Sports Briefs

Junior quarterback Alex Cline identifies an open target. The Tartans dominated on offense and defense. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics) Junior quarterback Alex Cline identifies an open target. The Tartans dominated on offense and defense. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics) The volleyball team suffered their first loss of the year against Case Western before rallying to defeat NYU. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics) The volleyball team suffered their first loss of the year against Case Western before rallying to defeat NYU. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics)


The Carnegie Mellon football team traveled to Bethany, WV, on Saturday to play the Bison and came away with a 45–14 victory in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) contest. Carnegie Mellon improves to 5–0 over and 3–0 in the PAC while Bethany is now 0–5, 0–3. The Tartans’ 5–0 start to the season marks its best since 2006 and is just the 12th time in program history a team has started the season with five straight wins.
Senior wide receiver John Prather tied the school record for most receptions in a game, finishing with 10 catches for 122 yards and added a career-best four touchdowns, all in the first half. This marked Prather’s eighth 100-yard career game and third this season. Junior quarterback Alex Cline threw for a career-best five touchdowns and passed for 127 yards on 11-of-22.

Senior Stanley Bikulege moved into third on the school’s all-time tackle list after totaling five tackles. He now has 240 tackles for his career. The defense was led by junior cornerback Ethan Anderson with nine tackles, five solo. Senior linebacker Quentin Wolfe recorded eight tackles including five solo, and first-year safety Chandler Stacy ended with seven tackles, four solo. The first-year also added a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Bethany outgained the Tartans 296–238, but Carnegie Mellon capitalized on the Bison’s three turnovers and 20 penalties for 205 yards. The Tartans were also perfect from inside the red zone, converting all five opportunities.

Cline tossed five first-half touchdowns, four of them going to Prather. The tandem started the game’s scoring with a 28-yard strike at the nine minute mark of the first quarter. Four minutes later, the Tartans made the score 10–0 on a 33-yard field goal by senior punter and kicker Tyler Kohman.

On the first play of the second quarter, Cline hooked up with senior wide receiver Tommy Mansfield on a five-yard touchdown reception, which made the score 17–0. The seven-play, 37-yard scoring drive started following a fumble recovery by senior defensive lineman Neal Baranosky which was forced on a sack by Anderson and sophomore Michael Lohmeier.

Carnegie Mellon senior linebacker Sean Graff intercepted the ball on the first play of the Bison’s ensuing possession which led to Cline and Prather’s second scoring connection of the game, 9-yard strike to make the score 24-0. The two struck again for scores from 14 yards and 5 yards out before the end of the half, as the Tartans went into the half with a 38-0 lead.

Bethany held the Tartans to a three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half and then marched 80 yards on six plays for its first score of the game. Two minutes into the fourth quarter Stacy’s interception return made the score 45–7 before Bethany’s backup quarterback threw a 20-yard touchdown for the final score of the game.

Carnegie Mellon will return to Gesling Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7 to face 17th-ranked Washington & Jefferson College.


The 10th-ranked Carnegie Mellon volleyball team opened University Athletic Association (UAA) play with a mark of 1–1 on Saturday at Case Western Reserve University. The Tartans are now 17–1. The Tartans opened the UAA Round Robin with a 3–1 (26–24, 25–19, 11–25, 25–16) setback to the host Spartans before topping New York University 3–1 (25–18, 23–25, 25–19, 25–23).

Against Case Western Reserve, four Tartans tabbed double digit kills with junior Lauren Mueller leading the way with 20. Senior Eliza Donohue totaled 13, senior Heather Holton had 12, and junior Sarah Jurgens ended with 10. Sophomore Maia So-Holloway tallied 32 assist while junior Amanda Thiele had 23.

Defensively, sophomore Kayla Yew recorded 27 digs and Mueller and junior Sydney Bauer had 19 and 12, respectively.

In the win over NYU, Mueller again led the team with 20 kills. Donohue and Jurgens again also totaled double digit in kills with 11 and 10. So-Holloway and Thiele each had 23 assists apiece. So-Holloway and Yew recorded three service aces while Yew led the defense with 35 digs.
The Tartans continue UAA play on Sunday with a 12 p.m. start time against 18th-ranked Washington University in St. Louis.

Men’s Tennis

The Carnegie Mellon men’s tennis team began play at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Southeast Regional on Saturday, Sept. 30 with three singles players and four doubles pairs advancing to the round of 16.

Junior Daniel Levine was the top-ranked player at the tournament and he breezed through the first two rounds with a 6–2, 6–2 win against Dickinson College and a 6–1, 6–0 win against the University of Mary Washington. Fellow junior Chaz Downing also won his first two matches as the fifth-seeded player. Downing topped Christopher Newport University’s singles player, 6–2, 6–4, and Salisbury University’s singles player, 4–6, 6–1, 6–2.

