Bearcats NCAA Playoff Bound

Photo by Gene Boyars

Bearcats NCAA Playoff Bound

In a case of history repeating itself, the Baruch women’s volleyball and men’s soccer teams head to the first round of the NCAA Division III tournaments this week. Both nabbed CUNY Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Tournament Championships, post–Hurricane Sandy. On Friday, Nov. 9, the volleyball team takes on Eastern University in Salisbury, Md., while the soccer team faces off against Brandeis University in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 10. It will be the third trip to the NCAA playoffs for each team.

The volleyball and soccer teams, as well as women’s cross country, each added a notch to their CUNYAC Championship title belts: Volleyball won for the second straight year, and a total of six times in team history; men’s soccer earned two previous wins, and cross country grabbed titles in 2007 and 2009.

Although the men’s soccer team lost a week of practice because of Hurricane Sandy, it still managed to defeat the Brooklyn College Bulldogs 4-2 on Saturday, Nov. 3, after giving up two goals in the first half of the game. The Bearcats added two more goals in the second half of the game, and with less than 2 minutes remaining, scored the fourth and final goal.

The volleyball team, which also couldn’t practice, was scheduled to start its championship tournament on Oct. 30. But again, Hurricane Sandy interfered, and the matches were moved to the CCNY gym, where Baruch unleashed its power against Lehman and then Hunter. In an exciting five-set contest, the Bearcats squeezed past Hunter in the last game with a final score of 17-15. The victory gave the ladies an overall winning streak of 22 games in a row, including regular and tournament games.

Fortunately, the women’s cross country team was not impacted by the hurricane, as their 6K championship event occurred on Oct. 28 at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The Bearcats scored a total of 39 points, 13 points better than rival Hunter to win the CUNYAC title.

“We are very proud and excited to have our men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams competing this weekend at the prestigious NCAA Tournament,” said Baruch’s Athletic Director Ray Rankis. “It will be the second consecutive appearance in the national competition for women’s volleyball, while the men’s soccer team will be making its first appearance since 2006. We wish them the very best representing Baruch College and the CUNY Athletic Conference (CUNYAC).” Go Bearcats!

—Barbara Lippman

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