Report courtesy of College Squash Association.
The 2020 College Squash Association National Collegiate Men’s Team Championships are scheduled to begin on Friday, Friday 28, 2020. Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tufts University will be the host venues for the tournament..
Fans of the event should visit the Tournament Homepage for important information, including the draws with live scoring, links to the live webcast of 6 of Harvard’s courts, and the order of play during the weekend. The live stream links will be active beginning on Friday morning.
58 teams from around the country will participate in the championships and compete across seven divisions: Potter Division (teams ranked No. 1-8)—which determines the team national champion, Hoehn Division (9-16), Summers Division (17-24), Conroy Division (25-32), Chaffee Division (33-40), Serues Division (41-48), and Hawthorn Division (49-58).
Harvard University, the top-ranked team throughout the season this year, ran the table during the regular season and are the heavy favorites to capture their second straight Potter Cup championship. Crimson players have lost only four individual matches all season on their way to an undefeated record, and they will aim to carry that impressive momentum on to their home courts this weekend with the national championship on the line.
Standing in their way are seven other Potter division teams eager to either spoil the party or make a mark in their own program’s history books. Second-seeded Trinity College recognizes the dominance exhibited by Harvard and will be prepared to do everything they can to bring the trophy back to Hartford. The 3- and 4-seeds are University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, two talented squads hungry for their second shots at the defending champions this season.
Filling out the bottom of the Potter Division draw in ranked order are University of Rochester, Yale University, debutants University of Virginia, and Drexel University. Rochester and Yale have been here before and will rely on that experience in their attempts at semifinal berths. Virginia’s and Drexel’s presence in the top draw, not likely their last, shows the exciting expansion of the college game.
Like in the Howe Cup final this past weekend, the Potter Cup final scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Harvard will be played to decision. That is, once a team earns five individual match wins, the championship is clinched and the team match will end. (Individual matches still on court may be played to completion, but no new matches should commence.) Playing to decision in the national team championship finals is a pilot initiative voted in by the coaches and approved by the CSA Board of Directors on a provisional basis.
In a topsy-turvy season that saw many upsets play out, Dartmouth and Columbia, the ninth- and tenth-ranked teams were the odd ones out in the Potter Cup mix. Instead, they will fight for some hardware of their own, with the Hoehn Cup on the line. Defending Hoehn Cup champions George Washington are back in the draw again, but they have a tough first-round match-up with Western Ontario. Cornell (4-seed) and Franklin & Marshall (5) will renew their budding rivalry in the first round, with the winner meeting the victor between Dartmouth and MIT.
If fans noticed how exciting the NESCAC Men’s Championships were, they should be in for a treat again with the Summers Division. Seven of the eight teams in the Summers draw are NESCAC members, with many already having played each other twice this season. Williams is the top seed, drawing 8-seed Tufts in the first round. The only stranger in this group is the U.S. Naval Academy, which checks in as the 2-seed with a match against Bowdoin College. The other two quarterfinals are all-NESCAC ties: Bates and Colby in the 4-5 match-up and Middlebury and Amherst as the third and sixth seeds, respectively.
Similar to some of the other draws, the top seed in the Conroy Divsion – Dickinson College – arrives in Boston with a chip on their shoulder after just missing out on a berth in the Summers Division. Dickinson will be on the hunt for their second Conroy Cup in a row, but they will have some tough competition arriving from all around the country. Their first round opponent is the highest ranked club team in the tournament, University of California-Berkeley. The winner of that match will meet the Conn College-St. Lawrence winner on Saturday. 6-seed Chatham University is a team to keep an eye on with a big win streak to start the season, but they will have to reverse their regular season result against Wesleyan to move on in the winner’s bracket. Hamilton and Haverford are the second and seventh seeds, respectively.
Hobart College had an up-and-down year battling injuries much of the way, but their sights are set on the Chaffee Cup as the top seed this season. Defending Chaffee Cup champions Fordham will want to have their say, however, as they enter the tournament as the second seed in the division. Every opening round match in the division is a rematch from earlier in the season, with the lower seeds – like Northeastern, University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, and Bard – looking to pull the upset when it counts.
Although the Serues Division is seeded the same way as the other divisions, it is difficult to identify a clear favorite. Teams will be traveling in from as far away as California (Stanford University), Michigan (University of Michigan), and North Carolina (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) to create the most geographically diverse division in the tournament. Perennial top club contenders Bucknell and Georgetown are the top two seeds, but it seems that the teams with their top players committed and healthy will ultimately prevail this weekend. University of Richmond is in the draw as well, looking for their third Serues Cup win in four years.
The Hawthorn Division will be staged primarily at Tufts University’s brand new squash center with 10 teams vying for the end-of-season hardware. All teams will commence play on Friday evening, with Notre Dame and Vassar earning the top two seeds. Colgate is the sixth seed in the division and will aim to repeat as Hawthorn Cup champions. The division is comprised of mostly veteran teams, but one team, Xavier University, will be making their CSA Men’s Team Championships debut this weekend.