Volleyball Begins Quest for NESCAC Title

Volleyball Begins Quest for NESCAC Title

Looking for its second NESCAC Volleyball Tournament title in the last four years and sixth overall, fifth-seeded Middlebury begins its quest when it squares off with fourth-seeded Amherst on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in a quarterfinal match. The two teams played on September 27 in Amherst, as the Mammoths earned a three-set victory (25-21, 25-15, 25-20). Semifinal matches will be played on Saturday, November 9 followed by the championship match on Sunday, November 10 hosted by Tufts in Cousens Gymnasium.

Amherst (19-5, 7-3 NESCAC), the 2019 NESCAC Runner-Up, earned the No. 4 seed and has competed in every NESCAC Championship since 1999. The Mammoths are the fourth seed for the first time since 2012 and have advanced to the semifinals six straight times. Amherst won its third and most recent NESCAC title in 2006. The Mammoths will meet No. 5 Middlebury (14-9, 6-4 NESCAC) in the quarterfinals. The Panthers are the No. 5 seed for the second time in three years and have also qualified for every NESCAC Championship since 1999. Middlebury seeks a spot in the semifinals for the first time since its championship run in 2016, when it won the most recent of its three NESCAC titles. Amherst owns a 3-1 lead in the four meetings between the two teams in the NESCAC Tournament. The Panthers picked up their first victory over the Mammoths, 3-0, in the most recent meeting in the 2016 semifinal.

Tufts (23-1, 10-0 NESCAC) finished the season with a perfect 10-0 mark in league play for the fourth time since 2000. The Jumbos' unblemished record in conference action marks the 11th time since 2000 a team has posted an undefeated NESCAC record. Tufts, which has qualified for every NESCAC Championship since 2000, is the No. 1 seed for the sixth time in program history and the first time since 2017. The Jumbos have advanced to the semifinals three straight years and five times in the last six seasons. Tufts won its lone NESCAC title in 1996 and has played in two of the last three championship matches. The top-seeded Jumbos will face No. 8 Hamilton (10-13, 3-7 NESCAC) in the quarterfinal round. The Continentals are making their third NESCAC Championship appearance and the second in three years. Hamilton is seeking its first NESCAC Tournament win in program history. Tufts defeated Hamilton, 3-0, on October 4 and the quarterfinal match marks the first meeting between the two schools in NESCAC Championship play in the existing tournament format.

Wesleyan (19-3, 9-1 NESCAC) has qualified for the NESCAC Championship for the fourth year in a row and is the No. 2 seed for the third straight year. The Cardinals have reached the semifinals in back-to-back seasons and won their first NESCAC title in 2017. Wesleyan will play No. 7 Bates (16-9, 4-6 NESCAC) in a quarterfinal match for the second straight year. The Bobcats have qualified for the NESCAC Tournament for the fifth straight season and are looking for their first NESCAC Tournament victory since 2003. Bates' 16 wins this season are the most since 2009. The Bobcats won four straight NESCAC titles from 1990 to 1993. Wesleyan posted a 3-1 victory over Bates on October 5 and the NESCAC Championship series is tied up at 2-2. The Cardinals won last year's quarterfinal contest, 3-0.

Bowdoin (16-6, 8-2 NESCAC), the defending NESCAC Champion, is the No. 3 seed in 2019. The Polar Bears have played in 14 straight NESCAC Championships and have advanced to the semifinals eight straight years. Bowdoin owns three NESCAC Championships overall and was most recently the No. 3 seed in 2017. The Polar Bears will face No. 6 Williams (14-10, 5-5 NESCAC) in its first match of the championship. The Ephs, who have played in every NESCAC Championship since 1999, are the No. 6 seed for the second consecutive season. Williams, which has won 11 NESCAC titles, looks to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2015. Bowdoin pulled out a five-set, 3-2, victory over the Ephs on October 4, but the Ephs own a 4-2 edge in the NESCAC postseason series. The Polar Bears won the last meeting in the 2016 quarterfinals, 3-1

Links to live stats and video for all games are available via the NESCAC Scoreboard at NESCAC.com. Results from the NESCAC Championship games will be posted on NESCAC.com. Also, follow the action on Twitter (@NESCAC).

Friday-Sunday, November 8-10 hosted by Tufts
Quarterfinals - Friday, November 8
No. 8 Hamilton vs. No. 1 Tufts - 5:00 p.m. (Court 1)
No. 7 Bates vs. No. 2 Wesleyan - 5:00 p.m. (Court 2)
No. 6 Williams vs. No. 3 Bowdoin - 7:30 p.m. (Court 1)
No. 5 Middlebury vs. No. 4 Amherst - 7:30 p.m. (Court 2)

Semifinals - Saturday, November 9
No. 4/5 winner vs. No. 1/8 winner - 1:00 p.m.
No. 3/6 winner vs. No. 2/7 winner - 3:30 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, November 10
Championship Match - 12:00 p.m.

-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --