AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College men's squash team, ranked 22nd nationally, earned the No. 7 seed in the 2015 NESCAC Championship tournament, while the Jeffs' women's team is ranked 17th nationally, and garnered the No. 5 seed in this year's conference championship. This year's men's and women's squash championships will be held at Williams College at the Simon Squash Center on Friday-Sunday, Feb. 6-8.
For the third straight season, the Amherst men's team (5-7) will take on Connecticut College (8-12) in the opening round of action. The Camels, ranked 26th nationally, earned the No. 10 seed and will square off against the Jeffs on Friday, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. The winner will advance to the quarterfinal round and face second-seeded Williams College which is ranked 15th nationally.
On the women's side, Amherst (8-5) will take on fourth-seeded and No. 16 Bates College (9-8) in quarterfinal action on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9:30 a.m. after earning an opening round bye. The winner will advance to the semifinal round to take on the winner of No. 8 Colby/No. 9 Wesleyan vs. No. 1 Trinity at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Amherst and Conn. College squared off at the Davenport Courts on Jan. 16 earlier this season, with the Purple & White clinching an 8-1 victory over its league rival during Pioneer Valley Invitational action. Noah Browne '16, Scott DeSantis '15, Max Kardon '15 and Stephen Cacouris '16 each picked up a 3-0 sweep from the No. 1, No. 2, No. 5 and No. 8 courts respectively. Darian Ehsani '17 fought off a late rally by Conn. College's Randy Coplin to win, 3-2 (9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6) on the No. 4 court; while Michael Groot '17, Jeremy Van '17 and Alex Southmayd '15 each secured 3-1 victories from the No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7 courts respectively.
Playing from the No. 1 court again this season, Browne has been nothing short of electric for Amherst, starting the season 6-0 en route to a 9-2 record through 11 of 12 matches played for the Jeffs so far this season. On the No. 2 court, DeSantis has been a consistent force for the Purple & White with a 6-6 record through 12 matches in 2014-15.
Amherst, slotted as the sixth seed in last year's championship tournament, finished NESCAC postseason play seventh overall, and has now finished fifth overall in two of the last three seasons. In 2013-14, the Jeffs downed Conn. College, 7-2, before losing 9-0 and 5-4 to Bates and Bowdoin College respectively. The Purple & White then edged Colby College, 6-3 to secure its seventh place finish in consolation action.
Trinity College enters the 2014-15 NESCAC Championship tournament ranked first nationally once again this season, and with a 12-1 overall record, is in search of its ninth consecutive league title. The Bantams topped Williams, 9-0 in last year's final, as the Ephs have now collected eight straight runner-up finishes. Middlebury College, Bates, and Wesleyan University enter tournament action ranked 17th, 18th and 20th, respectively to round out the league teams in the top 20 behind Trinity.
Amherst and Bates met on Jan. 10 earlier this season with the Bobcats claiming a 7-2 victory over the Jeffs at the Davenport Courts. Khushy Aggarwal '16 picked up a win on the No. 8 court by defeating Blair Weintraub, 3-1 by scores of 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2; and first-year Mae Cromwell swept Emma Korein on the No. 9 court by scores of 11-6, 11-5, 11-4. Arielle Lehman '15 and Meyha Sud '16 took Lesea Bourke and Charlotte Cabot to five sets on the No. 3 and No. 7 courts, respectively but each fell short.
In an impressive debut season, Krayacich has competed in 12 of 13 matches from the No. 1 court and tallied a 6-6 overall record. In The Jeffs' first contest of the season against Northeastern University, Krayacich won her match from the No. 2 position. Also making waves in her first collegiate season is first-year Haley McAtee who has competed in nine of 13 matches from the No. 3 court. She is 5-4 from the third position and 8-5 overall so far this season.
Amherst secured the sixth seed in last year's NESCAC tournament and dispatched Conn. College, 8-1 in opening round action. The Jeffs then fell to Williams, 7-2, before edging Bowdoin, 5-4. A narrow 5-4 defeat at the hands of Hamilton College saw Amherst finish sixth in the 2013-14 championship.
Ranked first nationally, Trinity (12-1) is looking for its ninth consecutive conference title after winning its eighth straight in a 9-0 win over Bates last season. Williams (12th), Middlebury (13th), Bates (16th), Amherst (17th), Hamilton (18th), and Bowdoin (19th) round out the top 20 league teams behind the Bantams in a very competitive field.