MASC Earns Full Conference Recognition From CSA

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Stanford Joins MASC Women's Division as Sixth Member

       Today, the Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference and MASC Commissioner Anderson Good are pleased to announce Stanford University as the sixth member of the Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference's women's division competing for the Gaynor Cup. Stanford will begin competition as a MASC-member during the 2023-23 season and will compete in their first Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference Championship at the University of Virginia from February 3-5, 2023. Please join us in welcoming Stanford to MASC and we can't wait to see them compete for the Gaynor Cup this coming February in Charlottesville.

       Stanford joins Georgetown University as the most recent addition to the MASC women's division, after Georgetown's inaugural season as a MASC member in 2021-22.

       Stanford has a storied history of success in its squash program after its first varsity season in 2003-04. Since their elevation to varsity status, Stanford has produced seven All-Americans and finished with a program-best final College Squash Association (CSA) National Ranking of #3 in 2018-19. From 2016-2020, Stanford finished no worse than 6th in the final CSA National Rankings.

       Led by legendary Head Coach Mark Talbott, Stanford will look to dethrone defending MASC champions Drexel University this upcoming season. In advance of Stanford's first season as a MASC member, Coach Talbott had this to say about the upcoming season: “Stanford is thrilled to be joining the Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference. Stanford Squash has never been a part of a league or conference before and to join the five other competitive schools competing for the Gaynor Cup is very exciting for our student-athletes and adds a new dimension to our squash season. We are thrilled to be a part of the first squash-specific collegiate conference and look forward to participating in our first MASC Championship event this coming February.”

       Additionally, MASC Commissioner Anderson Good had this to say on the addition of Stanford to the programs vying for the Gaynor Cup: "We are thrilled to welcome Stanford to MASC. Not only do we bring in a program with a proven track record of vying for National Championships and producing All-Americans, but we enhance MASC competition for all conference members. I think the addition of Stanford will enhance the competition of the MASC Women's Division, and continue to build the foundation for meaningful rivalries to develop."

       Stanford will feature in their first MASC Championships at the University of Virginia's McArthur Squash Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, from February 3-5, 2023.

2021/22 Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference Season Recap

       After a yearlong hiatus, Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference competition made up for lost time with its 2021/22 season. 2021/22 saw the addition of a new member to the conference, Georgetown University, which joined the Women’s Division competing for the Gaynor Cup. Unfortunately, the pandemic-layoff saw the departure of one of the MASC founding members, George Washington University, which was discontinued as a varsity program in July of 2020. 

       After terrific regular seasons from all member programs, the first post-pandemic MASC Championship was staged in Lancaster, PA, with Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster Country Day School serving as co-hosts for the 3rd annual championship from February 4-6, 2022.

       The Men’s Division, which competes for the Holley Cup, was broken into two groups of three teams for round robin play. The winners of each group would contest for the MASC Championship, the second place finishers would compete for third and fourth place and so on. Drexel University and the University of Virginia cruised through pool play to set up an intense final. The two programs were jockeying for the #8 College Squash Association National Ranking, or in other words, a berth into the Potter Cup, the National Championship division of the CSA Nationals. Arguably the best match in MASC history, multiple lead changes led to a dramatic 4-4, 5 game thriller which eventually went the way of UVA. This was UVA’s third consecutive Holley Cup.

       The Women’s Division, competing for the Gaynor Cup, was contested in a five-team round robin format. There were competitive matches across the tournament, but the closest and most hotly contested match was the women’s final between Drexel University and the University of Virginia. Similar to the Men’s final, there were several lead changes with both teams near each other in the CSA National rankings, but Drexel eventually pulled through to clinch their second consecutive Gaynor Cup. Drexel is undefeated in MASC Championship play since joining the conference in 2019-20.

       All of our member programs fared very well at the College Squash Association National Championships. The highlights were the Drexel women who reached the National Championship match for the first time in program history, but unfortunately ended up losing to Harvard University. Additionally, the Naval Academy upset three straight opponents to win the Summers Cup, finishing 17th in the CSA National Rankings after coming into the tournament ranked #23.

       After the season was completed, postseason awards were given. MASC announced its All-Conference and All-Academic teams, in addition to individual player and coach awards. The MASC Women’s Rookie of the Year went to UVA #1 and All-American, Meagan Best. On the other hand, the Men’s Rookie of the Year Award was split between two exciting young players, Haris Qasim of Drexel, and Petr Nohel of Franklin & Marshall.

       The Women’s Coach of the Year Award went to John White and the Drexel University staff, while the Men’s Coach of the Year Award went to Mark Allen and the University of Virginia staff. And finally, the Women’s Player of the Year was awarded to Drexel #1 and All-American Karina Tyma, and the MASC Men’s Player of the Year was won by UVA #1 and All-American, Aly Hussein.

       It was another terrific MASC season, and it was extra special after the yearlong layoff. Now preparation begins for the 2023 MASC Championships which will be held at UVA’s home facility, the McArthur Squash Center in Charlottesville, VA.

