Varsity fall sports: A look back and a look ahead
The Carnegie Mellon football team is com- ing off a tough year, going 3–7 in 2013 overall and 0–3 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Tartans’ primary quarterback, Rob Kalkstein, graduated in May, but a number of the team’s strong rushers and receivers are returning for the 2014 season. Current junior running back Troy Witt was the team’s leading rusher last year, running for 431 yards in 100 carries. In the receiving department, senior wide receiver Tim Swanson grabbed 26 passes for 548 yards and three touchdowns last year. Defensively, the team’s top returning tackler is Vince Demarchi, a junior cornerback, who recorded 32 tackles in 2013.
In addition to the returning players, the team is expecting to welcome 43 new recruits for the upcoming season.
This year, Carnegie Mellon football will become an affiliate member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), along with fellow UAA member Case Western Reserve University. The PAC’s pre-season poll pegged the Tartans to finish seventh in the 11-team conference.
“We are a very young team that has a lot of talent returning that saw a lot of playing time,” senior linebacker Alexander D’Angelo said in a Carnegie Mellon press release earlier this month. “This team has a tremendous amount of chemistry and is looking forward to the start of the season.”
The first game will be Saturday, Sept. 6, at Case Western Reserve.
Last year’s men’s soccer team notched a record of 12–3–3 (4–1–2 in conference play), good for second place in the UAA behind the University of Rochester. But the team’s top four scorers and primary goalkeeper have all graduated, leaving room for returning players to step up. Sophomore Tristan Lockwood had 11 shots on goal and scored seven points last year. Senior goalie Jacob Rice appeared in three games and blocked all seven shots he faced.
The team will be playing this year under new head coach Brandon Bowman, who took over the position Aug. 1 after previous coach Arron Lujan stepped down last spring.
“Carnegie Mellon represents the perfect balance between academic expectations and athletic achievement,” Bowman said in a university press release in April. “I am excited to lead this soccer program with such a rich tradition.”
The first game will be on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the weekend-long Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree Invitational.
The women’s soccer team had a banner year in 2012, recording 14 wins and 13 shutouts en route to a second-place finish in the UAA. The team then ended 2013 with an overall record of 9–5–2 and 3–3–1 in the UAA, a fourth-place finish in the conference. This year, the squad returns three strong scorers in the form of junior Louisa Pendergast, junior Carson Quiros, and senior Amanda So, each of whom played in 16 games last year and scored eight goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Liston racked up 543 playing minutes last year as the team’s No. 2 goalie, blocking 12 of 16 shots against her.
The Tartans begin 2014 on the road, with games Friday, Aug. 29, and Saturday, Aug. 30, both in Gettysburg, Pa.
Carnegie Mellon’s men’s and women’s tennis teams ended last year each ranked second in the UAA, the women notching a final record of 19–5 and the men going 18–7.
The No. 8-ranked women’s team closed out the season in May in the quaterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Championships. With current sophomore Vanessa Pavia out of the No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles spots due to injury, the team dropped its final match 5–1 to Amhert College. It was the Tartans’ fourth trip to the NCAA quarterfinals in the past six years.
The No. 5-ranked men’s team closed out the season in May in the NCAA Division III Regional Championships, losing a close match, 5–4, to Case Western Reserve University in the round of 16.
Three Carnegie Mellon players made it to the NCAA Division III Championships in singles play: current senior Angela Pratt, current senior Christian Heaney-Secord, and current junior Abhishek Alla. They each advanced to the round of 16 before losing to opponents.
Two Carnegie Mellon cross country runners advanced as far as the NCAA Championships last year. Then-senior Josh Newby ran the men’s 8K in 25:35.5 at NCAAs and placed 53rd, while current junior Rekha Schnepf ran the women’s 6K in 23:16.7 and placed 189th.
Among returning runners, seniors Hailey Brown and George Degen, juniors Marc Daniel Julien and Rekha Schnepf, and sophomore Emily Joyce were noted as All-Academic honorees by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The award goes to student athletes with at least a 3.3 QPA and a top-25-percent finish at an NCAA regional meet.
Of the cross country team’s eight fall meets in 2014, only one will be a home event at Carnegie Mellon: the Carnegie Mellon Invitational on Oct. 11. The first meet of the year, though, also takes place in Schenley Park, as the Tartan squad participates in the Duquesne Duals on Saturday, Aug. 30.
Finishing third place in the UAA, the Carnegie Mellon volleyball team went 25–10 last fall behind the leadership of graduated senior Ali Nichols, current senior Ali Celentano, current junior Emily Lawlis, and current sophomore Jackie Gibbons. Nichols led the team in digs and blocks, Celentano in kills, points, and total attacks, Lawlis in assists, and Gibbons in aces. The team made it to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals before losing to the University of Mount Union.
During the season, Celentano was named to the All-UAA team, then All-Mid-Atlantic team, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III South all-star second team.
The volleyball season for 2014 gets underway on Friday, Aug. 29, with four weekend matches scheduled at the Gettysburg Battlefield Classic.
Carnegie Mellon’s top golfer last year was Ian Bangor, who carded the team’s lowest round (70) and lowest overall average (75.2) during the 2013–14 season. With his graduation last May, the top two prospects on this year’s team are sophomore George Qian and junior Ben DuCarme. Qian recorded a low round of 71 last year and finished among the top 10 players at four competitions. DuCarme scored a low of 72 and placed in the top 10 twice.
As a whole, the 2013–14 team placed third in the UAA Championship last March, 14 strokes behind winners Emory University. In the classroom, the team finished the academic year with a cumulative QPA of 3.70, the second time the Tartans have won the top academic honors from the Division III Golf Coaches Association of America.
The golf team plays its home matches at the Longue Vue Country Club in Verona, Pa., about seven miles northeast of campus. The team plays there in the Carnegie Mellon Fall Invitational on Oct. 8. But the fall season opens first Sept. 7 at the Hal Hansen Invitational in Clarion, Pa.