The third-seeded and 14th-ranked Middlebury women's squash team finished fourth after being edged 5-4 by fourth-seeded and 15th-ranked Bates during the 2017 NESCAC Tournament hosted by Amherst. With the setback, the Panthers dip to 9-9 and return to action at the CSA Team Championships at Princeton from February 24-26.
Middlebury and Bates (14-4) traded wins over the first eight matches to finish. Natasha Lowitt put the Panthers on the board with a four-game victory at #9 (11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4), while the Bobcats evened the match with a win at #2.
The three other Middlebury wins were tallied in order by Caroline Jahrling at #8 (4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9), Audrey Ellen in three games in the seventh spot (11-2, 11-7, 11-8) and Beatrijs Kuijpers atop the ladder in a sweep (11-8, 15-13, 11-7). Sandwiched between those Panthers victories were triumphs at #6, #4 and #5 for the Bobcats.
The fifth team point came down the last match remaining on the court featuring Bates' Vicky Arjoon and Middlebury's Alexa Comai. Arjoon jumped out to a 2-0 lead via game scores of 11-5 and 12-10, but Comai answered with wins in games three (11-6) and four (13-11) to force a fifth game. Arjoon claimed the fifth team point for Bates with an 11-7 victory in the decisive game.