2022 MASC Championships Day 3 Recap
February 6th, 2022

       Sunday of the 2022 MASC Championships was the most exciting and scintillating day of squash the MASC Championships have ever seen in its short history. The Holley and Gaynor Cup finals lived up to hype, and then some, and the rest of our Sunday action did not disappoint as well.       

       But first, let’s aggregate some statistics from the MASC Championships to summarize the incredible squash we were treated to all weekend in Lancaster. 

The 2022 MASC Championships by the numbers:

187: total number of matches contested in the Holley and Gaynor Cups throughout the weekend

60: the percentage of matches that were decided in 4 or 5 games in the Holley and Gaynor Cup finals.

7: the amount of team matches that were determined by 5-4 or 6-3 final scores throughout the tournament

2: Champions, congratulations University of Virginia Men’s Squash and Drexel University Women’s Squash!

       Before we get to recapping the two incredible finals Sunday brought us, let’s take a look at some of the other hotly contested matches Sunday delivered.

       The day began with Gaynor Cup competition between hosts Franklin & Marshall and the University of Virginia. There were great rallies and competition throughout the match, but UVA proved to be too deep for the Diplomats, winning 9-0, which set up a rematch of the 2020 Gaynor Cup finals with Drexel.

       The morning slate at Lancaster Country Day School began with the Holley Cup 5th/6th playoff between Dickinson College and the United States Naval Academy. After the first wave of matches, the team match score was knotted at 2-2, and Dickinson narrowly escaped with a 5-4 win. Dickinson was able to win the top 4 matches and the number 9 spot on their way to securing a 5th place finish. 

       The late morning slot began with Dickinson and Georgetown finishing out their Gaynor Cup pool play competition. Dickinson used their experience over a Georgetown squad that is in their inaugural varsity season and was able to win 9-0. 

       The 3rd/4th Holley Cup playoff was another nail biter between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Franklin & Marshall College, the match took place at Lancaster Country Day School. MIT led 3-1 after the first wave of matches, but F&M didn’t go down without a fight. The match finished 5-4 in favor of MIT. This result caused a bit of ranking shuffle in the path to CSA Nationals for both teams, going into the MASC Championships, F&M sat at 14 in the College Squash Association National Rankings, and MIT at 16. With this result, MIT and F&M switched places in the most updated National rankings published on February 8, 2022, with MIT now at 14, and F&M at 16. 

       The first of two Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference titles was on the line when Drexel and UVA faced off for the Holley Cup at host site Franklin & Marshall College. Right from the very beginning of this match, you could feel the tension and intensity being displayed from both teams. At one point, Drexel held a lead of 4-2 and it seemed like they would take the title, but UVA just didn’t go away. They clawed back with wins by Charles Braff at #9 and Myles McIntyre at #7. After the 9 and 7 position results, the match score was tied at 4-4 and it all came down to the #4 match between Taha Dinana of Virginia and Fritiof Jacobsson of Drexel. 

       Dinana and Jacobsson were playing at a fast and dynamic pace, and seldom involving the referee. Dinana was down 2-1 in the match and clawed back to win the fourth 11-6, and miraculously won the fifth game 11-9 after being down 9-7 late in the game. The match took 81 minutes to reach its conclusion. The UVA Men’s squad stormed the court to embrace their teammate and the Holley Cup was finally decided. UVA had won their third consecutive Holley Cup!

       In speaking with UVA Head Coach Mark Allen after his team’s Holley Cup title, he had this to say about the Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference and this year’s Championships: “With no other varsity squash schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), we really appreciate being in the Mid-Atlantic Squash Conference and the opportunity it presents to compete for a conference championship title. It adds an edge to the matches played against anyone else in the conference throughout the season, as well as of course during the championship weekend itself. The fact that the deciding matches in both the men’s and women’s championship finals were decided by 5-4 score lines and the teams were separated by just a few points, made this year’s tournament the most exciting one yet and we are already looking forward to the 2023 Championships!”

       The Holley Cup Final set a very high bar for competition heading into the Gaynor Cup finals, also between the University of Virginia and Drexel University. Luckily, this final was also an incredible final full of great squash and tight matches across the board.

       Similar to the Holley Cup final, Drexel’s women got off to a hot start, winning the first wave of matches 3-1, thanks to a 5-game win at the 1 and 3 spots, and a 4-game win at the number 8 position. UVA clawed their way back to 4-3, thanks to wins by Amanda Haywood and Sydney Maxwell at 5 and 9. Luckily for Drexel, they had the defending MASC Rookie of the Year in Alina Bushma at the number 2 position to close out the win with a 3-0 win against UVA’s Maria Moya. Bushma’s win took the match score to 5-3, giving Drexel the team win. After the team match had been decided, Emma Jinks defeated Noa Blazquez in 5 games at the number 4 position, thus ending the match in a 5-4 victory for Drexel. This is Drexel’s second consecutive Gaynor Cup Championship. In Drexel’s two seasons of competition in the Gaynor Cup, they are 2 for 2 in bringing home championships.

