Harvard Receives AP Top-25 Vote From Unexpected Source

Published by Dennis J. Zheng on January 26, 2011 at 3:11AM

This week’s Associated Press Top 25 Men's College Basketball poll had a surprise entry in the Others receiving votes category. Along with Penn State, Duquesne, and Belmont, Harvard managed to receive a single vote in the poll, making it the third straight season and fourth in the past six that the Crimson has received a vote.

In previous years, the Washington Post’s John Feinstein—a friend of coach Tommy Amaker—has been the usual source of AP votes for Harvard.

But this time, the voter in question was none other than Pete Gilbert of WBAL-TV 11 in Baltimore. His ballot, which put the Crimson at No. 25, may be found here.

The Back Page spoke to Gilbert today to get the scoop on his decision.


Tofte Makes Mark in Nordic Competition

Published by Christina C. Mcclintock on January 26, 2011 at 3:11AM

Nordic skier Alena Tofte was a rookie on the rise last season, a talented athlete with a knack for big finishes, which she displayed at last year's Dartmouth Winter Carnival when she surged to 14th place in the last leg of the race.

This year Tofte has taken the next step. With an eighth-place finish in last weekend's 10k race at the TD Bank Eastern Cup and a 15th-place finish the weekend before at the Colby Carnival, the sophomore has demonstrated that she can consistently hold her own with some of the best racers in the region.

Earlier this year, Nordic coach Chris City '94 pointed out that Tofte's offseason training allowed her to come back more powerful than she had been before. That power helped the sophomore earn a second-place finish in the 1k Classic event at the USCan Cup at Forêt Montmorency last November, and her training has continued to pay off in the collegiate carnivals.

Around the Water Cooler: Wherein the Ivy League Finds Success

Published by Robert S Samuels on January 26, 2011 at 3:11AM

Winter just might be the best sports season for an Ivy League fan. To start, if you want to keep dexterity in your fingers and toes, there just aren’t a whole lot of options for outdoor fun. But maybe more importantly, the Ancient Eight’s winter teams can compete on a national level. Harvard’s women’s squash tops the national rankings, as does Yale’s men’s hockey team (we need not discuss that any more), and men’s basketball doesn’t look too bad either. And as we’ll show you in a little chat Around the Water Cooler, we have an exciting few days ahead of us.

After the Cornell men’s basketball team’s run to the Sweet Sixteen during March Madness last year, something dawned on Ivy League sports fans: the Ancient Eight’s guaranteed spot in the Big Dance is no longer a meaningless gesture. Nope. The Ivy League can play.

And so, that lone tournament berth holds more promise this year than in recent memory. With eight Ivy League matchups in men’s basketball over the weekend, the hunt for the league title begins in earnest this weekend.


Power Rankings: Harvard Moves Up to Second

Published by Kate Leist on January 25, 2011 at 3:48AM

It’s been a while since we at The Back Page took a look at the state of ECAC women’s hockey. We apologize, but it’s been a little cold here in Cambridge, and we’ve been hibernating. Conference play is back in full swing, though, and the playoff picture becomes clearer every week—although, of course, the regular-season champion has been all but a foregone conclusion since November. See who’s up, who’s down, and who’s essentially out in this week’s edition of the power rankings.

1. Cornell (20-1-0, 14-0-0 ECAC, 1st in ECAC)

At this point in the regular season, the only question left at the top is whether or not anybody can bring down juggernaut Cornell. Though it’s been unseated at the top of the national polls by Wisconsin, the No. 2 Big Red’s in prime position to run the conference table—a feat that has only been accomplished twice in league history, most recently by the 2007-08 Harvard team. And to top it all off, Cornell avenged its only loss of the season last Tuesday, blanking No. 5 Mercyhurst on the road.


The Full-Court Press: Matt Jones '12

Published by Alex Sopko on January 25, 2011 at 3:11AM

Junior Matt Jones has been on star on the men's volleyball team since his freshman year.

As the men’s volleyball team opens its 2011 season with a home match against Newbury tonight at the MAC, the Full Court Press chats with junior co-captain Matt Jones about the wildness of men’s volleyball matches. With Enya and excited fans backing him up, the team’s leading server explains why Princeton should watch out. The California “sex panther” is ready to go.

Name: Matt Jones

Year: 2012

Stats: The Adams resident started his career at Harvard with 3.07 kills per set his freshman year. Improving his sophomore season, Jones had a team-high 23 service aces last year, as well as 314 kills and 44 blocks, finishing 18th in the nation with 4.13 kills per set.

Bring on the questions!