Crimson Sports Dominate Winter Standings

Published by Justin C. Wong on February 21, 2013 at 3:13AM
Shoes To Fill

After leading point-getter DJ White went down with an injury last week against No. 6 Penn State, Harvard reshuffled its lineup with junior Michael “Big Cat” Owen, above, and freshman Branden Clemens getting more minutes.

Although the Harvard basketball team stole most of the weekend headlines with its important victories over Ivy League rivals Penn and Princeton, a few other Crimson teams had equally impressive weekends.

Men’s Volleyball entered the AVCA Division I-II poll at No. 15 after a weekend sweep, including a dominating 3-0 beatdown of conference rival No. 9 Penn State on Friday night. It was the first time in 51 conference matches—spanning almost five years—that the Nittany Lions lost a conference matchup, and the first time in history that Harvard had defeated Penn State. The Crimson returned to the national rankings for the first time since last season after finishing its weekend with a sweep of St. Francis. Sophomore outside hitter DJ White won the AVCA National Player of the Week after hitting .477 for the week with 4.17 kills per set. Harvard has won seven straight matches at home stretching to last season, and is a half-game behind George Mason in the EIVA standings.

Men’s Swimming and Diving capped an undefeated dual meet season with a victory over Penn last weekend and not only earned the No. 16 spot in the NCAA rankings, but also won the outright claim to the Ivy League Dual Meet title. The defeat of Penn, in which the Crimson won first place in 12 of the 16 events, was preceded by one of the most impressive wins in program history. Harvard defeated Princeton at the HYP dual meet, and became the first Ivy opponent to defeat the Tigers at home. The team will now prepare for the ECAC Championships, which it will host March 1-3, before heading to Providence the next weekend for the Ivy League Championships on March 7-9.

Not to be outdone, Women’s Swimming and Diving entered the top 25 for the first time (at No. 22) after completing its own second consecutive undefeated dual meet season with a win at the HYP meet. Freshman Kendall Crawford set school records in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly and also took home the 200 backstroke title. Teammate Stephanie Ferrell, a sophomore, picked up wins in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and the 200 IM. It is Harvard’s first back-to-back undefeated Ivy seasons since 2004-06. The Crimson will return to Princeton for the Ivy Championships starting February 28 and then focus on the ECAC Championships, beginning March 1.