May 1, 2003

Cornell's Top 15 Juniors of 2003

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Three years down, one to go. Many members of the Class of 2004 have already made their mark while others are merely on the verge of greatness. They’ve been Cornell heroes both on the field and off, as well as huge contributors to some of the Red’s top moments over the past three years. The Sun salutes the top 15 juniors of 2002-03.

Ka’Ron Barnes, Men’s Basketball

Early in January, head coach Steve Donahue moved Barnes from shooting guard to the point. The Red subsequently won three of its next four games. Coincidence? Perhaps. It is no coincidence, though, that after the position change, Barnes broke out to have a career year, finishing the season averaging a team-leading 13.7 points per game. He also averaged 4.2 assists. The team’s Most Valuable Player, Barnes was named to the All-Ivy Second Team.

Marissa Bianchi, Women’s Polo

Bianchi carried the women’s polo team to its fourth straight national title last month, scoring nine goals off penalty shots in the Red’ 19-15 win over Colorado State. She earned All-East and All-America honors, and became the third Cornell woman to win three straight national titles, following Melissa Riggs ’02 and senior Taylor McLean.

Andrew Collins, Men’s Lacrosse

With his seven-point performance last Saturday at Brown, Collins became just the sixth member of the Red to score 100 career points. Collins has been a dominating force on attack this season for the No. 12 Red, as he leads the team with 54 total points and 37 assists. He has twice been named the Ivy League Player of the Week this season, helping the Red to at least a share of its first Ivy League championship since 1987.

Tim DeBlois, Men’s Lacrosse

DeBlois’ contributions to the Red’s success this year could easily go unnoticed. But as a long-stick defenseman, DeBlois is one of the best. In the past two years, he has marked some of the best attackmen in college lacrosse, including Virginia’s John Christmas, Syracuse’s Michael Powell, and Princeton’s Ryan Boyle, generating spectacular results. His greatest impact may be off the field, though, where his yeoman work ethic has inspired many teammates to even greater success.

Karen Force, Women’s Basketball

Only Karen Walker ’91 has scored more points in her first three years than Karen Force, who averaged 17.9 points per game this season to gain a first-team All-Ivy nod. She was fifth in the Ancient Eight in scoring, as well as fourth in assists with 4.3. After being named to the 2000-01 All-Ivy Rookie Team, the guard has continued to shine for the Red. Her 933 career points rank her 11th on Cornell’s all-time list.

Senter Johnson, Men’s Polo

Johnson’s development as one of the more dominating polo players in the nation continued this season, as he established himself as the Red’s top scorer in his second season as the starting No. 1. Probably his most impressive performance of the season came in the national semifinal, a game that the Red lost, 19-18, to Colorado State. Despite suffering from illness, he led the team with 10 points.

Tyler Kaune, Track and Field

Kaune established himself as one of the finest field competitors in the nation this past weekend when he claimed the college men’s Eastern long jump title at the Penn Relays. He headlined a list of nine Cornellians who placed in the top 10 at the prestigious event. Kaune’s most recent success adds to a list of top finishes this season. He also took first at the indoor Heptagonal championships, as well as Long Beach Classic, at which he also won the triple jump.

Carissa Mirosol, Field Hockey

Mirasol became the second player in program history to be named to the regional All-America first team twice this season, as she was front in center in the program’s best season. The forward tied for the team lead with 17 points. She also led the team with nine assists. She currently ranks seventh in career points, and third in career assists with 16. Mirasol was also named first-team All-Ivy.

Ian Pilarski, Men’s Soccer

Despite the men’s soccer team’s struggles this season, Pilarsky shined. He scored a goal with two assists this season, and was a crucial factor in setting up the Red’s offense. While Cornell’s offensive output was at time anemic this season, the statistics are deceiving, as the Red produced plenty of good scoring chances, many due to Pilarski’s influence. He was named to the All-Ivy Second Team.

Debbie Quibell, Volleyball

Quibell was named to the All-Ivy First Team for the second straight year after ranking third in the Ivy League in kills and fourth in digs. She is the only member of the Red to have been named All-Ivy in each of her years on the Hill, as she was a second-teamer in 2000, her freshman season. She is second place on Cornell’s career kills list with 1,076, just 114 behind first-place Robin Moore ’00.

Chris Schutt, Baseball

The ace of the Red’s staff, Schutt has been named the Ivy League Pitcher of the Week in each of the last two weeks. He currently leads the Ancient Eight with a 1.98 ERA and is ranked eighth in the country with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings. This past weekend against Penn, Schutt struck out 10 in eight innings while earning the win over Penn. This outing followed a dominating 15-strikeout performance against Columbia a week earlier.

Scott Spencer, Men’s Tennis

The men’s tennis team enjoyed a bit of a resurgence this season, going 3-4 in Ivy League matches. Spencer has been no small part of the Red’s success. Playing at fourth singles and first doubles, Spencer has had a hand in numerous close wins this season, including the heart-stopping 4-3 victory over Yale April 18. After winning his singles match, he teamed with doubles partner Mike Schlappig to win 9-8 and clinch the match.

Sarah Sterman, Softball

Sterman has continued her stellar career this season, leading the Red pitching staff with an 18-4 record. She also picked up her first career no-hitter last month in an important league win over Penn. She has also been named Ivy League Pitcher of the Week twice this season. After being named first-team All-Ivy last season, Sterman appears to be on track to earn that honor for the second consecutive year.

Kate Varde, Softball

An offensive dynamo, Varde has been one of the better hitters in the nation this season, batting well over .400 and leading Cornell in home runs, RBI, doubles, slugging percentage, and walks. She has twice been named Ivy League Player of the Week, most recently on April 15, after going 10-18 with four homers and nine RBI to lead the Red to three doubleheader sweeps. She is in first place on the Red’s career home run list.

Ryan Vesce, Men’s Hockey

Second-team All-ECAC center Vesce had a career season in the Red’s best campaign in 30 years. He led the squad with 45 points and 19 goals. He also had a team-high five game-winning goals. Vesce became the first Cornell junior to score his 100th career point since Joe Niewendyk ’88. Recently named captain of the 2003-04 squad, Vesce was also named to the All-Ivy First Team after leading the Ancient Eight with 15 points.

Archived article by Owen Bochner