As fall approaches, the Baruch College Bearcats find themselves on the cusp of their 2016 athletic season. The Fall semester is especially great for the Bearcat faithfuls, as it signals the return of many of the school’s top teams, including the dominant women’s tennis squad and their counterparts on the volleyball court. Over on the men’s side, the soccer team looks to capitalize on a promising season. The Lady Bearcats picked up right where they left off on the tennis courts, following last season’s CUNY Athletic Conference championship, with two early wins to start this semester’s campaign. The team beat the Hunter Hawks 5-0 last October, earning its first CUNYAC title since 1997 and advancing the team to the NCAA tournament. The tournament, however, did not render the results that the team had hoped for, losing early to The College of New Jersey, although it certainly provided the necessary motivation heading into the next season.
This year’s roster is headlined by team captain Allie Jackson-Hing, a senior whose stellar play during the 2015-16 season earned her the title of Most Valuable Player. Back for another round is senior Brooke Severance and sophomore Isabel Arias, who earned rookie of the year accolades during the previous season. The Bearcats were already in mid-season form when they took on Purchase College in their season opener held on Sept. 8. The dominating duo, Jackson-Hing and Arias, was able to shell out a convincing win in doubles play, although the team dropped the following two doubles matches.
Come singles competition, the team tightened its slack, taking five of the six matches en route to a convincing 6-3 final score. The team saw similar results when it opened up CUNYAC competition on Saturday, Sept. 15, against Lehman College. Jackson-Hing and Arias were back at it again winning easily in doubles competition, while first-year players Franziska Goetz and Maria Scherbakova joined in, taking the third doubles match with an 8-2 victory. The meeting was cut short due to weather and field conditions, but luckily the Bearcats had secured a 5-3 overall victory by that time. Although the team has had a tough slate of conference opponents lined up, it also has the necessary talent and experience to make a significant run at a second consecutive title.
The volleyball division of the Bearcats shared similar success last season, as its dominant play turned into a CUNYAC championship berth that ultimately fell short to the Hawks of Hunter College. This year, the team is led by the trio of captains—Alessandra Chavez, Akilah Meulens and Marisa Bou. The three seniors have a strong supporting cast under their supervision featuring promising second-year players Tara Imbrenda and Leslie Chen. The team has had a shaky start to the season and it currently sits 4-4 overall on the season.
The good news is that the Lady Bearcats are undefeated thus far into conference play. The team finished its opening tournament, the DeSales Invitational, at .500 and suffered yet another loss to the College of Mount Saint Vincent before sweeping the CUNYAC tri-match held on Sept. 10. In fact, the Bearcats boasted a perfect slate at the tri-match, shutting out both York College and Medgar Evers College with an identical final score of 3-0. With a long season still ahead, the team looks to continue dominating in CUNYAC competition, although it could use some help in non-conference play.
First, to kick off men’s fall sports, the Baruch soccer team took on New Jersey City University on Sept. 1. The team conceded two goals to the Gothic Knights, although unable to capitalize on any of its own 10 shot attempts. Senior forward Oshae Miller played exceptionally well, although his two goal attempts did not materialize into anything significant. The Bearcats’ first win came the following week at the Utica Tournament, where they were able to edge out the Thoroughbreds of Skidmore College, 1-0. The team, once again, found itself on the losing end the very next day when it fell to the tournament host, Utica College, by a final score of 2-4. Come late September, the Bearcats are scheduled for a brutal series of CUNYAC matchups and it will certainly be interesting to see how they fair.
The Fall semester is a great time for Baruch faithfuls to channel their inner sports fanatic. With cross-country and basketball also in the mix, there is no shortage of thrilling games ahead. While some teams are fighting to reach optimal performance, others, like women’s tennis, certainly give students something to look forward to.