First-year Ray Boppana was the third singles player to win twice Saturday. He won his first match of the day against Averett University, 7–5, 6–4. The first-year player then topped Haverford College in the round of 32, 6–2, 6–0.

Three of the four doubles teams had first round byes while senior Tommy Cheng and first-year Kailas Shekar won twice. Cheng and Shekar opened the day with an 8–1 win against Shenandoah University. The pair then upset the number one seed of Christopher Newport with a 9–8 (7–4) victory.

Downing and Levine worked together as a four-seed to win 8–2 in the round of 32 to top the University of Mary Washington while first-year Ben Ash and sophomore Robert Levin, seeded fifth, won 8–3 against Goucher College’s pair.

Boppana and sophomore Nicholas Calzolano are seeded ninth and picked up an 8–2 win against Virginia Wesleyan University to advance to the round of 16.

Both singles and doubles play will continue on Sunday, Oct. 1 on the campus of Mary Washington.

Women’s Tennis

Carnegie Mellon women’s tennis was well represented on the final day of competition of the ITA Southeast Regional Championships, owning the doubles final with two players competing in the singles semifinals. Sophomore Vinaya Rao and first-year Melissa Strome were crowned winners of the doubles championship after topping their own teammates in a third set super tiebreaker.

Senior Cori Sidell and sophomore Courtney Ollis won the first set against Rao and Strome, 7–5. The winning pair then forced the third set tiebreaker with a 6–2 second-set victory. In the tiebreaker, each pair traded points until Rao and Strome came through with a 10–8 win.
In singles action, first-year Hannah Rosenfield was ousted from the tournament in the semifinals after a hard-fought two-set match against University of Mary Washington’s player, 7–5, 6–3, who eventually was crowned champion. Sophomore Vinaya Rao also played in the semifinals and fell to Johns Hopkins University’s player in three sets, 6–1, 6–7(3–7), 6–1.

Rao and Strome move on to the ITA Oracle Cup to be played at Berry College in Rome, GA on Friday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 15.

Women’s Cross Country

The Carnegie Mellon women’s cross country team competed at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University on Friday, Sept. 29 and finished sixth in the non-Division I race. Senior Aparna Alavilli paced the Tartans with a second-place finish.

Alavilli’s time of 21 minutes and 24 seconds across the 6K course was second only to the winner of Amherst College. It was the second race of the year Alavilli finished in the top two. Behind Alavilli for the Tartans was sophomore Abigail Levine in seventh place in 21:47. Sophomore Kate Reilly was next to finish the course for the Tartans, in 22:42 for 32nd place.

First-year Parvathi Meyyappan ran the race in 23:28 for 71st place while sophomore Emmalyn Lindsey was 78th in 23:34. Not far behind was first-year Isabelle Chickanosky in 94th place in 23:56 with senior Rhiannon Farney placing 104th overall in 24:10.

The Tartans will be in action next on Saturday, Oct. 7 at home for the Carnegie Mellon Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Invitational. The race will be in Schenley Park and is set to begin at 10 a.m.

Men’s Cross Country

The 16th-ranked Carnegie Mellon men’s cross country team finished third in the non-Division I race at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University on Friday, Sept. 29.

Junior Aadi Mhatre paced the Tartans by finishing the 8K race in 24 minutes and 59 seconds. His time put him 17th overall. Fellow junior Jared Moore was 26th overall in 25:15 while sophomore Liam Walsh closed the race in 25:18 for 29th place.

Junior William Mitchell finished the course in 25:19 for 31st place before senior Jordan Safer finished in 25:26 and 35th place. Sophomore Evan Yukevich wasn’t far behind Safer, as he finished the race in 25:29 for 37th place and junior Andrew Harter was two seconds behind Yukevich in 39th place.

The Tartans will next race at the Carnegie Mellon Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 7 in Schenley Park.

Women’s Golf

The Carnegie Mellon women’s golf team placed third at the 2017 Allegheny College Invitational after carding 36-hole score of 646 (332–314) while first-year Charlotte Simpson claimed individual medalist honors on Monday afternoon. The two-day event was hosted at the par 73 Country Club of Meadville.

Simpson ended the invitational with a 149 after she carded a collegiate-best round of one-over par 74 on Monday to go with her 75 from Sunday’s opening round. Her 149 is the program’s lowest two-round school record by four strokes. The Tartans’ 646 is the third lowest two-round score in the program’s history.

Senior Summer Kitahara carded a two-over par 75 on Monday and ended tied for fourth individually with a 160 (85–75). Sophomore Yedin Lui shot a 165 (85–80), sophomore Lavonca Davis fired a 172 (87–85), and first-year Cristina Pullen ended with a 183 (87–96).
The Tartans had one individual enter the invitational, as first-year Shanice Lam shot a 174 (89–84).

Carnegie Mellon will travel to Lexington, VA on Oct. 2–3 to play in the Generals Invitational. The two-day event is being held the Lexington Golf and Country Club.