Weekend Sports Preview Box

As the winter athletics season continues to wind down, various Tufts teams are heating up in preparation for postseason play, so once again we break down the schedule of this weekend’s contests and why they matter.

In arguably the marquee event of the weekend, the women’s swimming and diving team is up at Middlebury through Sunday for their NESCAC Championships. Following their most promising season in the last few years, the Jumbos’ hopes are high for this weekend. The men’s team has the weekend off as they continue their training in preparation for their championship meet next weekend.

After splitting their two games last weekend against the top two teams in the conference, the men’s basketball team heads out to Williams this evening for its final regular-season game ahead of the NESCAC tournament. Sitting at 6-3 in conference play and in fourth place in a tight NESCAC race, the Jumbos are looking to beat a 4-4 Ephs team which could, with some help from other conference opponents taking down the Middlebury Panthers and the Wesleyan Cardinals, send them into the tournament with momentum and the No. 3 seed.

Women’s basketball remains undefeated in conference play and the team is in sole possession of first place after handing Amherst its first NESCAC loss of the year last Saturday — its first loss at home since Jan. 31, 2009. The Jumbos wrap up their season at home tonight with a game against Williams at Cousens Gym on Friday at 7 p.m. as they look to wrap up the No. 1 seed ahead of the NESCAC tournament. As usual, postseason expectations are high for the team as it sets its sights on a NESCAC title and a deep NCAA run.

After dominating Conn. College in a pair of games last weekend, hockey, at seventh place in the NESCAC, is on the road this weekend, traveling to Amherst on Saturday for a very winnable game against the No. 6 team. The Jumbos will follow that game up with a tougher match-up against the No. 3 Hamilton Continentals on Sunday as they hope to stay competitive in the middle of the NESCAC pack in their penultimate weekend of conference action.

The men and women’s squash teams, fresh off of their NESCAC tournaments last weekend, look to build some momentum going into the College Squash Association team nationals next weekend. The men’s team erased from their memory a disappointing showing at last weekend’s tournament with a decisive 9-0 win over Brandeis on Tuesday and looks to continue building momentum as they face a trio of matches tomorrow at Wesleyan against the hosts, Vassar and Bard. The women’s team is also at Wesleyan tomorrow with a pair of games against the hosts and Vassar. First-year Hannah Burns won NESCAC Player of the Week after going 4-0 against Boston College, Trinity, Wesleyan and Bates last weekend, making her the third Jumbo on the team to win Player of the Week honors this season.

The men and women’s track and field teams look to continue their hot starts to the season as they take part in the David Hemery Invitational this weekend at Boston University. Both teams are carrying momentum into the weekend with a number of their runners holding top-10 times in the nation, a good sign as they gear up for the New England Div. III Indoor Championships next weekend. The men’s team will also be sending a contingency to Cambridge this weekend for the MIT Invitationals.