Boston, MA — Matches are still being played on the first day of the 2011 Men’s National Team Championships, but several divisions have wrapped up the first round.
In the A Division (Potter Cup), Trinity, Rochester, Princeton, and Yale all advanced to the semifinals. Trinity swept Franklin & Marshall, and Rochester defeated Cornell 7-2. The number 3 match between Rochester’s Andres Duany and Cornell’s Thomas Spettigue was a marathon. By the time Duany won the first game 15-13, several other matches had started and finished. After dropping the first two games, Spettigue battled back to take the third and fourth, but Duany came back to win the fifth 12-10. Rochester will play Trinity tomorrow, and Cornell and F&M will face off in the consolation semifinals.
In the other half of the A bracket, hosts Harvard fought to keep Princeton from advancing to the semifinals. Although Princeton won 8-1, all but the number one and two matches were decided in four or more games. The last match was one of the longest, as Princeton’s Philip Sopher and Harvard’s Tom Mullaney traded point after point, game after game. Sopher won in five: 14-12,3-11,16-14,9-11,12-10. Yale, the team Princeton will face in the semifinals, had an easier go of it in the opening round. The Bulldogs defeated Dartmouth 8-1, with only three matches going past three games. Dartmouth and Harvard will meet in the consolation semifinals tomorrow afternoon.
The B Division (Hoehn Cup) saw Western Ontario, Brown, Williams, and Penn move on to the semifinals. Brown, the 12th-ranked team in the nation coming into the tournament, had the closest match, playing 13th-ranked St. Lawrence. The Saints have been moving up the rankings all season, but the Bears held them off 5-4. Brown will face the division top seed, Western Ontario, in the semifinals. UWO defeated the Naval Academy by a score of 9-0, the most decisive victory in the division. The higher-seeded teams in the bottom half of the bracket — Williams and Penn — both won convincingly. Williams beat Middlebury 8-1, while Penn defeated Bates 7-2. The Ephs and Quakers will play in the semifinals, and the Panthers and the Bobcats will play in the consolation semis.
The C Division (Summers Cup) saw two tight races: George Washington’s 5-4 win over Hamilton, and Bowdoin’s 5-4 win over Colby. Wesleyan finished their season series against Columbia 2-1, thanks to a 6-3 win today. Stanford, the top club team in the nation, faced stiff competition against Amherst, the number two seed in the division. Amherst took the match 8-1. The semifinals, which will be played at Belmont Hill, will be between GW and Wesleyan and between Amherst and Bowdoin. Stanford and Colby will play in one consolation semi-final, and Hamilton and Columbia will compete in the other.
In the bottom half of the D Division bracket (Conroy Cup), both Tufts and Connecticut College advanced. Tufts took on Colgate, who had moved up several spots in the rankings thanks to a strong performance at the end of the regular season. The Jumbos came out on top with a 7-2 win. Conn, the second-seeded team in the division, played Northwestern, who took two matches off the Camels. As hosts, Northeastern did their best to keep top-seeded Hobart from getting too comfortable. The Huskies pushed the Statesmen as hard as they could, coming up only a match short. Hobart advances to play the winner of the Denison-Georgetown match, which was being played late this evening.
The E Division (Chaffee Cup) matches were all played at MIT. Last week, the Cal and Johns Hopkins women played for the E Division title, with Cal emerging victorious. Tonight, the two schools faced each other in the opening round of the men’s tournament, and Cal again came away with the 5-4 win. A year ago, Kenyon and Boston College played each other in the opening round of the E Division. Kenyon won that match 7-2, and this time around BC was looking to close the gap. The Eagles came close to upsetting the Lords, but ended up falling 4-5. As of publication, the other scores in the division had yet to be reported.
The F Division (Serues Cup) matches today were played at Northeastern, and several were played late in the evening. Top-seeded Vassar advanced with a 6-3 win over Swarthmore. The Brewers will play the winner of the Charleston/Bucknell match.
The G Division (Hawthorn Cup) has the biggest draw in the championships with 10 teams. G Division play opened with two play-in matches for the main draw, Vermont-Bard and Notre Dame-Siena. After a hair-raising trip down from Burlington in the snow, Vermont looked strong in their 7-2 win over Siena. The Catamounts were scheduled to play USC later this evening. Notre Dame notched a convincing win over Siena, blanking the Saints 9-0. The prize for the Fighting Irish? Playing Ithaca this evening. The other first-round matches in the G Division were held in the evening at Harvard.
The Emerging Teams will start play tomorrow.