Middlebury Moves to NESCAC Semis Before Falling to Trinity

Henry Pearson earned a three-game win at #4 in the day's first match.
Henry Pearson earned a three-game win at #4 in the day's first match.

The 21st-ranked Panther men's squash team split a pair of matches during the NESCAC Tournament on Saturday hosted by Hamilton. After receiving a bye through the first round, fourth-seeded Middlebury recorded an 8-1 win in the quarterfinals over #5 seed and 23rd-ranked Amherst before falling to top-seeded and top-ranked Trinity, 9-0. The Panthers (6-8) return to play on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in the third-place match against third-seeded and 19th-ranked Williams.

In the win over Amherst, six of Middlebury's eight victories came in three games. Wins were posted by John Epley at #6 over Pavan Nagaraj (11-5, 11-4, 11-9), Jacob Ellen in the #2 slot against Robert Parker (11-9, 12-10, 11-2) and Henry Pearson at #4 over David Merkel (11-8, 11-9, 11-6). Thomas Wolpow rallied from two games down for a five-game victory at #8 over Mateen Mills (5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5), while William Kurth clinched the match with his win at #9 against Arnav Parikh (11-5, 11-3, 11-6).

Alex Merrill at #7 edged Chris Zimmerman (11-9, 16-14, 11-4), while William Cembalest in the top spot made it seven-straight wins for the Panthers with an 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 win over Terrance Wang. The Mammoths grabbed their lone point of the match with a four-game triumph at #5. Jack Kagan rounded out the scoring for Middlebury with a thrilling 4-11, 17-15, 16-14, 11-9 victory against Harith Khawaja in the third slot.

Against Trinity, Kurth took a game from his opponent at #9, as the Bantams won each of the other eight matches in three games.