Club sports teams find success in their respective fields

While Carnegie Mellon is home to many outstanding varsity athletes, many people are less aware of the university club teams, which are no less dedicated or talented.

Here are short recaps of how some of the university’s club teams have been doing so far.

After many core players graduated, there were doubts over how well the club hockey team would play this year.

But with a 6–2 record, the team has successfully erased those doubts.

Senior right wing Keith Hoover is having another standout season with nine goals and 10 assists.

“I know I’m not the most skilled player on the ice so I try to make my impact felt in any way I can. I think I’ve done a good job this year going to the front of the net and the other dirty areas,” Hoover said.

The future of the team looks bright. Sophomore center Chad Trice has emerged as a consistent scoring threat, with nine goals and 12 assists. The speedy skater is not just a scorer. He also possesses a deft passing touch to create scoring opportunities for his teammates.

“I think the team is off to a great start.... We definitely have the talent to make a playoff run this year,” Hoover said.

Last year, the team fell to California University of Pennsylvania in the first round of the playoffs. In a test of the current team’s form, they beat their rivals 8–6 on Oct. 26.

After finishing play for the semester on Sunday, the club hockey team will next hit the ice on Jan. 25 against Case Western Reserve University.

The club baseball team ended its fall season with a 10–4 victory over West Virginia University on Oct. 27 to improve its record to 14–5.

“We have played very well, especially recently. We set the school record for wins with 14 thanks to some excellent starting pitching,” senior captain Brendan MacNabb said.

Leading the pitching staff is junior Darryl Tan, who has a 3–0 record with a clean 1.80 ERA. Meanwhile, sophomore Darren Kerfoot has been a workhorse, throwing a team-high 32 innings and 34 strike outs.

MacNabb is the team’s third starter and has a 1.80 ERA over 20 innings.

The offense hasn’t been too intimidating, but with strong pitching and stellar defense, it doesn’t have to be.

Many first-years have made strong contributions. First-year Dan Evans leads the team with a .431 BA and seven stolen bases, and first-year Alex Walenczyk leads the team with 20 runs and has shown impressive range in centerfield.

The team will have a long layoff before next playing during spring break, when it will start its quest for its first playoff berth in team history.

“For the spring, we have a legitimate shot at qualifying for the playoffs ... as long as the pitching stays sharp and the top of our lineup produces,” MacNabb said.

Playing in Division I against national powerhouses such as the University of Pittsburgh, the men’s ultimate club team Mr. Yuk has a tough road to get to the National Championships. Losing 14 of its 24 team members from last year does not make their road any easier.

But with a talented group of first-years and strong veteran leadership, Mr. Yuk has shown that it can compete with the powerhouses in its division.
“We’re not here to rebuild, we’re here to reload,” junior captain Reid Almand said.

Almand and senior Andrew Willig, the assistant captain, have been instrumental in leading the team’s young players. First-year Justin Abel has emerged as a key contributor for years to come.

“The freshmen are stepping up big time, and I’m really excited to see this group of guys continue to build chemistry and carry on the Mr. Yuk tradition,” Almand said.

Mr. Yuk wrapped up its fall preseason in the Steel City Showdown tournament on the weekend of Nov. 9.

The team lost the first four games of the tourney, but then regrouped to win its last two games against University of Pittsburgh’s B team and the College of William & Mary.

The men’s club team, AC Mellon, finished its season on Nov. 17 with a 10–5–3 record. The team just missed out on qualifying for the postseason tournament, but was named an alternate.

“We were disappointed not to make it to the regional tournament, but we had a very positive season nonetheless,” junior vice president Gerard Kramer said.

Much of their success can be attributed to finding a strong identity.

“In the past, we never really committed to a playing style, but this year we have really focused on playing as a unit and it has really paid off,” senior president Vaughn Ridings said.

The team defeated the University of Pittsburgh, a team they have lost to for the past three years, 3–0 toward the end of the season.

“In that game our collective play was outstanding and summed up our objectives for the season,” Ridings said.

Multiple players stood out during the team’s winning season. First-year Alex Lucci showcased incredible finishing ability, leading the team in goals.

Senior center midfielder Alex Zwiren provided great stability — the team won every game in which he started, but he unfortunately missed several games with an injury.

On defense, graduate student center back Ian McIntyre displayed general-like leadership in organizing the back line.

The team will play in an indoor league next semester, but is already looking to getting redemption next fall.

“Next year, our goal is simple. We want to qualify for the regional tournament,” Kramer said.

“It will be difficult because we have to go through several strong teams like Penn State, Pitt, and West Virginia, but we have gotten good results from them in the past,” he added.