November 10, 2000

Big Games

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It’s Championship Season for the fall sports.

And for the first time in a while, we on East Hill have something to look forward to.

This weekend is the Ivy Volleyball Championships in Cambridge, Mass., and the Cornell team has a good shot of winning the event.

Head coach Christie Jackson and her squad finished third in the league during the regular season, with losses to Brown, Pennsylvania and Princeton.

Today, the Red will face Brown in a chance for revenge, and the right to move on to the semifinals of the tourney. Then, should the women move into the round of four, it will face the winner of the Penn/Harvard match. Against the Quakers, Cornell could again use revenge as a motivating factor, whereas the Crimson fell to the Red in a five-game nailbiter in Newman Arena. If Cornell makes it to this round, there is no doubt that it can be competitive.

In the finals, Princeton will likely come from the other side of the bracket. Last year’s league champion, the Tigers have to go through the easier part of the bracket, facing Columbia in the first round and the winner of Yale/Dartmouth in the semifinals. But the Tigers are vulnerable, as Dartmouth proved early in the season. Jackson and her squad may not be the favorites, but they are on a roll and are not a team to be taken lightly after the stellar regular season they put together.

As exciting as this is, there is another fall sport still in the hunt for an Ivy title.

The football team is just two wins away from taking its fourth ever Ivy title, and if Harvard should lose one of its next two games, its first out-right title.

Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., in New York City, step one of that quest begins, as Columbia hosts the Red. Columbia is a lowly 1-4 in the league, with its only win coming against Dartmouth.

However, Cornell has proven that it doesn’t really matter who it plays, this game depends on how Cornell plays. So if head coach Pete Mangurian and his men step onto the field determined to win an Ivy title tomorrow, they should have their opportunity next weekend with Penn at home. But, if the gridders come out slow, Jonathan Reese and the Lions could ruin a great opportunity for the Red.

(One other note about the Ivy title in football — Penn hosts Harvard this weekend, in a battle of the other 4-1 squads in the league. If Penn wins, next weekend’s contest in Ithaca is for the outright title, otherwise Yale needs to beat Harvard for Cornell to have a shot at the outright title.)

This brings me to what I really wanted to say, the Cornell athletic teams have by-and-large been improving in my three-plus years here. But, with the exceptions of the women’s cross country team winning Heps two years ago, softball and wrestling winning an Ivy title two seasons ago and men’s lacrosse downing top-ranked Syracuse last spring, the Red has never won the big game. Teams may have won important contests, but rarely the contest to win the league.

All that could change this weeklend.

Archived article by J.V. Anderton