Weekend Ups and Downs

THUMBS UP

Swimmers prove to be salvation of an otherwise lost weekend

Usually the News prints three “ups” and only one “down” in this space, but after such a lackluster weekend for Yale sports, only one program really warranted an “up” this time around: swimming. Rubbing elbows with a “who’s who” of the swimming world, Yale star Alex Righi ’09 and company hardly seemed phased competing in the U.S. Open at Purdue. Righi qualified for three individual finals and finished in fifth place in the 100 meter backstroke — a mere tenth of a second behind Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg. Seven men and three women teammates overall chalked up impressive performances in Indiana before heading back to New Haven to join their teammates at the Nutmeg Invitational at Payne Whitney.

THUMBS DOWN

Whether on the ice, parquet, or squash court, Yale teams buckle one after one in a dreadful 1-8 weekend

Elis competed far and wide — in the posh confines of the Brady Squash Center, in hockey arenas in the distant woods of upstate New York, and the thin air of the Rockies, to name a few — but when Sunday night rolled around, there was but a single win between both men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s hoops, and men’s and women’s squash teams. In the lone bright spot of the weekend for team competition, women’s basketball prevailed in the consolation game of the Air Force Classic tourney against a University of Texas-Pan American program, taking off from Colorado on a high note.

In first day of competition, squash teams suffer potentially season-crippling defeats

Few teams will ever be able to match the spectacular finishes of both squash teams last year — with the men taking their first Ivy title in 16 years and the women claiming consecutive national title number three. Even so, the first day out of the gate proved a rough finish for both squads that could leave a scar in the Ivy standings. A year after the Yale men came back from a 4-2 deficit to top the Quakers in Philly, the visitors got sound revenge in a 6-3 final, and a much-trumpeted Penn women’s recruiting class proved that it was all it was cracked up to be, as the women lost only their second decision to an Ivy team since the end of the 2002-’03 season.

Women’s hockey gets rocked in the wilderness

During its two-day jaunt to the lofty metropolises of Potsdam and Canton, N.Y., the women’s hockey team had a weekend of defense that it would probably like to forget. The Bulldogs allowed 11 total shots to enter their net in a 4-2 loss to Clarkson Friday and a 7-3 loss to St. Lawrence Saturday. Perhaps the most painful part is that the squad played quality hockey for four of the six periods played — but a three-goal Clarkson second and a whopping four-goal St. Lawrence third proved that the Elis may be up against more than they can handle in the early weeks of 2006-’07 ECACHL play.

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