HADLEY, Mass. – The Amherst women's squash team will compete in the 2019 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Squash Championship this weekend (February 8-10) as the fourth seed, facing off against Tufts University in the quarterfinals match on Saturday beginning at 10:00 AM.
The Kellner Squash Center at Trinity College will serve as the host for all of the matches. The 2019 NESCAC Championship will start on Friday February 8th, beginning at 6:00 PM. The tournament is set to run through February 10th and If the Mammoths advance, they will compete in the semifinals match at 2:30 PM.
SETTING THE SCENE
The Amherst College Mammoths enter the NESCAC Championship as the number four seed for the second consecutive year and have notched a record of 7-6 overall. They concluded their regular season campaign with a 7-2 victory over Mount Holyoke College and have won four out of their last six matches.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
In the opening weekend of competition, the Mammoths split their first two matches when they swept Northeastern University 9-0 after dropping to Princeton by a 9-0 margin. In their third consecutive Ivy League match up, Amherst went on to fall to Yale University 9-0 before bringing their record even again with a 6-3 win over Tufts University.
Then, the Mammoths began their five match home stint, securing three victories over the course of eight days (January 11-19). They notched a 7-2 win over Dickinson College before falling to Brown University by the same score line. The Mammoths entered the annual Pioneer Valley Invitational with a record of 3-4 and secured two key victories against St. Lawrence (8-1) and Hamilton (9-0) on Friday and Saturday.
After a day three cancellation at the Pioneer Valley Invitational, the Mammoths entered the Little Three Championships in their next competition, thwarting Wesleyan (7-2) before a 9-0 loss to Williams College. In the final two matches, Amherst was edged by Bates 5-4 before defeating Mount Holyoke College 7-2.
Priya Sinha '19 currently leads the Mammoth with an overall record of 9-3, noting an unblemished 4-0 at the eighth spot. Lilly Soroko '22 also secured eight wins on the season and stands right behind Sinha with an 8-4 overall record, with seven of those wins coming in the third spot. Last season, Amherst made it to the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament after a 7-2 triumph in the quarterfinals against Tufts University. The Mammoths were halted by the eventual champions, Trinity College by a score of 7-2. Amherst is 5-0 against Tufts in the NESCAC Championship, most recently earning a 7-2 victory in the 2018 quarterfinals.
The Jumbos have claimed the fifth seed in the tournament for their second consecutive season, finishing sixth in last year's post action venture. They enter conference action against the Mammoths having won five out of their last six matches. The Jumbos took down Connecticut College, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Bates, William Smith and Mount Holyoke before falling to Harvard University in their most recent outing. Tufts have accrued a record of 4-1 at home and a 2-4 record on the road. In the Jumbos most recent clash with Amherst, the two foes met in the beginning of January at Harvard University. After a back and forth battle, the Mammoths walked away with the 6-3 victory for their second regular season win on the year.
SCOUTING THE CONFERENCE
Trinity (12-2), which has won all 12 NESCAC Women's Squash titles, is the top seed for the 2019 NESCAC Women's Squash Championship for the 13th straight year and will host the tournament for the ninth time.
Wesleyan, which finished seventh at last year's NESCAC Championship, is the No. 8 seed for the second time in three years. The Cardinals enter the tournament with a 5-8 record and are 3-5 against Colby in the NESCAC Championship. The two teams last met in the 2017 tournament, with the Mules earning a 7-2 victory over Wesleyan in a first-round match. Wesleyan and Colby did not face each other during the regular season. Colby is the No. 9 seed for the third consecutive season. The Mules, who placed ninth in last year's tournament, stand at 3-11 under first-year head coach Chris Abplanalp.
Williams, the 2018 NESCAC Runner-Up, owns a record of 12-9 this season and is the No. 2 seed for the fifth year in a row. A nine-time NESCAC Runner-Up, the Ephs will take on the winner of the first-round match between No. 7 Hamilton and No. 10 Connecticut College. Hamilton is the No. 7 seed for the first time since 2007, the first year of the NESCAC Championship, and enters the tournament with an 8-4 mark. The Continentals head to Hartford having won five of their last six matches. Hamilton defeated Connecticut College, 9-0, in the season opener on November 17 and is 7-0 against the Camels in the NESCAC Championship. The last tournament match between the two teams took place in the 2017 consolation round robin with Hamilton posting a 7-2 win. Connecticut College, the No. 10 seed for the second straight year, enters the tournament with a 3-8 record and is coming off back-to-back wins over Bowdoin and Northeastern.
Middlebury opens the championship with a 10-3 record as the No. 3 seed for the fifth consecutive year. The Panthers finished third last season and will face the winner of the first-round match between No. 6 Bates and No. 11 Bowdoin. Bates (8-6) is the No. 6 seed for the second straight season. The Bobcats have won five of their last six contests, including three straight. Bowdoin is 0-11 and are the No. 11 seed for the second year in a row. The Bobcats handed the Polar Bears a 9-0 loss in the season-opener on November 28 and earned a first-round match victory last year to improve to 5-0 against the Polar Bears in NESCAC Championship action.
2019 NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Friday, February 8
Match 1: No. 11 Bowdoin vs. No. 6 Bates - 6 p.m.
Match 2: No. 10 Connecticut College vs. No. 7 Hamilton - 6 p.m.
Match 3: No. 9 Colby vs. No. 8 Wesleyan - 6 p.m.
Saturday, February 9
Match 4: No. 5 Tufts vs. No. 4 Amherst - 10 a.m.
Match 5: Winner of Match 3 vs. No. 1 Trinity - 10 a.m.
Match 6: Winner of Match 1 vs. No. 3 Middlebury - 12:15 p.m.
Match 7: Winner of Match 2 vs. No. 2 Williams - 12:15 p.m.
Match 8: Winner of Match 4 vs. Winner of Match 5 - 2:30 p.m.
Match 9: Winner of Match 6 vs. Winner of Match 7 - 4:45 p.m.
Match A: Loser of Match 1 vs. Loser of Match 3 - 9 a.m.
Match B: Loser of Match 2 vs. Loser of Match 3 - 11:15 a.m.
Match C: Loser of Match 1 vs. Loser of Match 2 - 1:30 p.m.
Match D: Loser of Match 4 vs. Loser of Match 5 - 2:30 p.m.
Match E: Loser of Match 6 vs. Loser of Match 7 - 4:45 p.m.
Sunday, February 10
Match F: Loser of Match D vs. Loser of Match E - 9:30 a.m.
Match G: Winner of Match D vs. Winner of Match E - 9:30 a.m.
Third Place Match
Match 10: Loser of Match 8 vs. Loser of Match 9 - 12 p.m.
Match 11: Winner of Match 8 vs. Winner of Match 9 - 12 p.m.