Carnegie Mellon sports 2006–2007 recap

The success of the Carnegie Mellon 2006–07 athletics programs should come as no surprise to those familiar with the university. Known for its academics, Carnegie Mellon is making a name for itself in the realm of athletics on a national scale as well. This past year in Tartan athletics was — I don’t really know how to put this — kind of a big deal.

Football — Where to begin? A University Athletic Association (UAA) title, perfect 10–0 regular season, 26 players on the All-UAA team, a bid to the NCAA playoffs, and a win in the team’s first playoff game since 1979, the 2006 season was arguably the greatest in school history. With two 1000-yard rushers in juniors Travis Sivek and Robert Gimson as well as a formidable defense led by senior safety Aaron Lewis, the Tartans, plain and simple, just wouldn’t lose. After five convincing victories, the Tartans entered UAA play and defeated Case Western Reserve University and the University of Chicago before traveling to Washington University (Mo.) for all the marbles. The Tartans needed overtime, but senior Nat Greenstein’s field goal propelled the Tartans to a 10–7 victory and their first UAA title since 1997. They closed out the season with two more victories and then shut out Millsaps College in the first round of the playoffs.

Men’s Soccer — This team took home the ECAC South championship to cap off a 14–5 season in which senior Jonathan Browne moved into first place atop the Carnegie Mellon all-time points- scored list. Browne led the team with 13 goals in 2006. Sophomore goalkeeper Matthew Bazin allowed only 11 goals the entire season, while seniors Sean Filipovitz, Andrew Park, and Will Schlough were involved with almost every offensive attack and scoring opportunity this season.

Women’s Soccer — This team finished the year at 8–7–1. Junior Amanda Rose broke the school’s assist record in the final game of the season, and sophomore Abby Coffin recorded two hat tricks, becoming the first Tartan in school history to accomplish the feat. In a season that head coach Sue Willard called a “roller coaster,” the team “ended the season the way they knew they could play all along.” Junior Kasey Stever (nine goals) and Coffin (eight) will try and get the team to pick up in 2007 where they left off in ’06.

Cross Country — Coming off an eighth-place finish at the 2005 national championships, the men’s team brought home a 12th-place finish this season, showing that they’re a force to be reckoned with annually. Sophomore Brian Harvey blossomed into the team’s number-one runner, highlighted by a sixth-place finish at the NCAA regional championships. The women’s team took ninth at the NCAA regionals, an improvement over a 10th-place finish in 2005 and 22nd place in ’04. First-years Hallie Espel and Danielle Sedlack stepped up to lead the team at the end of the season.

Volleyball — The team finished 2006 with a record of 20–15 and a fourth-place finish in the competitive UAA. Seniors Catie Fisher, Malena Yablinsky, and Kat Fox received All-UAA status. Fisher led the team in kills, Fox in digs, and Yablinsky in block solos. Carnegie Mellon hosted the UAA championships, allowing the seniors to finish their volleyball careers on the home court.

Men’s Basketball — The team finished the regular season at 12–12 (5–9 in the UAA) and earned a spot in the ECAC South Region Tournament before losing to Lebanon Valley College in the first round. The team, with only one senior in the lineup, played a tough schedule as four of their UAA opponents were selected into the NCAA tournament. Sophomore Ryan Einwag was named to the All-UAA team as he stepped up this season to lead the team with 15.4 points per game (ppg).

Women’s Basketball — The sophomore-laden team progressed nicely this season, finishing with a record of 8–17 (2–12 in the UAA). Three players averaged in double figures, with junior Leah Feola leading the way (11.3 ppg). The Tartans defeated Emory University 77–66 at home in what was arguably their biggest win of the season.

Swimming and Diving — Senior David Krzeminski took first nationally in the 200-meter butterfly. The men’s team took third at the UAA championships, where Krzeminski was named the Men’s Swimmer of the Year and first-year Matt Kuhn was named Men’s Diver of the Year. On the women’s side, senior Jenny Sieger and junior Alex Kinzler competed at the national championships, each earning Honorable Mention All-American. The women’s team took fourth at the UAA championships, with Kinzler winning the 200-meter breaststroke and Sieger winning the 50-meter freestyle. Matthew Kinney, formerly the head coach at the University of Mary Washington, was just named the teams’ new head coach.

Tennis — The men’s tennis team is currently ranked 11th in the nation, posting a record of 18–7, with first-years James Muliawan and Jon Spero receiving UAA recognition throughout the season. On the women’s side, the team lost in the UAA championship match to Emory to lower their record to 12–8. They are now waiting to hear on an NCAA regional bid. In the fall, senior Mona Iyer and junior Amy Staloch placed third at the ITA National Small College championships.

Golf — Sophomore Alex Timmons won the UAA individual title while the team placed third. Junior Howard Smith added a fifth-place finish. The team also placed fifth at the Mid-Atlantic Regional earlier in the season.

Track and Field — The men’s squad won the outdoor UAA championships in exciting fashion, winning by only 1.5 points over host Emory. They won eight individual titles, with first-year James Hulley (discus and shot put) and senior Eric Tang (long jump and triple jump) winning two titles each. Sophomore Brian Harvey won the 1500-meter race in 3:51.35, the second-fastest time in school history. The women’s team finished sixth, with senior Becky Metler winning the hammer throw.

Outlook — Athletic director Susan Bassett is committed to improving Carnegie Mellon athletics, and the athletes are looking to build off their success from the 2006–2007 season. The future is bright for Tartan athletics.