Cambridge, MA — Middlebury, Wesleyan, Northwestern, and Minnesota won their division titles at the 2017 Men’s National Team Championships.
C Division (Summers Cup): Middlebury has been a fixture in the Summers Cup in recent years. The Panthers won their first C Division title in 2009, their second full season as a varsity program, and they’ve won four times since then. The only times the Panthers haven’t won the Summers Cup, they were competing up a division for the Hoehn Cup. If the Panthers had history on their side, Virginia had the advantage of recent history: though they were only playing in the Summers Cup for the second time in recent history, they had defeated Middlebury 5-4 when the two teams played in late January. Today’s match was almost as close, with seven of the nine matches going past three games.The score was close into the third round — Middlebury 4, Virginia 3 — but the Panthers took the last two matches on court to win their sixth C Division title. The final score was Middlebury 6, Virginia 3.
D Division (Conroy Cup): Coming into today’s final, Hobart and Wesleyan had each won two D Division titles: the Statesmen won in 2007 and 2012, and the Cardinals won back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992. Hobart hasn’t defeated Wesleyan since 2010, but the Statesmen had the top seed in the division. Both squads had to hold off game opponents in the semifinals, advancing to the finals with matching 5-4 wins. In today’s match, Wesleyan won two matches in both the first and second rounds, opening up a 4-2 lead coming into the final flight of matches. The Cardinals took the next match to clinch the division title early; Hobart won the remaining matches on court. The final score was Wesleyan 5, Hobart 4.
G Division (Hawthorn Cup): Northwestern faced Colgate in the Hawthorn Cup final. Colgate came into the 2017 Men’s and the second seed in the division. The Raiders advanced to the final with wins over Lafayette and Cal. Northwestern’s path the final went through Swarthmore and Vanderbilt.The two finalists hadn’t played each other this season, and they didn’t have any common opponents, either. The suspense surrounding today’s final didn’t last long. Northwestern took an early lead and didn’t look back, winning the match 8-1. The Hawthorn Cup victory marked Northwestern’s first division title since the Wildcats won the Chaffee Cup in 2001.
H Division: 2017 marked the fourth year that the Men’s National Team Championships included an H Division. The six teams in the division were divided into two pools, and the teams played round robin matches throughout the day on Saturday. In Pool A, North Carolina defeated Notre Dame and Siena to advance to the final. In Pool B, Minnesota defeated Sewanee and Brandeis to earn their place in the final. North Carolina and Minnesota had not faced each other during the regular season. In today’s final, Minnesota swept the bottom three matches while North Carolina took matches 4 through 6. At the top of order, the Tar Heels won at #2, but wins at #1 and #3 gave the Golden Gophers the win. The final score was Minnesota 5, North Carolina 4. Today’s victory marked Minnesota’s first division title in program history.