Third-seeded Middlebury will be in pursuit of a conference title this weekend when the three-day 2015 NESCAC Women's Squash Championship begins on Friday. Williams' Simon Squash Center will serve as the host for all matches played during this year's championship with the NESCAC Championship match being played on Sunday, February 8 at 10:00 a.m.
Reigning College Squash Association (CSA) National Champion and top-seeded Trinity won its first 12 matches, including wins against national powers Dartmouth, Penn and Yale, but suffered its first loss of the season on Wednesday to Harvard. Trinity has also registered victories over Bates, Bowdoin, Middlebury and Williams.
The Bantams cruised to the NESCAC title last year without dropping a match, as they posted 9-0 wins over Wesleyan, Middlebury and Bates. In the eight-year history of the tournament, Trinity has surrendered just five points in 24 matches.
Trinity will face the winner of eighth-seeded Colby (8-8) and ninth-seeded Wesleyan (5-10) in one of Saturday's quarterfinal matches. The Mules look to make their fourth overall quarterfinal appearance and first since 2010 by avenging a 7-2 loss to the Cardinals in last year's first round. Wesleyan is hoping to extend its string of consecutive quarterfinal appearances to six, and reach the semifinals for the first time in program history. Colby won the head-to-head meeting between the squads, 6-3, on January 24 in Middletown, but the Cardinals claim a 3-2 record versus the Mules in conference championship play and have won the last two contests.
Williams (12-6) earned the No. 2 seed for the seventh time in nine years after posting a 7-1 mark against NESCAC opponents. The lone loss was at the hands of Trinity on January 6, but the Ephs have won 11 of their last 13 matches heading into the NESCAC Championship as they look to return to the NESCAC Final for the sixth time.
Williams awaits the winner of the first-round match between seventh-seeded Bowdoin (6-9) and tenth-seeded Tufts (5-11), as both teams square off for the first time in 2014-15. The Polar Bears, who logged wins against Colby, Connecticut College and Wesleyan this season, aim to advance to the quarterfinals for the seventh time in eight years and move on to the semifinals for the first time since 2009. The Jumbos bring some momentum into the weekend after defeating Connecticut College, 6-3, on Sunday, as Tufts aims to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009. Friday's contest marks the third straight year the teams have squared off in the first round, as Bowdoin leads the all-time NESCAC Championship series with a record of 4-0.
Third-seeded Middlebury (13-5) enters the conference championship as one of the hottest teams in the NESCAC, having won seven of its last eight matches since January 23. The Panthers have posted an 8-2 mark versus NESCAC squads this season, with their losses coming to Trinity (9-0) on November 16 and Williams (5-4) on January 28. Middlebury hopes to reach the semifinals for the seventh straight year en route to making its second overall appearance in the finals, having finished as the runner-up in 2011.
The Panthers will face the victor of the first-round contest between sixth-seeded Hamilton (11-5) and eleventh-seeded Connecticut College (6-13). The Continentals were 5-4 against league opponents, while the Camels were 1-9. In the teams' match on January 16, Hamilton prevailed 9-0. The Continentals lead the conference championship series at 4-0 with all meetings coming in the first round, but the teams have not met since 2011. Connecticut College will be looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time ever, while Hamilton has reached the quarterfinals each year, but is still looking for its elusive first semifinal appearance.
Fourth-seeded Bates (9-8) and fifth-seeded Amherst (8-5) have received a first-round bye into Saturday's quarterfinal round. The Bobcats look to make their eighth semifinal appearance in nine years, and return to the championship match after finishing as the runner-up last year. The Jeffs, who are in pursuit of their first semifinal bid after making nine consecutive quarterfinal appearances, earned their fourth first-round bye in six seasons. Bates has won the two previous conference championship matches, including an 8-1 decision in the 2013 quarterfinal round and a 6-3 decision in the 2011 quarterfinal round. This season, Bates defeated Amherst, 7-2, on January 10.
Results for the NESCAC Women's Squash Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.
2015 NESCAC WOMEN'S SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIP
Hosted by Williams
Friday, February 6
Match 1: #7 Bowdoin vs. #10 Tufts – 4:00 p.m.
Match 2: #6 Hamilton vs. #11 Connecticut College – 4:00 p.m.
Match 3: #8 Colby vs. #9 Wesleyan - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 7
Match 4: #4 Bates vs. #5 Amherst - 9:30 a.m.
Match 5: #1 Trinity vs. Winner Match 3 - 9:30 a.m.
Match 6: #3 Middlebury vs. Winner Match 2 - 9:30 a.m.
Match 7: #2 Williams vs. Winner Match 1 - 9:30 a.m.
Match 8: Winner Match 4 vs. Winner Match 5 - 2:30 p.m.
Match 9: Winner Match 6 vs. Winner Match 7 - 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 8
Match 10: Loser Match 8 vs. Loser Match 9 – 10:00 a.m.
Match 11: Winner Match 8 vs. Winner Match 9 – 10:00 a.m.
Friday, February 6
Match C: Loser Match 1 vs. Loser Match 2 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 7
Match B: Loser Match 1 vs. Loser Match 3 – 8:00 a.m.
Match D: Loser Match 4 vs. Loser Match 5 – 2:30 p.m.
Match E: Loser Match 6 vs. Loser Match 7 – 2:30 p.m.
Match A: Loser Match 2 vs. Loser Match 3 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 8
Match F: Loser Match D vs. Loser Match E – 10:00 a.m.
Match G: Winner Match D vs. Winner Match E – 10:00 a.m.