The Athletic Department announced today that the Football team and band are expected to switch places next season as a last resort. The announcement came after…Okay, we’re allowed one April Fools joke about the CU Football team, but let’s get on to the real sports action this week. Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis, Softball, and Baseball all opened Ivy League play this weekend, and all teams did so with victories. Both Tennis teams took down Cornell, while Baseball and Softball notched wins against Yale. The Heavyweight Rowers also had a great weekend, capturing the Alumni Cup by a (figurative) mile.
Read on for the rest of the Lions weekly round-up, a March Madness update, and a special report on some CU swimmers at the Canadian Olympic trials.
Columbia Lions Weekly Round-up:
Men’s Tennis (14-2, 1-0 Ivy League):
Cornell 4-3 (W)
Highlights: The #52 nationally-ranked Lions opened the Ivy League season on Saturday on the road against defending Ivy League champs Cornell in a thrilling come from behind victory. From the onset of the doubles matches, it was clear the match was going to be close. After the Big Red shut out the Lions in the No. 2 spot, 8-0, the remaining two matches were forced into tiebreakers to decide the doubles point. Juniors Nathaniel Gery and John Yetimoglu won their tiebreaker, 9-8(5), followed by freshman Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur, who took the No. 1 doubles match, 9-8(4), to win the double point for the Lions and put them in the lead heading into singles. Narayana quickly added to Columbia’s lead in the No. 4 spot, but Cornell rallied with wins in the No. 3 an 6 spots to tie the match at 2. The Big Red gained their first lead of the day after taking the No. 5 singles, but the Lions rallied to take the No. 1 and 2 singles, both in three sets. The win marks the tenth straight victory for the Lions and an undefeated start to Ivy League play.
Up Next: The Lions return home next weekend for two Ivy League matches at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center. On Saturday, the Men’s team will take on Dartmouth at 2 p.m. followed by Harvard at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Women’s Tennis (10-3, 1-0 Ivy League):
Cornell 5-2 (W)
Highlights: At the Dick Savitt Tennis Center on Saturday, the Lions took on Cornell in their first Ivy League match of the seasons. Columbia grabbed an early advantage in the doubles point after freshman Crystal Leung and junior Katarina Kovacevic beat their Big Red counterparts in the No.3 spot. Shortly thereafter, sophomore Iani Alecsiu and junior Nicole Bartnik clinched won in the No. 2 spot to clinch the doubles point and put the Lions in the lead. In the singles, Kovacevic finished first after winning five games straight to come back in the second set and win, 6-1, 7-5, while sophomore Tina Takenaga easily handled her opponent, 6-1, 6-3, to give the Lions a 3-0 advantage. Sophomore Bianca Sanon clinched the overall win for Columbia with a close win in the No. 2 spot, 6-3, 6-4. The Lions only dropped two matches on the day to take their fifth straight victory and first Ivy League win, 5-2.
Up Next: The Lions have back-to-back Ivy League road matches next weekend, facing Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday.
Baseball (9-14, 3-1 Ivy League):
Army 7-5 (W)
Yale (Game 1) 3-1 (W)
Yale (Game 2) 3-0 (W)
Brown (Game 1) 3-4 (L)
Brown (Game 2) 14-6 (W)
Highlights: Coming off of a sweep at Holy Cross last weekend, the Lions took on Army on Wednesday on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium. Columbia got off to an explosive start, scoring five runs in the first inning to gain an early advantage. After a leadoff double by senior Jon Eisen and junior Dario Pizzano was walked, junior Nick Ferraresi smacked a double off the center fence to score Eisen. An error from the Army right fielder allowed two more runs when senior Billy Rumpke’s fly ball was dropped with one out and the bases loaded. A walk and and a wild pitch that hit Eisen forced two more runs to close out the inning with the lions in the lead by five. In the second, Army to get on the board before Ferraresi and junior Alex Black connected on back to back double to up Columbia up 6-1, and Rumpke followed with a single to bring Black home and extend the lead. The Lions offense cooled off after the second inning and Army began to chip away at the lead, but they were unable to make up the difference.
