HADLEY, Mass. – The Amherst College Mammoths will enter the 2019 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men's Squash Championship this weekend as the number fifth seed for the second consecutive year, facing Bates College in the Quarterfinals matchup on Saturday.
The 2019 NESCAC Championship is scheduled to start on Friday, February 1st and will begin at 6:00 PM. The tournament will run through February 3rd and will be played on the campus of Middlebury College at the Bostwick Family Squash Center. Amherst's match against Bobcats is set to commence at 10:00 AM and If they advance, their semifinal match will begin at 2:30 PM.
SETTING THE SCENE
The Mammoths are the fifth-seed for the second time since 2011 and the fifth time overall. Amherst enters post season action with a record of 5-7 overall and closed out the regular season winning one of their last three matches. The Purple & White are looking to move to the semifinal round for the first time since 2009.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
The Mammoths led off their 2018-19 campaign with a split decision, defeating Northeastern University (9-0) but falling to Western Ontario (9-0) on the same day. They pushed forward with a record of 1-1 and set their sights on another Ivy League School, Yale, in their third match of the season. After losing to the Bulldogs (9-0), they were able to bring it back even when they thwarted Tufts University 7-2 on January 10th.
The Purple & White were able to snag a 7-2 win over Dickinson College prior to their annual Pioneer Valley Invitational. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) halted the Mammoths on day one, posting a 7-2 win over the home side. However, Amherst took care of business on day two when they blanked Hamilton College (9-0) to cap off the round robin.
At the Little Three Championships (1/26/19), the Mammoths walked away with the 9-0 triumph over Wesleyan before dropping their final two matches of the regular season against Williams (9-0) and Bates (7-2).
David Merkel '19 leads the team so far this season, boasting a record of 8-4 overall in his senior campaign at the sixth and seventh spots. Mammoths Robinson Armour '22, Harith Khawaja '19, and Terrence Wang '21 follow close behind with records of 6-6 at their respective spots. Amherst saw an early exit last season in the NESCAC Championships as they dropped an 8-1 decision against Middlebury in the quarterfinals match. The Mammoths have won 49 out of their 59 matches combined this season (.454%) and have their highest win percentage at number four and seven.
Bates is 4-0 against the Mammoths in the NESCAC Championship, most recently earning a 9-0 victory in the 2014 quarterfinals. The Bobcats also took down Amherst this season in their final regular season match, snagging the 7-2 victory on January 27th. Bates reached the NESCAC Championships final last season after defeating Hamilton (8-1) and Williams (6-3), but fell short when they were thwarted by number one seeded Trinity by a score of 9-0. The Bobcats are 2-1 at home and 4-5 on the road, winning their last three matches of the regular season against Tufts (8-1), Hobart (7-2), and Amherst (7-2). They are also the No. 4 seed for the first time since 2015.
SCOUTING THE NESCAC
The Trinity Bantams enter the 2019 championship as the top seed and boast an 11-1 record. Trinity's lone loss was a 6-3 setback at Rochester on January 15. The Bantams will meet the winner of the first-round match between No. 8 Colby and No. 9 Connecticut College.
Colby, which finished fifth in 2018, is the eighth seed for the first time since 2014. The Mules stand at 3-10 under first-year head coach Chris Abplanalp. Colby earned a 9-0 win over Connecticut College in the fourth match of the season on December 2, and is 2-3 against the Camels in the NESCAC Championship. The Camels are the No. 9 seed for the first time since 2008.
Host Middlebury enters the tournament with a 10-4 record and is the No. 2 seed for the second time in four years and received a first-round bye for the 10th straight year. The Panthers finished third last season and will face the winner of the first-round match between No. 7 Tufts and No. 10 Wesleyan
Tufts is the No. 7 seed for the first time since 2010 and enters the tournament with a 5-8 mark. The Jumbos have won three of their last four matches, including an 8-1 victory over Hobart on January 26. Tufts defeated Wesleyan, 8-1, in the season opener on November 17 and is 4-4 against the Cardinals in the NESCAC Championship. Wesleyan is 2-11 on the year and is the No. 10 seed for the first time in championship history.
Williams, the fourth-place finisher in 2018, stands at 10-9 this season and is the No. 3 seed for the third straight season. A nine-time NESCAC Runner-Up, the Ephs will take on the winner of the first-round match between No. 6 Bowdoin and No. 11 Hamilton
Bowdoin is the No. 6 seed for the first time since 2014 and carries a 4-6 record into the tournament. Hamilton is 2-8 and the No. 11 seed for the first time since 2007. The two teams did not play each other during the regular season but did meet in the seventh-place match at last year's NESCAC Championship, with the Polar Bears prevailing, 9-0, to improve to 5-0 all-time against Hamilton in the tournament.
2019 NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE
Friday, February 1
Match 1: No. 11 Hamilton vs. No. 6 Bowdoin - 6 p.m.
Match 2: No. 10 Wesleyan vs. No. 7 Tufts - 6 p.m.
Match 3: No. 9 Connecticut College vs. No. 8 Colby - 6 p.m.
Saturday, February 2
Match 4: No. 5 Amherst vs. No. 4 Bates - 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 Williams - 12:15 p.m.
Match 7: Winner of Match 2 vs. No. 2 Middlebury - 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 3
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.