Although many Crimson supporters will be wholly focused upon “The Game” between the Harvard and Yale football teams this coming weekend, there are a few other Crimson squads that have competitions this weekend with major NCAA implications.
Women’s Volleyball vs. Princeton (Friday 7:00p.m.)
Harvard Women’s Volleyball clinched a share of the Ancient Eight title for the second straight season with its 3-1 victory against Brown this past Saturday. Sitting atop the league with Princeton, the Crimson (14-10, 10-4 Ivy) relishes the chance to compete against the Tigers (15-8, 10-4) in a deciding play-in game to earn the Ivy League’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
Whether they’re kicking off a season, in the midst of one, or drawing it to a close, several Harvard teams are playing key matchups that you’ll want to keep an eye on this weekend.
Women’s Volleyball at Yale (Friday 7 p.m.), at Brown (Saturday 7 p.m.)
The Harvard women’s volleyball team, currently possessing sole first in the conference standings, is set to conclude its season this weekend with nothing less than the Ivy League title at stake.
The Crimson (13-9, 9-3 Ivy) very much controls its own destiny—a weekend sweep would clinch a second straight Ivy championship. However, a myriad of possibilities, including potential two-through-four team playoffs, await if the weekend games play out differently.
Yale (12-9, 7-5) sits two games back in the division and would need some help from Harvard, as well as the other two teams mathematically still in the hunt, Dartmouth and Princeton, in order to have a shot at winning the title.
Brown (10-14, 4-8) is currently second-to-last in the conference standings and has lost four in a row.
Although the Crimson won’t play them this weekend, the Tigers (13-8, 8-4) have won five in a row and are hard-charging towards the front. Princeton now sits a game behind Harvard as the teams get set to play their last two scheduled regular-season games.
Men’s Ice Hockey at Quinnipiac (Friday 7 p.m.)
The No. 6/7 Harvard men’s ice hockey team (3-0-1, 3-0-1 ECAC) takes on its highest ranked opponent thus far this season, No. 3/4 Quinnipiac, on Friday in a meeting of two high-powered offenses.
The undefeated Bobcats (8-0-0, 2-0-0), last year’s regular season ECAC champions, received five first-place votes in the latest USA TODAY/USA Hockey magazine rankings, and match up against a conference rival Crimson team that has outscored its first four opponents by a combined margin of 19-6.
Quinnipiac is also having a dominant season, however, posting a goal differential of +21 over eight games.
Friday’s game is the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. Last year, Harvard took the season series 2-1 over Quinnipiac.
Men’s Basketball vs MIT (Friday 7:45 p.m.), at Providence (Saturday 7 p.m.)
The Harvard men’s basketball team returns from a fourth straight NCAA Tournament trip to tip off its 2015-16 campaign with a home opener against MIT on Friday, then will head to Providence on Saturday to play the Friars.
The Crimson took 2009 NCAA champion and perennial heavyweights North Carolina down to the wire in last year’s first-round tournament game, rallying and leading the Tar Heels late before losing 67-65.
Providence is also coming off of an NCAA tournament appearance. It did not find success, though, likewise being ousted in the first round.
Harvard and MIT played last year, with the Crimson winning, 73-52.
As some teams near the end of their seasons and others look to start with a bang, this weekend at Harvard will have a host of worthwhile games to follow.
Men’s Swimming and Diving versus Bryant
In its season-opener this Friday at Blodgett Pool, Harvard will take on Bryant for the first time ever in a regular season dual.
Harvard is a historically strong team that has never finished lower than second in the Ivy League conference. Returners include sophomore divers Bobby Ross and David Pfeifer, both of whom qualified for the 3-meter diving final last season. Junior Jack Manchester also returns as a formidable force in the backstroke events, having competed in the NCAA Championships last year and currently holding the conference record for the 200 backstroke.
The Bulldogs (4-1) have already competed in five meets this season, and are coming off a win over Iona. This meet will be one of four at home this year, and the only one this semester.
November has crept up without a warning, masked by deceivingly warm weather. With the next two months come the end of the fall sports regular season, and teams are now focusing on the post-season tournaments.
While you may have been keeping up with their stats, you may have missed some of Harvard’s athlete’s most entertaining tweets. Here at The Back Page, we have compiled a few tweets that made us chuckle.
Maksim Korolev of the men’s cross-country team took the honors of The Crimson’s athlete of the week for his performance at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational this past weekend. Korolev ran an 8k course in 23:14 for the Harvard men’s cross country team, finishing 2nd out of the 288 runners participating. Although he was the best of the best this week, some other athletes were deserving of recognition for their on-field excellence as well.