AMHERST, Mass. – Earning a first-round bye for the third consecutive year, No. 4 seed Amherst men's squash is set to face No. 5 Middlebury in quarterfinals action of the 2020 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship on Saturday, Feb. 15th at 10:00 a.m.
Amherst has locked in at No. 4 in the tournament for the first time since 2006 and is aiming for a quarterfinal victory to advance to their first semifinals since 2009. The Mammoths' have accrued a dual match record of 8-5 on the season and have won six of their last seven contests.
Bowdoin is serving as the host of the NESCAC Men's Squash Championship for the first time in program history with the action commencing on Friday, Feb. 14th 5:00 p.m. The championship match will begin at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 16th.
No. 4 Amherst and No. 5 Middlebury (5-9) are facing each other for the sixth time overall in the tournament and the second time in three years. Middlebury holds a 4-1 advantage in the tournament series, including an 8-1 win in the 2018 quarterfinals. The Panthers, who have earned a bye into the quarterfinals every year since 2010, finished third for the fourth year in a row last year and have played in the third-place match 10 consecutive seasons. Middlebury won the regular-season match against Amherst, 9-0, on January 16.
BY THE NUMBERS
|TEAM||NESCAC SEED||NATIONAL RANK||OVERALL RECORD||VS. THE NESCAC|
|Trinity||No. 1||No. 2||13-1||2-0|
|Williams||No. 2||No. 17||12-7||7-0|
|Bates||No. 3||No. 19||9-5||6-3|
|Amherst||No. 4||No. 20||8-5||4-3|
|Middlebury||No. 5||No. 21||5-9||5-2|
|Colby||No. 6||No. 22||8-6||4-4|
|Bowdoin||No. 7||No. 23||7-7||4-5|
|Tufts||No. 8||No. 24||5-7||2-4|
|Connecticut College||No. 9||No. 26||8-8||1-7|
|Hamilton||No. 10||No. 27||7-9||1-6|
|Wesleyan||No. 11||No. 28||8-9||1-7|
THE CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
The Bantams enter the 2020 championship as the No. 1 seed and boast a record of 13-1. Trinity will face the winner of the first-round match between No. 8 Tufts (5-7) and No. 9 Connecticut College (8-8). The Bantams have never faced the Jumbos in the NESCAC tournament and are 1-0 against the Camels, after posting a 9-0 victory in the quarterfinal round in 2007.
Connecticut College and Tufts square off for the 10th time in the NESCAC Championship series where the Camels own a 6-3 advantage. The Jumbos are the No. 8 seed for the first time since 2009 and are looking to reach the quarterfinal round for the second straight season. Connecticut College is the No. 9 seed for the second year in a row and attempting to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2012. The Jumbos earned their sixth win in the series with a 5-4 victory in the 2018 consolation round. Tufts earned a 9-0 victory over Connecticut College on February 1 this season.
Williams (12-7), the 2019 NESCAC Runner-Up, is the No. 2 seed for the first time since 2015. The Ephs have earned a bye into the quarterfinal round each year the NESCAC Championship has been held and have reached the finals 10 times in 13 championships. Williams will take on the winner of the first-round match between No. 7 Bowdoin (7-7) and No. 10 Hamilton (7-9) . The Ephs are 2-0 against both possible opponents.
Should Williams and Bowdoin meet in the quarterfinals, it will be a rematch of the 2019 quarterfinals, where the Ephs prevailed, 8-1. Williams and Hamilton last met in the 2009 quarterfinal, a 9-0 victory for the Ephs.
Last season, Bowdoin defeated Hamilton, 9-0, in a first-round match to improve to 6-0 against the Continentals in the NESCAC tournament. The Polar Bears, who finished sixth last year, have won six straight first-round matches and look to play in the quarterfinal round for the 14th year in a row. Hamilton is looking to win a first-round match for the first time since 2018. This year, Bowdoin defeated Hamilton, 9-0, on November 23.
No. 3 Bates (9-5) will face the winner of the first-round match between No. 6 Colby (8-6) and No. 11 Wesleyan (8-9) in the quarterfinals. The Bobcats are the No. 3 seed for the first time since 2016 and have earned a bye into the quarterfinal round every year of the NESCAC tournament. Bates has also advanced to the semifinals each year since 2007, finishing fourth last season. The Bobcats earned an 8-1 win over Colby in the 2015 quarterfinals, the only meeting between the two squads in the championship. Bates defeated Wesleyan, 9-0, in the 2016 quarterfinals in the last meeting with the Cardinals.
Colby and Wesleyan are meeting for the 10th time in the NESCAC Championship. The Mules took a 5-4 lead in the championship series with an 8-1 win in the first round of the 2018 tournament. Colby is the No. 6 seed for the second time in three years and has reached the quarterfinals in each of the last six years. The Mules are looking for their third straight first-round victory. Wesleyan is the No. 11 seed for the second time in three years and is attempting to earn a first-round victory for the first time since 2017. Earlier this season, Colby handed Wesleyan a 9-0 loss on January 11.