the first time this season and have never met in the NESCAC Championship.

Results for the NESCAC Men’s Squash Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.


2014 NESCAC MEN’S SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIP

Championship Schedule - at Hamilton

Friday, January 31
Match 1: #8 Colby vs. #9 Hamilton - 5 p.m.
Match 2: #6 Bowdoin vs. #11 Tufts - 7 p.m.
Match 3: #7 Amherst vs. #10 Conn. College - 5 p.m.

Saturday, February 1
Match 4: #4 Wesleyan vs. #5 Middlebury - 9 a.m.
Match 5: #1 Trinity vs. Winner Match 1 - 9 a.m.
Match 6: #3 Williams vs. Winner Match 2 - 10:30 a.m.

Match 7: #2 Bates vs. Winner Match 3 - 10:30 a.m.
Match 8: Winner Match 4 vs. Winner Match 5 - 3 p.m.
Match 9: Winner Match 6 vs. Winner Match 7 - 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 2
Match 10: Loser Match 8 vs. Loser Match 9 - 12 p.m.
Match 11: Winner Match 8 vs. Winner Match 9 - 1:30 p.m.

Consolation Schedule - at Colgate
Saturday, February 1
Match A: Loser Match 2 vs. Loser Match 3 - 9:30 a.m.
Match B: Loser Match 1 vs. Loser Match 2 - 12:15 p.m.
Match C: Loser Match 1 vs. Loser Match 3 - 3 p.m.

Consolation Schedule - at Hamilton
Saturday, February 1
Match D: Loser Match 4 vs. Loser Match 5 - 3 p.m.
Match E: Loser Match 6 vs. Loser Match 7 - 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 2
Match F: Loser Match D vs. Loser Match E - 9 a.m.
Match G: Winner Match D vs. Winner Match E - 9 a.m.

--Courtesy NESCAC--