Spring varsity sports preview: Looking forward to 2016

Men’s Golf

The Carnegie Mellon men’s golf team is looking to build off of steady improvement in the fall going into championship season. The Tartan men worked their way from a 14th place finish out of 18 teams at the Flower City Preview in September to a 1st place finish out of six teams at the Carnegie Mellon Fall Invitational to close out the fall season.

Paced by sophomore Nikhil Mohan and ever consistent first-year Austin Lin, who has recorded scores between 75 and 79 in all of his rounds, the team is poised to outperform its UAA Championship performance from a year ago. Last time around, only two players recorded scores under 80. This year, the men have a good at chance at getting four scores under the mark.
With the UAA Championships set for the weekend of March 12th, Carnegie will look to improve on last year’s second place finish.

Men’s Basketball

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team has had a slow start to their season. Currently 7–9 (0–5 in the UAA), the team has struggled in conference competition. Last year, the team faced similar struggles early on, winning only one conference game in January, before going 4–5 in the conference in February, upsetting 12th ranked Washington University in St. Louis.

Junior forward Jack Serbin will be a key to any Tartan turnaround, playing as an offensive and defensive centerpiece for the team through their first 15 games. Current Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Player of the Week Serbin has led the team in scoring and rebounding, with 19.3 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game.

The group has benefited from the contributions of first-year center Patrick Ehland, a young spark for the team with a team–leading field goal percentage of 56.4 percent. With more UAA contests coming up to determine the final conference standings, the team will take advantage of contributions from throughout the roster as they try to turn things around.

Men’s Swimming & Diving

With continuing dominance in duals a foregone conclusion (9–0), the Carnegie Mellon men’s swimming and diving team is working to build momentum going into the UAA Championships in February. There is room for improvement at conferences, with last year’s 5th place finish serving as a reminder of the fierce competition the team will face from other parts of the UAA.

The Tartan men look to have a very bright future, with a dominant young roster. The swimmers are led by freshmen sprint specialist Jack Dangremond and freestyle and butterfly specialist Mitchell Riek. The two freshmen combine to lead the team in seven events, five of which are led by Riek. On the diving side of the team, first-year diver Gabriel Bamforth provides an injection of talent to the dive team, leading the men in scoring in every dive event. With a very young and talented group powering the roster, the team will look to turn heads at UAAs.

Men’s Tennis

The Carnegie Mellon men’s tennis team will look to improve on a strong performance from last year, with continued dominance by senior singles player Abhishek Alla and growing depth brought by the freshmen class. Alla showcased his benefit to the team with a win at the ITA Southeast Regional, beating 64 other contestants in a dominant fashion.

The team also showed off its depth at the same event, with a semi–final appearance by first-year singles player Daniel Levine, who was eliminated by Alla. The first big test for the squad will come in a dual meet against Duquesne University at the end of the month. This is where the group got handed their first loss of the season last year.

The Tartans will then go on to test themselves at the ITA National team indoor championships on February 19th.

Men’s Track & Field

The Carnegie Mellon men’s track and field team has gotten off to a strong start this season, and will look to translate their successes into victories in a dual meet with Case Western and at the UAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships later on in the season.

At the indoor championships, the Tartans will look to replace the contributions of last year’s 5000–meter UAA champion George Degen by turning to other contributors on a deep squad. Passionate first-year long jumper Rai Walters earned ECAC Rookie of the Week honors in his first collegiate competition with a jump of 6.80 meters, demonstrating the young talent on the men’s squad.

The team will look for a strong UAA performance on February 27th at New York University (NYU).

Women’s Golf

In their second year as a varsity team, the Carnegie Mellon women’s golf team looks to improve on their breakout first year as a program. A strong core of sophomores spearheads the team, which demonstrates strong potential to improve their standing within the UAA and nationally.

With four starting players having recorded rounds under 85, the team has the talent to compete at big meets, but needs to establish consistency. However, since they are currently outside of a conference with an automatic qualifier for nationals, it will be a challenge to rise to the top level this year.

Women’s Basketball

Looking unstoppable in the early goings of the season, the No. 21 ranked Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team has rolled to a 13–2 (2–3 in the UAA) record. With a mix of high-scoring beat downs on weaker opponents (the Tartan women currently average 77.7 points per game) and challenging showdowns with other highly ranked UAA opponents, the season looks to be a big one for the Tartans.

Junior center and forward Lisa Murphy has played consistently at very high level for the Tartan women, averaging a nation leading 26.1 points per game. Murphy’s field goal percentage of 78.0% also leads the nation, and leaves little doubt about why the women have proved to be so successful. Murphy has already collected 5 UAA Player of the Week awards this season.

The Tartan women will look to ride Murphy’s success to additional victories in UAA play through February. Matchups against No. 6 Washington University in St. Louis and No. 8 NYU loom large on the schedule. These games look to play a big factor in the team’s late season outcomes.

Women’s Swimming & Diving

Rolling at 9–0 with aspiration for the UAA championships and the NCAA DIII Championships, the Carnegie Mellon women’s swimming and diving team has looked strong and balanced early.

A diverse group of athletes of all ages provides a balanced backing to the Tartan team. Junior freestyle specialist Allison Kirkby will take charge in the sprint events, as she leads the team in the 50, 100, and 200 meter freestyle. Sophomore Individual Medley and butterfly specialist Mary St. John will help out a deep group of swimmers in the longer events, excelling at the 400 IM. And senior diver Winona Li will provide support from the dive team, leading the group in both the 1 and 3 meter dives off of six attempts.

With contributions from a large group, the group will look to make their depth count late in the season.

Women’s Tennis

The Carnegie Mellon women’s tennis team will look to translate a good showing in the fall into a continuation of their success in championship season this year. Coming off a 2nd place UAA finish last year, and an All American selection for junior singles player Vanessa Pavia, the team will work to improve its UAA standing this time round.

Senior singles player Brooke Tsu was a source of the Carnegie women’s fall success, finishing as runner up in the ITA Southeast Regional in October.

The team will resume play for the year in earlier February, with home opponents including a tough matchup with Duquesne University on February 13th.

Women’s Track and Field

Coming off a strong performance at the Al Hall Freedom Games, the Carnegie Mellon women’s track and field team will try to continue the success through the UAA Indoor Championships, and the UAA Outdoor Championships later in the season. The Tartan women will look to have a big year, by reloading their squad after the loss of seniors Sasha Spalding and Erin Kiekhaefer from last year’s squad.

Freshman high jumper Tessa Allen started off her opening season with an impressive performance, jumping 1.60 meters, which tied her for 2nd all time in the history of the women’s program.
The Tartans’ first big test will be against Case Western Reserve University on January 30th, where they will look to recover from a loss last year.