By Michael T. Bello
Published Jan 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM ET; Updated Jan 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM ET

Northampton, MA — Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley hosted the annual Smith/Mount Holyoke/Amherst squash invitational this weekend.  The three schools, which are all within approximately ten miles of each another, hosted 53 matches. CollegeSquashAssociation.com will post photos and videos from the event throughout the coming week.

Two of Mount Holyoke’s four matches had significant rankings implications.  The 11th-ranked Lyons defeated 14th-ranked Hamilton 9-0 on Saturday and won 5-4 against 13th-ranked Middlebury on Sunday, successfully defending their national ranking. The Lyons also swept both Wesleyan and Columbia over the weekend.

Smith lost its all its matches this weekend; however, they had strong individual performances against Franklin & Marshall, St. Lawrence, William Smith, and Colby.

Amherst College opened the invitational on Friday night against Franklin & Marshall. The Jeffs’ men lost 2-7, but the Amherst women prevailed 7-2.  In a tight match on Saturday, the Amherst men escaped with a 5-4 victory against 21st-ranked Colby.  The Jeffs also won against Hobart, Hamilton, and Conn College.  For the women, Amherst defeated Colby, William Smith, Conn College, and Hamilton.

In men’s action, Trinity had quite a week as the Bantams faced two highly ranked squads. On Wednesday, they traveled to New Haven to face the Yale Bulldogs in a battle of two unbeaten squads.  The Bantams won the top eight spots in the ladder to earn the victory.  On Friday, Rochester visited Trinity.  For the second time of the week, the Bantams won 8-1. At the number three position, Rochester’s Hameed Ahmed won an extremely tight 3-0 victory over Supreet Singh (11-9, 12-10, 12-10).  With victories over Penn and Franklin & Marshall over the weekend, Trinity’s win streak now stands at 214 consecutive matches.

For the women, Trinity’s trip to Yale on Wednesday was one of the highlights from a great week of squash.  The showdown between the second- and fourth-ranked teams in the nation certainly lived up to its billing with two 5-game matches and five 4-game matches. With the teams tied 4-4, Trinity’s Robyn Hodgson, a first-year student, defeated Yale’s Rhetta Nadas 3-1 in the #4 match to clinch the Bantams’ victory. Trinity also edged out Penn 5-4 on Saturday, setting the stage for what should be an extremely competitive Howe Cup in February.

On Saturday, Harvard’s men had their first match of the second semester.  Number 3 Rochester defeated the fifth-ranked Crimson.

On senior day, Bates hosted Bowdoin.  For the men, Bates won 7-2,  earning their 15th consecutive victory over the Polar Bears. For the women, Bates won 9-0.  Both Bobcat squads earned 9-0 victories over Northeastern.

Brown hosted Amherst on Wednesday.  Both of the Bears’ squads earned their first victories of the season.

For complete results from all of this weekend’s action, see Women’s Results and Men’s Results.