In the first game against Yale on Saturday, senior right-hander Pat Lowery allowed only one run in the Ivy League contest. In the first, Lowery recovered from two early singles to strike out four of five Bulldog batters to keep the game scoreless. The Lions offense was quiet until the third, when sophomore catcher Mike Fischer grounded one by the third baseline and was ruled safe after the umpires reversed the call. Eisen followed with a single, and Rumpke drove both runners home with a line drive triple. Pizzano then added an RBI to put the Lions up 3-0. Lowery retired 10 straight batters before allowing one run in the seventh as the Lions went on to win, 3-1.
In Game 2, solid pitching made the difference once again as sophomore David Speer and senior Harrison Slutzky combined for nine shutout innings and 12 strikeouts, while allowing only six hits. Columbia stole a run in the first inning to get on the board early again. With two outs and runners on the corners, Pizzano took off for second, forcing the Bulldog catcher to throw to second and allowing Eisen to run home. In the third, Pizzano cranked one into left center field with two outs to score sophomore Aaron Siblar. The Lions tallied their final run of the game in sixth after Black’s triple drove home Rumpke to put Columbia up, 3-0. Slutzky came on for Speer in the seventh and struck out five batters in a dominant display to close out the game with his first career save.
Word has come in that the Lions split today’s doubleheader with Brown. After dropping the first game 3-4, the Lions rallied to crush the Bears in game two, 14-6.
Congratulations to junior out fielder Dario Pizzano, who was named Ivy League player of the week after batting .500 and scoring eight runs for the Lions last weekend.
Up Next: The Lions take on Rutgers at home on Wednesday at 3:30 pm before traveling to Harvard and Dartmouth for back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
Softball (7-18, 1-3 Ivy League):
Rider (Game 1) 0-3 (L)
Rider (Game 2) 3-0 (W)
Yale (Game 1) 4-1 (W)
Yale (Game 2) 3-4 (L)
Brown (Game 1) 0-8 (L)
Brown (Game 2) 5-6 (L)
Highlights: On Wednesday, the Lions traded scoreless innings with Rider until the the top of the eighth, when Rider tallied all three of its runs. Both teams had a number of scoring opportunities in opening innings, with the Lions and Broncos stranding seven and nine runners, respectively. In the bottom of the second, junior Jennifer Bergeron stole second after hitting a leadoff single, tying the Columbia career stolen base record in the process. Bergeron made it to third two batters later, but was stranded after a groundout. The Lions left two runners on base in the fourth and fifth as they continued to struggle to score runs. Neither team got on the board until the eighth, when a Rider runner reached second off an error and scored on a single RBI. The Broncos drove home two more runs that inning to win the game, 3-0. In the second game, the scoring started well before the eighth inning. The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the first after Morgan Cook cranked an RBI single to left field to bring home junior Alison Lam. Sophomore Emily Snodgrass followed with a double to drive in Bergeron and extend the lead to two. In the bottom of the fifth, the Lions notched one more run after Cook drove in Lam for the second time with another RBI single. Freshman Brooke Darling was superb from the circle, finishing the game with four strikeouts in the complete game win.
The Lions opened the Ivy League season with a doubleheader against Yale on Friday at the Columbia Softball Field. In game one, the Lions got on the board in the second inning after a sacrifice bunt from junior Christie Taylor brought in Snodgrass from third base. The Lions extended their lead in the bottom of the fourth when Tristin Moone drove in Taylor with an RBI single and Cook drew a walk with the bases load to force a run. It was Taylor again in the fifth to score for the Lions after an RBI single from Kayla Shimoda. Yale got on the board in the sixth inning, but could not rally to overtake the Lions. In game two, the Bulldogs got off to a quick start with an early run in the first inning, but Columbia answered in the bottom of the first when Morgan Cook’s double to left center drove in Alix Cook. Yale reclaimed the lead in the third with two runs, and added to their advantage in the fourth to make it a 4-1 game. The Lions rallied in the sixth when Lam drove in Mackenzie Lakian with an RBI double and Cook followed with an RBI single to plate Lam. Columbia, however, was unable to make up the difference in the final innings and fell to Yale, 4-3, to split the doubleheader.
