Ancient Eight squads gear up for postseason play

by Stephen Preefer | 5/12/08 3:14am

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Dartmouth baseball had the best opportunity of any Big Green team to move on to the NCAA tournament, but fell short with last week's losses to Columbia.
by Ben Gettinger / The Dartmouth

After a dismal 2007 season, Dartmouth (25-17, 15-5 Ivy) rebounded this season to win the Red Rolfe division of the Ivy League, advancing to the Ancient Eight championship series. The Big Green faced off against Columbia (22-25, 15-5 Ivy), the Lou Gehrig division champions, on Tuesday and Wednesday in Hanover.

Though the teams had identical conference records, the Big Green hosted the tournament as a result of its better winning percentage against Princeton (20-22, 11-9 Ivy), the league's third-place team.

The teams split the double-header on Tuesday, with Columbia taking the first game, 11-7, and Dartmouth rebounding to win the second game, 16-15, pushing the series to a third game.

In the rubber game, Dartmouth gained an early 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, but ultimately dropped the contest, 7-5. Columbia will advance to the NCAA tournament on the league's automatic bid. The field has not yet been determined for the NCAA regionals.

Softball

Princeton (25-22, 18-2 Ivy) and Harvard (25-22, 13-6 Ivy) emerged as the league's two divisional champions, facing off for the league's title on Saturday in Princeton, N.J. Princeton swept the series 2-0, winning 4-2 in the first game and 5-1 in the second. Princeton will advance to the NCAA tournament on the league's automatic bid.

Men's Lacrosse

In a league race that came down to the final game, Cornell (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) and Brown (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) finished the season as co-Ivy League champions, but only Cornell advanced to the NCAA tournament.

After a late-season win over Cornell, Princeton (7-6, 4-2 Ivy) looked to win the league championship but a surprise upset by Dartmouth (7-7, 3-3 Ivy) on April 29 in Hanover put Princeton into a must-win situation against Brown to earn a share of the championship.

Brown pulled off a slight upset against the Tigers a week later to earn co-champion honors with Cornell. Based on the league's head-to-head tie breaker system, however, Cornell earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament because of the Big Red's 11-7 regular season victory over Brown.

Brown was not offered a bid to the tournament, despite being No. 13 in the coaches' poll.

Cornell faced off against No. 11 Ohio State in the first round on Saturday and lost 15-7 in Ithaca, N.Y.

Women's Lacrosse

The University of Pennsylvania (14-1, 7-0 Ivy) dominated the Ancient Eight this season and will enter the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 seed overall. After an impressive campaign, including a late-season 11-7 win over No. 1 Northwestern, the Quakers edged out the league's second-place teams, Cornell (10-6, 5-2 Ivy) and Princeton (12-4, 5-2 Ivy), 7-6 and 8-5 respectively, giving Penn the league's automatic bid.

Princeton also earned a spot in the tournament as the No. 8 overall seed, despite suffering a late-season drop in the rankings after an upset by Dartmouth (7-9, 3-4 Ivy) on April 19 in Princeton, N.J.

Penn will play Colgate University on May 11 in Philadelphia, Pa., and Princeton will take on Vanderbilt on the same day in Princeton, N.J.

Track and Field

Cornell looked to win its fifth consecutive men's outdoor Heptagonal championships, hosted by Yale in New Haven, Conn., this weekend The Big Red was in the lead after the first day of competition Saturday with 50 points. Princeton was right on Cornell's heels with 48 points, and Dartmouth sat in a distant third place with 26 points.

In the women's Heps competition, Princeton led the field with a total of 60 points after Saturday's events, while six-time defending champion, Cornell, sat in second with 37 points.

Results from Sunday's events were not available by press time.

Individual athletes from both the men and women's teams will be selected to compete in the NCAA regional and national meets based on times and results during the season.

Men's Tennis

Harvard (15-6, 7-0 Ivy) finished the season as Ivy League champions. Despite remaining undefeated in league play, the Crimson eked out close 4-3 victories over Columbia (10-6, 5-2 Ivy) and Cornell (8-11, 3-4 Ivy).

Harvard advanced to the NCAA tournament on the league's automatic bid and lost to No. 17 Texas Tech, 4-2, in the first round Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Women's Tennis

Yale (11-8, 7-0 Ivy) won the Ancient Eight this season, earning an undefeated league record that included 4-3 wins over Brown (11-9, 2-5 Ivy), Penn (11-7, 6-1 Ivy) and Dartmouth (16-4, 4-3 Ivy). The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA tournament on the league's automatic bid.

The Bulldogs faced a tough opponent in the opening round of the tournament, losing to No. 2 Georgia 4-0 in Athens, Ga.

Men's Golf

Columbia won the Ivy League tournament, shooting a combined 304 on the weekend, 11 strokes ahead of second place Yale, earning the Lions a place in the NCAA tournament.

Columbia is set to tee off on May 15 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.

Women's Golf:

Harvard won this year's Ivy League championship tournament with a total of 890, finishing 10 strokes ahead of second place Columbia. The win gave Harvard the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

Harvard began postseason play at the University of Texas, Austin golf course in the Central Regional, held on May 8-10. The Crimson will not advance to the NCAA championships, which will be held in Albuquerque, N.M. on May 20-23.

Sailing

The women's sailing squad failed to qualify for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Champions after a sixth-place finish in the New England Intercollegiate regatta. Only the top five teams at the regatta qualified for nationals.

Heavyweight

& Lightweight Crew

A league champion has yet to be determined for either the lightweight or heavyweight division. Both crews will be competing at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Eastern Sprints, the conference championship, on May 18 in Worcester, Mass.

Women's Crew

An Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges league champion has not yet been determined. The field of 12 for the 2008 NCAA women's rowing championships will be announced in the coming weeks.

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