By February 17, 2006
Looking to build momentum before the Ivy Classic in Providence, R.I., next weekend, the gymnastics team will face off against Towson, Temple, George Washington, and Ursinus in a five-team competition this weekend.
“I think they know that we can improve on what we did last week, and I think they are ready to do that,” said head coach Paul Beckwith. “It would be great to do it on the road again as a tune up for the Ivies.”
The Red finished second at its own Big Red Invitational last weekend, giving the team confidence going into the weekend.
“We threw a bunch of new skills last weekend, and I think we are going to do them again this weekend [and] hopefully improve them, again getting ready for our Ivy meet, which is our big event coming up,” Beckwith said. “I think the last couple of weeks have been really good – the team’s attitude has been really good. Basically, we are on a roll right now.”
The first-place finisher last weekend was Towson, a team that the Red will face again this weekend.
“We had Towson here last weekend, and it was really close,” Beckwith said. “We had some mistakes on vaulting, and we actually could have won the meet, which is really exciting because they are a really powerful and well funded Division I program.”
Besides Towson, the Red has already competed against two other schools that it will face this coming weekend, George Washington and Temple. Overall, the team has had mixed results against these teams, falling to both Towson and George Washington while defeating Temple.
Last weekend, Ursinus fell to SUNY Brockport in a dual meet.
“Our goal always remains the same and that is to up our team score,” Beckwith said. “Right now, if you looked at high team scores, we have the second highest in the Ivy League this year. I would like to go into our Ivy meet the following weekend with the highest team score, which would give us a whole lot of confidence.”
The team currently has a high team score of 188.175, which they established at last weekend’s invitational. Cornell boasted especially strong performances from sophomore Megan Gilbert with an all-around score 38.100, junior Randi Bisbano with an all-around score of 37.45, sophomore Leslie Gregory with an all-around score of 37.2 and freshman Jennifer Yee with a score of 9.775 on bars. Gilbert’s all-around score was the fifth-highest in school history.
“If we make a mistake, we need to be able to pick it up and keep right on going and that’s what we did last week,” Beckwith said. “It started out rough on vault, which is our first event, with one of the lowest vaulting scores of the year, and we picked it right back up and had the best day of the year on the other three events.”
The Red will look to improve on its performances last weekend and build up its momentum going into the Ivy League Classic.
“We had some problems in the beginning of the year with consistency, and there are still a couple of flaws, but basically everyone has come together,” Beckwith said. “We have started to feel really powerful when we get out on the floor and that’s what it takes. We want to feel like we are unstoppable.”
Archived article by Catherine BourqueSun Staff Writer
By February 17, 2006
This weekend provides critical matches for Cornell’s polo teams, as the men will try to remain unbeaten in 2006, while the women’s team looks to build upon its recent improvements and corral its first victory of the New Year. The men will host Valley Forge Military Academy tonight while the women take on Virginia tomorrow night.
Even though the men’s team has been riding high this season, winning eight of its 11 matches, there has been some recent cause for concern. Starting freshman Robert Harvey and junior Stan Feldman have been on the sidelines recently with injuries, forcing head coach David Eldredge ’81 to juggle his rotations and see if other players can produce. Senior Will Yang and sophomore Dan Crespo have seen the majority of the additional time and will need to play well this weekend to keep the winning streak alive. While Crespo will be playing with limited experience, he has the confidence of his teammates.
“Dan’s playing really well recently, especially offensively,” Feldman said.
The lone remaining starter -sophomore Brian Fairclough – will need to show faith in his teammates, but Eldredge sees this is as a chance for the team to gel before the playoffs.
“If they can have that faith, it’s a step forward for the whole team,” Eldredge said. “It’s an opportunity, I hope we can take advantage.”
The men’s team already beat VFMA in the season opener last October, but Eldredge acknowledged this provides little advantage for tonight’s game.
Between Cornell’s two key injuries and Valley Forge now boasting its best player back from injury, the game will prove to be a challenge for the Red.
“It’s not going to be easy by any means,” Eldredge said.
The women, meanwhile, will be looking to put together a solid effort and defeat Virginia for its first victory since the return of sophomores Ariel Katz and Julie Nicholson from the semester abroad.
“I’m coming into this weekend with high hopes,” Eldredge said. “UVA is a tough team, but I’m looking at it as a guide for where we stand.”
According to Eldredge, the main improvement has been gelling the new players together and focusing on how each player fits into the overall system.
“We’ve been working really hard to function as a team,” Katz said. “We’re definitely getting better.”
Communication will be the key for this weekend’s match and the players are aware of that.
“I’m pretty excited for the game,” said senior captain Morgan O’Brien. “The first couple of games we were all going for the same plays. Now we’ve gotten better at communicating.”
Archived article by Tim Perone Sun Contributor