The fall tennis season begins today, with the Red taking on a mixed field of Ivy foes and local contenders. The men will play host to the Cornell Fall Invitational at Reis Tennis Center today through Sunday.
The men’s team is returning to the court after a breakout season with now second-year head coach David Geatz, who led the Red to a second place finish in the Ivy League. The team dropped only two matches last year against the Ancient Eight, both of which went down 4-3. The Red graduated five seniors, and has brought on five freshmen to fill the empty spots. This season may be harder for the Red, after losing a few players who, according to junior Jeremy Feldman, were the “heart and soul of the team.”
First off, hello there, my name is Rahul Kishore, and you’ve probably never heard of me before. They even give you a mugshot of me so you can find me on your daily walk through campus and either give me a high five or wring my neck. Talk about accountability.
For the large majority of you, you’ve never met me and you probably never will. I’m a lowly sophomore in “the College” and generally I’ve become a slave of this paper and other student organizations. But for the few moments of the day I’m not being proverbially “pwned” by Cornell, I get around to watching, but rarely playing, sports.
Cornell’s volleyball program has seen a sea of changes in the months since the season ended in 2008. The 2009 season will mark the introduction of a new head coach, a new recruiting class, and a new drive for the top spot in the Ancient Eight.
In a shakeup of Cornell’s tennis program, David Geatz, the rookie head coach of the men’s team will also be taking the helm of the women’s program. Geatz was brought on last year, garnering a stellar 5-2 Ancient Eight record for the season. The Red has never had so many league wins in a season, and its second place finish behind Columbia is the best finish for the team in 60 years. The team also held a 14-5 record overall, taking four losses from nationally ranked teams.
The National Collegiate Athletics Association recertified Cornell as a Division I school yesterday. Recertifications for Division I schools occur every ten years. Though the NCAA only pertains to athletics, recertification requires analysis of the University as a whole, including its administration, governance and equity.
Cornell was found not to have any particular issues of concern. The committee analyzed Cornell’s commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity and the promotion of equity and athlete welfare.
“We would want to applaud the Athletics department coaches and staff, who manage a very complex set of NCAA compliance standards,” said Mary George Opperman, Cornell vice president for human resources.
In the last weekend of the spring season, Cornell’s crew teams will take on their Ivy rivals as a last tuneup before EARC championships.
The men’s heavyweight crew will host Princeton and Yale in a battle of some of the top Varsity 8 squads in the nation. In the final EARC heavy weight seedings, Cornell’s Varsity 8 was ranked 9th, while Princeton sat a 4th and Yale at 10th. Ivy Leage competition is notoriously tight, and this weekend’s races will be a test for the Red as a preview of the competition at EARC championships on May 10. The lightweight crew will host Dartmouth for the Baggley cup. The Red has had a tight record with the Green in the past according to varsity coxswain Kerry Quinn, and this year’s race is expected to be no different.
All three rowing teams had successful weekends, as the Red was able to overpower its opponents in most events.
The heavyweight crew won the Goes Trophy by trouncing Syracuse and Army on Onondaga Lake in the all-important varsity-8 race. The Red also picked up the Stagg Cup for winning four of the five races held on the lake.
The heavyweights have been dominant in the last two weekends. Saturday marked the first time that the Red had lost a race since the fall season. However, the team will have a much tougher test next weekend as it returns to Ithaca for a head-to-head matchup with Princeton and Yale.
The women’s lacrosse team heads to Syracuse tonight to face off with the Orange at the Carrier Dome. No. 17 Cornell currently holds a two-game winning streak heading into its match on No. 8 Syracuse’s home turf. Though the Red is on the upswing at the moment, Syracuse will be a much tougher test than either Brown or New Hampshire was.
Rowing had a successful weekend on the water. The women’s team picked up the second-most wins at the Class of ’75 cup behind the winners, Princeton. Both novice teams were able to pick up wins in their respective events. The men also had a successful weekend with the heavyweight crew cruising to victory and the lightweight crew coming up just short against No. 1 Princeton.
The equestrian team heads to Ivy League championships this Saturday. The team has performed well this season including qualifying a good portion of the team for Regionals and Zonals. The team should be the favorite going into the Ancient Eight’s final contest, but much will depend on the team’s performance this weekend. The Red captured second place at Ivy’s last year before moving on to other championship meets.
Ivy league Equestrian teams do not often compete against eachother. The season is short and this will likely be the first time that many of these teams meet. The Red has had a successful season so far and is well prepared for Ivy League Championships.