The third-seeded Panther women's squash team advanced into the semifinal round of the NESCAC Championship on Saturday. Middlebury earned a bye through the first round, and posted a narrow 5-4 victory over sixth-seeded Bates in the quarterfinal round, before falling to second-seeded Williams by a score of 6-3. The three-day event is being hosted by Trinity in the Kellner Squash Center. The Panthers (11-4) return to play on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in the third-place match against fourth-seeded Amherst.
In the quarterfinal, Bates (9-7) jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a three-game win at No. 6. The Panthers rattled off wins over the next three matches to finish for a 3-1 advantage. Mira Chugh defeated Katie Bull at No. 9 (11-6, 13-15, 11-2, 11-7), Alexa Comai edged Vicky Arjoon in the third spot (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10), while Natasha Lowitt was victorious against Molly Brooks at No. 8 (12-10, 11-6, 11-1).
The Bobcats leveled the match at 3-3 via five-game triumphs at the No. 5 and No. 2 positions, respectively.
Gwen Davis made it 4-3 in favor of Middlebury with a three-game win in the seventh position over Natalie Bachman (11-5, 11-5, 11-5), while Virginia Schaus clinched the match with a three-game victory at No. 4 against Katie Manternach (11-5, 11-3, 11-0).
Bates won in five games atop the ladder for the final 5-4 score.
Against the Ephs (14-9) in the semifinals, Williams moved out to a 2-0 advantage with victories at No. 3 and No. 6. Chugh made the score 2-1 with an 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 win over Adrienne Conza in the ninth slot. The Ephs regained their two-point advantage with a three-game victory at No. 2.
Lowitt improved to 2-0 for the day, outlasting Alex Pear in five games at No. 8 (9-11, 15-13, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4). Williams clinched the match behind a five-game victory in the middle of the ladder, followed by a four-game triumph in the top spot. Davis tallied the third point for the Panthers, earning a five-game win at No. 7 against Kathryn Wright (8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-2).
The Ephs recorded the last point, a five-game victory at No. 4, for the final 6-3 score.