Around the Water Cooler: Ivy League Shakeups

Published by Robert S Samuels on April 19, 2011 at 3:11AM

Like the Harvard school year, Ivy League sports are starting to wrap up. Baseball only has two weekends of league play left before playoffs begin, and both men’s and women’s golf conclude this weekend at the Ivy League Championships. In both sports, there’s been some recent turnover at the top. In baseball, Yale shocked Dartmouth this weekend to grab control of the Red Rolfe Division. But in men’s golf, the Bulldogs slipped, finishing third this weekend after dominating at their previous tournament. We’ll tell you just what you need to know in this week’s edition of Around the Water Cooler.

Last weekend got off to an unexpected start in the world of Ivy League baseball. The Red Rolfe Division looks a lot different now than it did a few days ago. Coming into its four-game road trip against Yale, Dartmouth held a comfortable two-game lead in the division. The two-time defending champions of the Ivy League, the Big Green looked poised to win the Rolfe Division for the fourth consecutive year.

But now, Dartmouth is in an unfamiliar spot: second place.

Yale thrashed the Big Green, surprisingly winning all four games over the weekend by a combined score of 19-3. Dartmouth, which leads the Ancient Eight in almost every offensive category, couldn’t get anything going at New Haven, failing to score more than one run in a game. With the sweep, Yale now has a two-game lead on the rest of the division and a decent shot to win its first Ivy Championship since 1994.

Harvard also showed some life this weekend. After dropping its first two games at Brown, the Crimson broke out on Saturday, scoring an average of 9 runs a game to beat the Bears twice and remain relevant in the Ivy League championship discussion. But Harvard is still five back in the division and will need to do well this weekend at home against the Bulldogs or risk being mathematically out of contention. In fact, if Harvard doesn’t win three or more game against Yale, then the Crimson’s done.

While the Bulldogs had a big weekend in baseball, things didn’t go quite as well in men’s golf. After dominating Apr. 9-10, shooting a total of -4 to win the Princeton Invitational, the Bulldogs didn’t come close to matching that performance this past weekend at The Century Intercollegiate tournament. Thanks in large part to rough weather conditions, Yale shot +66, good enough for a third-place finish. Harvard rebounded from a rough Princeton Invitational to win its first tournament of the year. The Crimson will try to carry that momentum into the year’s final tournament: the Ivy League Championship.

The Harvard women’s golf team found itself in a similar position as its male counterpart. After failing to win a tournament all year, something clicked for the women in the Spring Brown Bear Invitational, their most recent competition. While the squad failed to win, Harvard had the low-score on the second day en route to a solid second-place finish. The Crimson also finishes its season this weekend at the Ivy League Championships, where it finished third last year.