Playoff results: squash, basketball, and ice hockey

Men’s Squash 

Colby men’s squash kicked off the weekend’s playoff events with matches Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Harvard University. Friday’s event was the quarterfinals of the College Squash Association (CSA) National Collegiate Men’s Team Championships. After a successful 11-9 season, the Men’s team was ranked fifth nationally, earning them a match with the fourth ranked Bates in Friday’s championship bracket. 

The Mules played two hard-fought games against the Bobcats earlier this season, losing each by slim 5-4 margins. Sadly, this match fared much worse, resulting in an 8-1 defeat, as Charlie Beauregard `20 earned Colby’s only win. Luckily for the senior class, the season wasn’t over with that loss. Men’s squash moved directly into the consolation semifinals on Saturday and with a win, the consolation finals Sunday. 

Saturday’s match drew the eighth-seed Jumbos of Tufts University, whom the Mules hadn’t played yet this season. The match was a close one, with Colby scraping out a 5-4 win and a spot in the consolation finals. Colby’s wins came from the likes of Alex Spafford `22, Alexander Kurtin `21, Jack Vanderhorst `23, Ryan Santoro `22, and Duda Voldman `22. 

Moving on to the consolation final, the Mules found themselves facing Bowdoin, with an opportunity for redemption against another Maine school. Again, Colby scraped by with a 5-4 victory with wins coming from Spafford, Vanderhorst, and Beauregard, as well as Chase Holding `21 and Dylan Tymkiw `23. The CSA tournament wrapped up Colby’s team season, with the single’s championship to be held next weekend in Philadelphia.

Women’s Ice Hockey

Colby women’s ice hockey hosted their first NESCAC Quarterfinal this Saturday against the seventh ranked Bowdoin Polar Bears. Colby’s attempt to sweep Bowdoin after 2-1 and 2-0 victories way back in November could not be certain. Since their meeting, Colby has maintained an impressive form culminating in the highest seed in the college’s history. The Polar Bears, on the other hand, seemed to fall flat, with an 8-13-3 record that landed them well short of .500. Yet anything is possible in the NESCAC playoffs, especially with such a heated rivalry. 

Despite an impressive performance from Bowdoin goalie Dani Marquez, tallying 31 saves, Bowdoin could not withstand the Colby attack. The Mules broke a tense stalemate that lasted into the second period with a goal from Lexi Cafiero `22, assisted by McKinley Karpa `22 and Tess Dupre `20. 

Karpa found her way back into the box score early in the third period, converting on a power play opportunity with assists from sisters Bri Michaud-Nolan `23 and Aimely Michaud-Nolan `21. 

Goalie Nina Prunster `22 earned another shutout, facing 17 shots and maintaining tremendous form that can only carry over to the semi-finals. 

While the scoreline may suggest utter dominance from Colby, Bowdoin’s efforts were valiant, but insufficient. The Polar Bears recorded a single faceoff more than Colby, but were held 0-4 on power plays, as Colby’s defense held true after each wave of attack. 

The Mules are moving on to the NESCAC Semifinals to be played in Middlebury, Vermont against the number three ranked Amherst Mammoths. Both teams have been dominant this season, have carried their momentum to the postseason, and hope to crush the other. 

Men’s Basketball

Men’s basketball has enjoyed its best season in recent memory, putting together stunning performance after stunning performance, and culminating in a double overtime thriller last week to send Colby on to the NESCAC Semifinals. 

On Saturday, Feb. 29, Colby fought Amherst in the NESCAC Semifinal, which proved nearly as exciting as the quarterfinal. Playing at Tufts University, Amherst jumped ahead from the start with a 10-0 lead. Colby found their shooting rhythm quickly, rallying back to cut Ahmerst’s lead to six points, to trail 38-32 going into halftime. 

Fighting for the right to play in the NESCAC Championship on Sunday, the Mules found motivation for an 8-0 run to take the lead 40-38 with just under 16 minutes left. Down again, Colby leaned on Matt Hanna `21 and Noah Tyson `22 to land a pair of threes to find a four point lead with just over two minutes left. Hanna ended the game leading all shooters with 22 points, shooting 8-18, while Tyson recorded a double-double tallying 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Mules completed their comeback, warding off Amherst shooters to end the game 65-61 and earn their spot in the Championship game the next day.

With a chance to win their first ever NESCAC Championship, Colby faced Tufts on their home court. The game would be close from the start, with Tufts seeded number one and Colby at two, but the result was everything fans could hope for. A close first half was in jeopardy, as the Jumbos broke in front with a 41-28 lead until Colby clawed their way back to reach 45-31 at the end of the first half. 

The Mules finally found their way in front with a Tyson 3-pointer and free throw with 3:40 left to make the score 64-63. 

The captivating game only became more intense as the teams traded baskets until a 3-pointer from Tufts’ Eric Savage took the game to overtime just when Colby thought they’d won it all. 

Tufts carried their momentum through to the end, winning 102-94 in an absolutely heartbreaking final for the Mules. 

Voyeur and basketball fanatic Aidan Cyr `20 was at the game:

“As a spectator it was incredible to support a team that put everything on the line for each other, and demonstrated a true winning mentality. So many electrifying shots and big stops. The team has a super bright future, but shout out to the seniors for amazing careers and leading the team on an amazing run!”

Colby Men’s basketball has nothing but potential, and this young team should feel nothing but proud of the historic season they put together. Although the loss may sting, there’s no doubt the boys will be back for more next season.

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