HADLEY, Mass. – Top seeded Trinity will look to add a seventh conference crown to its trophy case this weekend when it hosts the 2013 NESCAC Men’s Squash Championship. The three-day tournament is slated to get underway on Friday and continue through the weekend. Trinity’s George A. Kellner Squash Center will serve as the host for this year’s championship bracket matches, while select consolation matches will take place at Wesleyan’s Rosenbaum Squash Center. The NESCAC title will be decided on Sunday, February 3 at 1:30 p.m.
After suffering a heartbreaking 5-4 setback in last year’s CSA National Championships, the Bantams have rolled to a perfect 11-0 mark thus far this season. The 13-time National Champions have won all four of their matches against NESCAC foes and also defeated national powers Yale and Rochester in the last week. Trinity topped Williams 9-0 in last year’s NESCAC Championship. The two teams have met in the finals in each of the past six seasons.
The Bantams will face the winner of Friday’s first round match between eighth seeded Hamilton (6-7) and ninth seeded Colby (9-11). Although the Continentals are 1-4 versus conference teams heading into the weekend, they topped the Mules 5-4 on January 18 at the Yale Round Robin. They have also defeated Colby in two of the three previous first round meetings between the programs. The Mules have been hot of late, winning three straight matches at the Maine Event over the weekend. They have reached the quarterfinals two times.
Second seeded Williams (12-8) will be looking to return to the NESCAC Finals for the seventh straight season. The Ephs have posted an impressive 7-1 mark against NESCAC opponents this season, with their only loss coming to Trinity on December 1. They swept Amherst and Wesleyan over the weekend to secure their 14th consecutive Little Three title.
Up first for Williams will be the winner of the match between seventh seeded Amherst (6-11) and tenth seeded Connecticut College (8-12). The Lord Jeffs picked up a thrilling 5-4 triumph over the Camels when the two teams squared off on January 13. They have struggled of late, dropping five of their last six contests. Amherst, which has reached the quarterfinals in each of the tournament’s first six years, was eliminated by Trinity in the semifinal round in both 2007 and 2009. Connecticut College has defeated conference foes Tufts and Hamilton thus far this season. The Camels were also the tenth seed last season, when they upset seventh seeded Colby 5-4.
Third seeded Bates (10-8) has come out on top in three of its last four outings and owns a 4-2 mark versus NESCAC rivals this season. The Bobcats will be looking to advance to the conference finals for the first time after reaching the semifinals each season since the tournament’s inception in 2007.
The winner of Friday’s match between sixth seeded Wesleyan (11-5) and 11th seeded Tufts (6-9) will earn the right to take on Bates. The Cardinals will be looking to move past the first round for the third year in a row. They have gone 4-3 versus league foes this winter, including an 8-1 victory over Tufts on December 2. The Jumbos snapped a six-match slide with a 6-3 win over MIT at the Maine Open on Saturday. After topping the Cardinals in the first round in both 2007 and 2008, they lost the head-to-head matchup in 2011.
Fourth seeded Middlebury (11-5) and fifth seeded Bowdoin (11-7) have received first round byes and will square off in Saturday’s semifinal round. The two teams will be meeting for the third time this season after the Panthers prevailed 5-4 on December 1 and 6-3 on January 5. Middlebury has racked up seven wins versus conference rivals this winter, with its only loss coming against Williams on January 11. The Panthers will begin the weekend in search of their third straight trip to the semifinals. Bowdoin reached the semifinals in both 2008 and 2010 before falling to Trinity. The Polar Bears knocked off Middlebury 8-1 in the 2010 quarterfinals and will enter the tournament as one of the league’s hottest teams after winning five straight and six of seven. Bowdoin has split eight contests against league opponents this season.
Results for the NESCAC Men’s Squash Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.