       In speaking with Drexel Head Coach John White about his teams’ success this weekend, he had this to say about the weekend and the MASC Championships: “I am very proud of both Drexel teams during the MASC Championships weekend. The men fought hard but UVA were too good on the day, congrats to Mark and his team! The Drexel women put it all together, stayed strong and got the ‘W’ against a very strong UVA team. The win was a great boost to the program and certainly put a smile on my face and made me a very proud coach! The MASC Championships is a great event as it stands out from a regular weekend of matches. It is a team goal to win the MASC Championships and something to really train for and look forward to. It brings the team together and gives them a taste of just how competitive the CSA Team Championships will be!”

       Well, that is all from Lancaster after the best MASC Championships to date. After a two-year hiatus, we couldn’t have asked for a better return to action. A massive thank you go out to Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster Country Day School as serving as two incredible hosts. We can’t wait to bring the MASC Championships back to Lancaster soon! 

       Just because the MASC Championships are over, doesn’t mean there won’t be MASC news coming out very soon. Be on the lookout for our MASC postseason awards and All-Conference teams. As well as news regarding 2022/23 expansion and the date and location of the 2023 MASC Championships. Until then, we wish our member programs the best of luck at CSA Nationals coming up in a few weeks!

Final Standings for the 2022 MASC Championships

Men's Standings

       1.       University of Virginia
       2.       Drexel University
       3.       Massachusetts Institute of Technology
       4.       Franklin & Marshall College
       5.       Dickinson College
       6.       United States Naval Academy

Women's Standings

       1.       Drexel University
       2.       University of Virginia
       3.       Franklin & Marshall College
       4.       Dickinson College
       5.       Georgetown University

2022 MASC Championships Day 2 Recap
February 5th, 2022

       The 2022 MASC Championships continued in Lancaster, Pennsylvania today with nine matches at our two host venues.

       The first match of the morning saw the Drexel women dispatch the Dickinson women 9-0. At the same time, the UVA women took care of Georgetown over at Lancaster Country Day School by the same score. 

       The next shift of matches saw two Holley Cup bouts, Drexel took down hosts Franklin & Marshall by a score of 9-0. Additionally, MIT, after some challenging travel changes, was able to take down a feisty Dickinson squad by a score of 6-3. 

       The Holley Cup matches finished up for the day with Drexel taking down Navy 9-0 to secure their place in the Holley Cup Final. And UVA defeated MIT 8-1 to also book their place in the Holley Cup Final. 

       UVA is the two-time defending champion of the Holley Cup, but Drexel narrowly defeated UVA a few weeks ago. This matchup for the Holley Cup will certainly produce some the highest-level play College Squash has to offer.

       To finish off the Gaynor Cup competition for the day, F&M took down Georgetown 9-0, UVA took down Dickinson 9-0 and Drexel defeated host F&M 9-0 to book their place in the Gaynor Cup Final. 

       The UVA and F&M women will compete Sunday morning at 9:30am, the winner of that match will face off against Drexel in the Gaynor Cup Final at 1:30pm at F&M. Drexel is the defending Gaynor Cup champion, so only time will tell who will try and dethrone the Dragons. 

       Live streaming will be available for both the Holley and Gaynor Cup finals. These links can be accessed under the MASC Championships tab on our website. 

       We can’t wait for two champions to be crowned and hoist our new and improved Gaynor and Holley Cup trophies!

2022 MASC Championships Day 1 Recap
February 4th, 2022

       After a two-year hiatus, the MASC Championships finally kicked off this evening at our two host venues, Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster Country Day School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This is the first time the MASC Championships have been held in Lancaster.

       The first match of the championships saw the Franklin & Marshall women face off against the Dickinson women. There were some very tight matches between these two local rivals, highlighted at the #8 position with Pratiksha Mishra of F&M dispatching Jocelyn Feliciano in 5 games. Just like when F&M and Dickinson played in the Pennsylvania State Classic in November, F&M emerged victorious tonight by a score of 6-3.

       Simultaneous to the F&M and Dickinson women competing at F&M, the University of Virginia and Dickinson men were competing at Lancaster Country Day School. Virginia looked strong and confident all match long, taking care of business to start their 2022 MASC campaign with a 9-0 victory. 

       The second round of the Friday evening matches began with Navy and F&M in the men’s division. Navy had upset F&M less than a week ago in Annapolis by a score of 5-4. The rematch on F&M’s home courts poised to be hotly contested and both teams did not disappoint. After the first round of matches, the team match score was knotted at 2-2. It was high intensity squash all night, but F&M eventually pulled away clinching the match at 5-3. The match finished with a final score of 5-4. 

       The second match of the evening at Lancaster Country Day School was the Drexel women against Georgetown. Georgetown is competing in their first MASC Championships as this season is their first year as a varsity program. Drexel, one of the strongest teams in the country, used their experience to their advantage and defeated Georgetown 9-0.

       Saturday will see several key matches take place and determine which teams will compete for the Holley and Gaynor Cups on Sunday. Play will begin at F&M at 9am with the Drexel women taking on Dickinson. Then the UVA women will take on Georgetown at 10am to begin the day at LCDS. 

       Be sure to follow our social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all with the handle @mascsquash to follow along all weekend!