HADLEY, Mass. - Top-seeded Trinity looks to capture its ninth straight conference trophy this weekend when the three-day 2015 NESCAC Men’s Squash Championship commences on Friday. Williams’ Simon Squash Center will serve as the host for all of this year’s championship and consolation matches. The NESCAC Championship match will be played on Sunday, February 8 at 12:30 p.m.
After finishing last year as the College Squash Association (CSA) National Runner-Up, Trinity has rolled to a 12-1 record thus far this season. The Bantams have defeated NESCAC foes, Bates, Bowdoin, Middlebury and Williams, and posted victories over national powers Columbia, St. Lawrence and Yale in the last month. Last year, Trinity did not lose a point in wins over Colby, Middlebury and Williams en route to the title. The Bantams and the Ephs are the only teams to have reached the men’s championship in the history of the event.
Trinity will face the winner of Friday’s first round match between eighth-seeded Bowdoin (2-12) and ninth-seeded Hamilton (5-9). The Polar Bears have appeared in the quarterfinals every year, but have not reached the semifinals since 2010. The Continentals most recently reached the quarterfinal round in 2013, but that is their only trip since 2010 following four straight appearances. The programs did not meet during the season, but Bowdoin won the only conference championship match between the two teams by the score of 9-0 in the quarterfinal consolation round in 2013.
| 2015 NESCAC Men's Squash Championship
Hosted by Williams
Williams (11-7) earns its sixth overall No. 2 seed, as it looks to reach the NESCAC Final for the ninth consecutive season. The Ephs own a 7-1 mark versus NESCAC opponents this season, with the lone blemish coming against Trinity on January 6. Williams carries momentum into the weekend, having won nine of its last 12 matches, including wins over Middlebury and Bates.
In the battle for the fifth, sixth and seventh seeds, Colby, Wesleyan and Amherst posted identical 1-1 records against each other. According to the CSA ranking rules, in this situation, the individual matches won were used to break the tie. Colby defeated Amherst, 6-3, and lost to Wesleyan, 5-4, for 10 individual wins to earn the fifth seed. Wesleyan tallied nine individual wins after falling to Amherst, 5-4, while Amherst earned eight individual wins to receive the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively.
The Ephs will face the winner of the first-round match between seventh-seeded Amherst (5-7) and tenth-seeded Connecticut College (8-12). The Jeffs have a .500 record against league competition at 4-4, including an 8-1 win over the Camels on January 16. Connecticut College, which has won its last three matches, is 2-9 versus NESCAC squads with both wins coming against Tufts on November 21 and February 1. Amherst leads the league championship series versus the Camels at 3-0, as the Jeffs have won back-to-back first-round matches by identical 7-2 scores.
Third-seeded Middlebury (11-5) will be looking to break through to the NESCAC Final for the first time in program history after reaching five consecutive semifinals. By registering a 9-2 mark against conference foes this season, the Panthers matched the program’s highest seed earned heading into the conference championship. Middlebury was also the No. 3 seed in 2012. The Panthers’ losses came against Trinity on November 16 and Williams on January 28.
The winner of Friday’s match between sixth-seeded Wesleyan (9-6) and 11th-seeded Tufts (5-10) will earn the right to take on Middlebury. Five of the Cardinals’ nine wins were against NESCAC competition, including a 9-0 win over Tufts in the first match of the season for both teams on November 15. The Jumbos have gone 3-5 in 2015, and enjoyed a three-match winning streak in mid-January, as they aim for their fourth overall quarterfinal appearance. In NESCAC Championship meetings, Tufts claims a 3-2 edge over Wesleyan, but the Cardinals have come out on top in the last two matches, which were first-round contests in 2011 and 2013.
Fourth-seeded Bates (10-7) and fifth-seeded Colby (12-6) have received first-round byes and will square off in Saturday’s quarterfinal round. The Bobcats are 7-3 against league opponents, including an 8-1 win over the Mules on Wednesday night. Bates is searching for its first-ever final appearance despite reaching the semifinals in each of the previous eight years. The Mules earned their highest seed in the history of the event after going 9-3 since January 11. This is Colby’s fourth overall quarterfinal appearance, but it has yet to reach the semifinals. The two teams 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.