Tartan athletes look forward to productive season
With the start of the 2011–12 school year, the student athletes of Carnegie Mellon are gearing up for an exciting fall season. To introduce the varsity teams, here is an in-depth look on what to expect this fall:
After a slightly disappointing 4–6 season last year to end the team’s streak of winning seasons, the Tartan football team enters the new season ranked fourth in the University Athletic Association (UAA).
On the offensive side of the ball, the Tartans have 10 returning starters, six of whom were all-UAA last season. Senior tight end Zach Gallup and senior offensive lineman Ross Lapkowicz hope to lead the squad to greener pastures in the upcoming season.
However, Carnegie Mellon’s leading rusher of the past two seasons, Justin Pratt, has graduated. The duo of junior running backs Jake Nardone and Patrick Blanks will be carrying the offense on the ground.
On the flip side, the defense sees seven starters from last season return. Senior inside linebacker Dan Behmke and junior outside linebacker Nick Karabin, both all-UAA defenders last season, will be the centerpieces of the Tartans’ tough defense.
Junior corner Sam Thompson is returning from injury after missing eight games in the 2010 season.
The team’s season begins on Saturday, Sept. 3 in a non-conference game against Grove City College at Gesling Stadium. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
The team had a fruitful 2010 season, finishing 11–4–1 last year.
Even on the heels of such a prosperous season, the Tartans began preparation for a competitive 2011 season in the heart of their summer break.
On Aug. 9, the team set out on an international training trip, where players trained and competed against club teams. Over an eight-day period, the men visited Holland, Belgium, and Germany.
The CMU Invitational will mark the opening of the 2011 men’s soccer season on Friday, Sept. 2. The Tartans will face Geneva College in the first round of the invitational.
The women’s soccer team has a new face on the staff. Kara Kabellis was hired during the off-season to be the new assistant coach for the Tartans. She was formerly on the United States’ U-21 National Team, and she has coaching experience at Lewis University.
The team itself is coming off an 8–8 season in 2010. Led by the offense of sophomore forward Alex Venegas and senior midfielder Elsa Wu, the close-knit players are heading into the upcoming season with much enthusiasm.
The women’s soccer team will be looking to improve on its 2–5 record in conference games last season. The team opens its season in the Johns Hopkins Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Four of last year’s men’s tennis players found themselves on the all-UAA team after last season’s Association Championship. Two doubles pairs dominated the championship.
The senior tandem of Alex Nemerov and Bobby MacTaggart were the first pair, going 2–1 in the championship. Junior Jeremy King and sophomore Duke Miller were the other pair, also going 2–1 in their match.
MacTaggart and King have now been all-UAA twice in their college careers.
The 2011 season gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Allegheny Invitational.
Last season’s junior duo of Courtney Chin and Laura Chen saw their run end in the national semi-final match.
The women’s tennis season starts on Friday, Sept. 9 at home, where the team will host the Carnegie Mellon University Invitational at the tennis courts next to Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall.
The young Tartans golf team starts its new season at the Guy Kuhn Invitational on Sept. 18 in Meadville, Pa.
The Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar winners from last season, juniors Terence Einhorn and Michael Cheng, along with now-sophomore Ian Bangor, will spearhead the young and promising squad.
Bangor posted a 75.3 average last season, leading the team. Cheng followed closely at 79.2.
Friday, Sept. 9 is the Fall CMU Invitational, where the Tartans are hoping to press their advantage on their home course, Longue Vue Country Club.
The College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) honored the Tartans’ men’s swimming team for its academic success last season.
The team posted a cumulative 3.47 GPA, placing 12th out of the 57 institutions bestowed with the same honor.
The team will be without its leader, Alex Hansen, who graduated. The Tartans now look to dominate the UAA behind junior Dan Glaser-Garbick.
The first meet, an intersquad competition, is Saturday, Oct. 15.
With a cumulative QPA of 3.35, the women’s swim team was also honored last season by the CSCAA. Graduating senior Molly Evans was nominated for the UAA Woman of the Year award this summer after breaking eight school records in her career. But the Tartans will be without her this year, as well as leader Brianne Burton, who also graduated.
Sophomore Soleil Phan will head the 2011 campaign for the women, whose season starts along with the men’s team on Saturday, Oct. 15.