Third-seeded Middlebury will be in search of a NESCAC crown this weekend when the three-day 2018 NESCAC Women's Squash Championship begins on Friday. Hamilton's Little Squash Center will serve as the host for all of this year's championship bracket matches, while Colgate's Huntington Courts will host select consolation matches on Saturday. The NESCAC Championship match will be played on Sunday, February 4 at 3:00 p.m.
Middlebury is the No. 3 seed for the fourth year in a row and sixth time overall. The Panthers were the NESCAC Runner-Up in 2011 and placed fourth last season, falling to Bates, 5-4, in the third-place match. Middlebury enters the tournament with an 8-5 record and earned six of its eight wins in January.
The Panthers will meet the winner of the first round match between No. 6 Bates and No. 11 Bowdoin in the quarterfinal round. Bates and Middlebury have played each other five times in the NESCAC Championship, including last year's third-place match, and the Panthers own a 3-2 advantage in NESCAC tournament series. Bowdoin is 2-1 against Middlebury in the NESCAC Championship. The teams last met in the 2013 quarterfinals, with the Panthers coming away a 9-0 victory.
Bates is the sixth-seed for the first time and owns a 7-6 record. The Bobcats have won five of their last six matches heading into the NESCAC Championship. Bates defeated Bowdoin, 7-2, in the season opener and dropped a 5-4 decision to Middlebury in the regular season. The Bobcats advanced to the championship match in 2014 and placed third last year.
Bowdoin, which is the No. 11 seed for the first time, enters the tournament with a 5-9 record. The Bobcats are 4-0 against the Polar Bears in the all-time series in NESCAC Championship play. Bates recorded a 6-3 win over Bowdoin in the fifth-place match in 2016, the last meeting between the two teams in the NESCAC Championship.
Trinity is the top seed for the 12th-consecutive season and is the only team to have won the NESCAC title. The Bantams enter the tournament with a 10-2 mark with their only losses to Princeton (5-4) and Harvard (8-1). Trinity swept Williams, 9-0, in the 2017 NESCAC Championship match to claim its 11th straight title.
The Bantams will face the winner of Friday's first-round match between No. 8 Hamilton and No. 9 Colby. Trinity is 1-0 against Hamilton in NESCAC tournament play, having only faced the Continentals in the 2013 quarterfinals and coming away with a 9-0 victory. The Bantams and Mules have met four times in the NESCAC Championship with Trinity holding a 4-0 advantage in the series. Colby fell to Trinity, 9-0, in last year's quarterfinal round.
Hamilton is hosting the NESCAC Championships for the first time since 2014. The Continentals enter the tournament with a 6-6 record and have won four of their last five matches, including an 8-1 victory at St. Lawrence on Monday. Hamilton is the No. 8 seed for the first time since 2013 and the second time overall.
Colby is the ninth seed for the second straight year and seventh time since 2007. The Mules enter the NESCAC Championships with a 7-9 mark. At the 2017 NESCAC Championship, Colby advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-2 victory over Wesleyan before falling to Trinity, 9-0, and finishing seventh.
Hamilton earned a 6-3 victory over Colby at Amherst in the regular season this year. However, the Mules own a 3-2 advantage over the Continentals in the NESCAC Championships, including a 7-2 victory in the seventh-place match in 2016.
Williams, a nine-time NESCAC Runner-Up, including last season, is the No. 2 seed for the fourth consecutive season and 10th time overall. The Ephs enter the tournament with an 11-9 record and have been impressive since the calendar turned, posting a 9-3 mark, which includes five victories by 9-0 scores. Williams will meet the winner of the first-round match between No. 7 Wesleyan and No. 10 Connecticut College, and will look to improve to 12-0 in quarterfinal matches in the NESCAC Championship.
Williams is 2-0 against Wesleyan in the NESCAC Championship. The two teams last met in the 2013 quarterfinals with the Ephs earning an 8-1 victory. During the regular season, Williams posted an 8-1 win at Wesleyan, while the Ephs and Camels have never met in the NESCAC Championship and did not play each other in the regular season this year.
Wesleyan is the No. 7 seed for the first time since 2013 and matches the highest seed the Cardinals have earned in a NESCAC Championship. Wesleyan is 8-9 on the year, and looks to make a quarterfinal appearance for the first time since 2014. Connecticut College enters the tournament with a 7-8 record, and won three straight matches over Northeastern (7-2), Bard (9-0) and Vassar (5-4) to close out the regular season. The Camels are the No. 10 seed for the fourth time overall and first since 2013. Connecticut College is seeking its first trip to the quarterfinals.
Wesleyan is 6-1 versus Connecticut College in the NESCAC Championship series, including a 6-3 victory over the Camels in the 2017 consolation round. The two teams faced each other twice in the regular season with the Cardinals posting a pair of 9-0 wins.
Rounding out the matchups for the 2018 NESCAC Championship is No. 4 Amherst versus No. 5 Tufts. The Mammoths, who finished fifth last season, are the fourth-seed for the second time in three years. Amherst owns a 9-4 mark and enters the tournament having won five of its last six matches, including three wins over Colby (8-1), Hamilton (9-0) and Wesleyan (7-2).
Tufts earned its highest seed since 2007 at No. 5. The Jumbos are 11-4 overall and have won five of their last seven matches entering the tournament. Tufts has earned six wins by 9-0 scores this season and started the year with a 6-1 record.
Tufts fell, 7-2, at Amherst in the season opener and is 0-4 against the Mammoths in the NESCAC Championship. The two teams last met in the tournament in 2012 with Amherst sweeping the Jumbos, 9-0, in the first round.
Results for the NESCAC Women's Squash Championship will be available at the end of each day at nescac.com.
2018 NESCAC WOMEN'S SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIP
Championship Schedule - at Hamilton
Friday, February 2
Match 1: #10 Connecticut College vs. #7 Wesleyan – 4:30 p.m.
Match 2: #11 Bowdoin vs. #6 Bates – 6:30 p.m.
Match 3: #9 Colby at #8 Hamilton – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 3
Match 4: #5 Tufts vs. #4 Amherst – 11:00 a.m.
Match 5: #1 Trinity vs. Winner Match 3 – 11:00 a.m.
Match 6: #3 Middlebury vs. Winner Match 2 - 12:30 p.m.
Match 7: #2 Williams vs. Winner Match 1 - 12:30 p.m.
Match 8: Winner Match 4 vs. Winner Match 5 – 5:00 p.m.
Match 9: Winner Match 6 vs. Winner Match 7 - 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 4
Match 10: Loser Match 8 vs. Loser Match 9 – 1:00 p.m.
Match 11: Winner Match 8 vs. Winner Match 9 - 3:00 p.m.
Consolation Schedule – at Colgate
Saturday, February 3
Match A: Loser Match 1 vs. Loser Match 3 – 10:30 a.m.
Match B: Loser Match 1 vs. Loser Match 2 - 1:30 p.m.
Match C: Loser Match 2 vs. Loser Match 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 3
Match D: Loser Match 4 vs. Loser Match 5 – 5:00 p.m.
Match E: Loser Match 6 vs. Loser Match 7 - 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 4
Match F: Loser Match D vs. Loser Match E – 11:00 a.m.
Match G: Winner Match D vs. Winner Match E – 11:00 a.m.
-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --