When it comes to women’s tennis, the latest trend, besides whatever outfits a certain Williams sister is wearing, is simple: the best are getting better—hardware, at least, at Harvard.
Harvard women’s tennis earned its share of Ivy League awards across the spectrum today.
The US Women’s hockey team will have to wait until 2014 to get its full measure of revenge. But after losing to the Canadians last year in the Vancouver Olympics, the American national team took back the world title yesterday at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Switzerland.
Harvard coach Katey Stone led the squad to a title over the Canadians. After losing 2-0 in the Olympic finals a year ago, the US would not fall short this year, winning 3-2 in overtime.
Four Harvard icewomen, past and present, were on the world champion roster, but sophomore Josephine Pucci was the only active member of the Harvard team to play for the US.
Angela Ruggiero ’02-’04, the team’s captain, Julie Chu ’06-’07, and Caitlin Cahow ’07-’08 all suited up for their former college coach as well. To go along with their Olympic silver medals, the three have all won three world titles.
The women’s hockey team was at its most dominant during the careers of these three players. Between 2003 and 2005, Harvard made three straight appearances in the NCAA National Finals, although ultimately never gaining the trophy.
Despite having lost in the Olympics, the American team has now won three straight IIHF Championships, dating back to 2008. Since the tournament was first played in 1990, no team other than the United States or Canadian has ever won a gold or silver medal.
As the school year comes to a close, Ivy League sports are wrapping up as well. But for Harvard, the spring doesn’t look quite as cheery. Baseball’s out of the league title hunt, while both the men’s and women’s golf teams failed to win it all. Meanwhile, our counterpart in New Haven is doing quite well, capturing two Ivy titles this weekend. And if all goes well next weekend, Yale has a chance to be crowned the top dog in Ancient Eight baseball as well. We’ll tell you just what you need to know in this week’s version of Around the Water Cooler.
The Harvard baseball team will have to wait until at least 2012 to claim an Ivy League title.
It looks like Ivy League softball is headed for a rematch.
After Harvard fell to Cornell in a decisive third game in last season’s Ivy League Championships, the Crimson and the Big Red both sit atop the North and South Divisions, respectively, of the Ancient Eight.
Harvard, with a 12-2 league record has more or less clinched its spot in the finals, barring a colossal breakdown in the last week of the season.
As any Prefrosh can tell you, Harvard’s 41 varsity teams are the most of any school in the nation. Despite that, Harvard had the second-lowest athletic budget of any other school in the Ancient Eight last year, with expenditures coming in around $18 million.
Only Brown spent less than the Crimson. Despite having the third-most teams in the Ivy League, the Bears doled out just $15 million between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. Needless to say, Brown had funding issues, with head coaches receiving an average salary of just $63,618, a full 22 percent, or $18,170, less than the Ancient Eight average.
To ensure “more sustainable support for varsity teams,” Brown’s Athletics Review Committee has suggested a series of changes, including increasing the overall athletic budget increase and cutting four varsity teams: men’s wrestling, men’s and women’s fencing, and women’s skiing.
The committee’s report gave reasons for specific reasons for cutting each of these teams. For fencing, the costs of remaking the program into a competitive entity are prohibitive. The school cannot provide adequate practice grounds for the skiing team, the report contends. Finally, wrestling is quite expensive and isn’t a sport offered at all of the Ivies.
But to remain gender equity as demanded by Title IX, the Athletics Department would have to promote one women’s team from club status to the varsity level.
The committee hopes that a combination of raising the total athletic budget and cutting three teams will increase the budgets by 10 percent for the 34 teams left.
The Committee’s other recommendations include reducing the number of recruited athletes by 13% and updating athletic facilities and creating new ones.
If passed by Brown President Ruth Simmons, these changes could kick in as early as next fall.