Today, the Lions lost both to Brown to end the weekend 1-3 in the Ivy League.
Up Next: The Lions head to Marist for a doubleheader on Wednesday before taking on Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday in four more Ivy League contests.
Heavyweight V8 finish 1st of 4 in Alumni Cup (MIT with Holy Cross, Dartmouth)
Lightweight V8 finish 3rd of 3 in Fosburgh Cup (Princeton, Georgetown)
Lightweight V8 finish 1st of 2 against Delaware
Women’s Rowing V8 finish 3rd of 3 in Woodbury Cup (Northeastern with Dartmouth)
Highlights: In the Alumni Cup in Orchard Beach, NY, the heavyweight varsity eights beat MIT in competition for the cup, and also notched wins over regatta guests Dartmouth and Holy Cross. The Lions got off the starting line well despite heavy winds and had taken control of the race by the 700-meter mark and did not let up. Columbia crossed the line in 5:48.73, just over five seconds ahead of Dartmouth, 16 ahead of Holy Cross, and an impressive 26 seconds before MIT. The Alumni Cup represents the third consecutive cup the Lions have captured this spring.
The lightweights traveled to Princeton, NJ this weekend to take on Georgetown and Princeton in the Fosburgh Cup in the morning and Delaware in a separate race that afternoon. After struggling in the Fosburgh Cup and placing third, the Lions rebounded in the afternoon with a strong win over Delaware. In the second race of the day, the Lions got off the line well and held on to a small lead going into the second 500 meters, where the Lions were able to pull away and finish almost two full boat lengths in front.
The Women’s team was in Boston this weekend, competing in the Woodbury Cup against Northeastern with guest, Dartmouth. The Big Green got off to a great start off the line and quickly outdistanced Columbia, but the Lions were able to stay closer to Northeastern in the opening 500 meters. Northeastern closed within half a second Dartmouth by the end of the race as the Lions continued to trail both teams, finishing five seconds behind Northeastern.
Lacrosse (1-8, 0-5 Ivy League):
Iona 10-11 (L)
#8 Penn 8-19 (L)
Highlights: At Robert K. Kraft Field on Friday, the Lions fell to local rival Iona in a heartbreaking loss. In the first half, Columbia got on the board first with two quick goals from junior Kacie Johnson in the opening five minutes. Iona answered with two goals of their own to tie the game, and the two teams traded goals again as Johnson tallied her third goal of the half at the 12:03 mark and the Gaels notched another minutes later. With eight minutes remaining in the first, the Lions went on a 3-0 run to put them up 6-3, but Iona battled back as the game entered the break with the Lions up 7-5. Columbia extended their lead early in the second half with two quick goals from sophomore Paige Cuscovitch and Johnson. The Lions tallied one more gal at the 22:43 mark before watching Iona score five unanswered goals to win the game, 11-10.
The Lions fell to Penn today in their fifth straight Ivy League loss.
Up Next: The Lions take a break form Ivy League play to take on Connecticut at Robert K. Kraft Field at 1 pm on Saturday.
Though their regular season is over, competition never ends for CU swimmers. The Women’s Swimming & Diving team had the honor of sending five swimmers to the Canadian Olympic trials this weekend: freshman Stella Zhao, sophomore Alena Kluge, junior Katie Meili, freshman Mikaila Gaffey, and junior Kristina Parsons. Swimming savvy sources tell Bwog that Canada opened up their Olympic trials this year to citizens of other countries in an attempt to increase competition, with the preconditions that only Canadians could make the finals. Though only Zhao and Kluge are Canadian, all five swimmers made the cut times for their events and decided to compete. Congratulations to these CU swimmers!
March Madness Update:
Kentucky def. Louisville 69-61
Kansas def. Ohio State 64-62
The National Championship game will take place tomorrow, 4/2, at 9:23 pm:
Kentucky vs. Kansas
Iconic arena via Wikimedia Commons.