Around the world of Yale club sports

Sailing

The Yale sailing team is continuing a tradition of excellence that includes four collegiate national championships and five Olympic medals. It is currently in the midst of its best season in over a decade.

The squad, which is a member of the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association, practices four hours a day, four days a week. Each week, it enters several events in the New England area. This past weekend, the Bulldog sailors secured a spot as representatives of the New England district in the upcoming Atlantic Coast Championships.

The Elis finished fourth out of 18 teams at this past weekend’s 60th Annual Schell Trophy at MIT, earning them the ACC berth. Stu McNay ’04 sailed in the ‘A’ Division with Kate Littlefield ’04, while captain Brandon Wall ’03 guided the other Yale boat with crewmember Meredith Killion ’05.

The Yale sailors also earned a spot in the Women’s ACCs by defeating all of the New England teams and finishing fourth out of 20 at the Yale Women’s Regatta, Oct. 13-14, in Branford. Six Yale sailors competed in the regatta, with Isabelle Kinsolving ’02, Grace McGeoch ’04 and Julie Papanek ’05 navigating their respective rigs.

“I’m really excited about qualifying for Women’s ACCs,” team secretary Leslie Kuo ’03 said. “This is the deepest team we’ve had since I’ve been here. We have more good boats than we need for a race, which provides great competition in practice.”

The women’s squad continued its strong sailing with a third place finish at the Victorian Coffee Urn at Harvard Oct. 27-28.

“The opportunity to compete in both ACC regattas marks our tremendous progress as a team over the past few years,” Kuo said. “Our goal is to perform well and keep improving as we have been doing every week.”

The women’s team will travel to the U.S. Naval Academy Nov. 10-11, while the coed sailors will compete at Charleston, S.C. in their respective ACC Championships.



Women’s Ultimate Frisbee

The women’s ultimate frisbee team is having a successful fall season as well.

Nicknamed Ramona — after a Beverly Cleary character — the squad is captained by Jennifer Christenson ’02 and Rebecca Popowsky ’03. The team practices three hours a day, three days a week, and competes in weekend tournaments in the Northeast region during the fall.

So far, the squad has compiled a 14-5 record in four tournaments. Ramona won the New England League First Annual Tournament at Williams College Sept. 29. The squad won all five of its games, defeating Harvard, Williams, University of Massachusetts, Smith and Dartmouth. The Eli disc-handlers crushed Dartmouth 7-2 in the final.

After considerable fall success, Popowsky said she expects Ramona to continue its outstanding play the rest of the year.

“We’re having the best fall season that we’ve had in the past three years,” Popowsky said. “We expect that with a season of experience behind the team, our athletic and aggressive rookies will help us get to the college nationals in the spring.”

Athleticism and hard work is already paying off. Ramona finished third with a hard-fought 12-11 win over Tufts in the Yale Coffee Cup tournament Oct. 13-14.



Women’s Soccer

With victories over a host of strong Northeast schools, the women’s club soccer team has enjoyed a solid fall season.

Women’s club soccer offers an opportunity for those players who do not have the time to commit to a varsity squad, but still enjoy competition. It is captained by Julia Lipton ’03, Corin Slown ’03 and Sarah Singer ’03.

Games last 90 minutes unless they play more than one in a day. Then games are shortened to 60 minutes. The majority of tournaments are played as round robins.

The Bulldogs have compiled a fall record of 4-3-2.

Victories over the University of Connecticut, Rhode Island School of Design, and a scoreless draw against a tough Princeton squad have highlighted the season.

“We have really had a strong season and are looking forward to the indoor season starting in January,” said Lipton.

Lauren Keane ’02, Claire Kenny ’05, Singer and Lipton lead the team in scoring. This weekend the squad will close out its fall season when it travels to Lehigh University for round-robin competition against the College of New Jersey, Brown and RISD.



Women’s Water Polo

Led by co-captains Emily Bailard ’03 and Alexis Slater ’03, the women’s water polo team will attempt to defend its New England Division Championship and make a return trip to nationals. The squad, which practices four days a week in the fall and five or six days in the spring, returns its entire lineup from last year, including Rebecca Carlin ’02 and Shira Saiger ’02, who served as team captains last year.

“No one graduated, and we gained some experienced veterans, as well as some talented new freshmen,” Bailard said. “The most important addition this year has been our volunteer coach, Vince Elizarde.”

Elizarde is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where he was a varsity polo player and coach of the women’s varsity squad.

“He’s whipping us into shape,” Bailard said. “He’s bringing the team to a new level by teaching us new skills, offenses and defenses.”

Thus far, Elizarde’s influence has been evident in the Bulldogs’ play. In the squad’s lone tournament at Penn State Oct. 13-14, the Bulldogs went 4-0 with decisive victories in the opening rounds over Boston University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell. In the final, the Elis knocked off Penn State, who was ranked 14th in the nation for collegiate club water polo last year, 11-10.

The Bulldogs traveled to the tournament with only eight of the 20 players on their roster.

The Elis will look to carry over their fall success to the spring when the core season begins. The team is scheduled to compete in three to four New England Division tournaments, as well as some open tournaments, with the goal of earning a berth in nationals.

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