Ivy League Title, NCAA Automatic Bid To Be Decided
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's preparation for Sunday's Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship started long ago in the tanks in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.
"During the depths of winter, we always reminded ourselves of what we were working towards," said captain Victoire Lienau, who will sit in the bow seat of the varsity eight. "We are ready, we love racing together, and we cannot wait to get after it this weekend."
There will be a lot at stake when the Bulldogs compete on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. The varsity eight grand final winner claims the Ivy League title, but this year, the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship is being awarded in a new fashion, to the team with the most points across the three NCAA boats – varsity eight, second varsity eight and the varsity four. In addition, there will be a team points champion for the best performance across all crews. The Bulldogs won the team points title last year.
Racing gets under way with the preliminaries at 8 a.m. on Sunday, while the finals kickoff at 2 p.m. The varsity eight grand final, the last event of the day, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ESPN+ has video of both the preliminaries and finals.
Will Porter, The Friends of YWC Head Coach of the Bulldogs, is very much in favor of the new way the NCAA bid is being awarded.
"The new AQ format is long overdue," he said. "I have been a proponent of the AQ going to the best team finisher in the three NCAA crews for a long time, and I finally got the league to agree. It is the right thing for our student athletes, the right thing for the Ivy League and the right thing for collegiate Division I rowing."
Lienau said the new format hasn't changed Yale's preparation in any way.
"We have always been focused on our performance as one team," she said. "Our goals remain the same."
It's been another strong season for the Ivy League. Four crews – Brown (No. 7), Princeton (No. 8), Yale (No. 9) and Harvard-Radcliffe (No. 16) – are in the top-20 and two – Dartmouth and Columbia – are receiving votes.
"The Ivy League is deeper than it has been in recent years with four teams ranked in the top 16," Porter said. "The Big 10 has five teams in the top 15, the Pac 12 has four and the Ivy League is right there. The ACC and Big 12 each have one."
The Bulldogs are coming off a very challenging regular season where they faced many of the nation's top programs, including eight crews currently ranked in the CRCA/US Rowing national poll.
"We have learned from every race of our regular season and are grateful to have had so many opportunities to get faster," Lienau said. "Each competition has taught us which aspect of our race plan we need to improve, which allowed us to progressively become faster crews and better racers."
Porter is pleased with the progress his crews have made over the course of the season.
"We have gotten better every race this year, and I expect this one to be the next step," he said. "This Yale team loves to race, you can see it as they come down the course."
PROBABLE YALE BOATINGS
Bow – Victoire Lienau (Sr., Paris, France)
2 – Claire Dirks (So., Toronto, Ontario)
3 – Ella von der Schulenburg (Jr., Zurich, Switzerland)
4 – Anna Matthes (Fy., Belmont, Mass.)
5 – Arwen Neski (Sr., Ashley Falls, Mass.)
6 – Margaret Saunders (Jr., Arlington, Va.)
7 – Margaret Hedeman (Fy., Concord, Mass.)
Stroke - Daisy Mazzio-Manson (Jr., Wellesley, Mass.)
Cox – Aparajita Chauhan (So., Seattle, Wash.)
Second Varsity Eight:
Bow – Katie Gleason (Jr., Sudbury, Mass.)
2 – Alexia Rojas (Jr., Tampa, Fla.)
3 – Anna Scott (Fy., Denver, Colo.)
4 – Jenna van de Grift (So., San Diego, Calif.)
5 – Lucy Edmunds (Fy., North Yorkshire, Great Britain)
6 – Claire Grundig (Jr., San Carlos, Calif.)
7 – Phoebe Campbell (Fy., North Molton, Great Britain)
Stroke – Katie King-Smith (So., Oxford, United Kingdom)
Cox – Hannah Malzahn (Sr., Edmond, Okla.)
Bow – Lane Unsworth (Sr., San Francisco, Calif.)
2 – Sera Bulbul (Sr., Geneva, Switzerland)
3 – Clare Naughton (Fy., Burlington, Mass.)
Stroke – Margaux Paradis (Jr., San Francisco, Calif.)
Cox – Alin Pasa (Fy., Westport, Conn.)
Second Varsity Four:
Bow – Grace Galloway (So., Sydney, Australia)
2 – Hannah Johns (Fy., Longmeadow, Mass.)
3 – Riley Eversole (So., Oakland, Calif.)
Stroke – Hannah Knight (Sr., Weston, Mass.)
Cox – Alisha Dziarski (Sr., Chesterton, Ind.)
Third Varsity Eight
Bow – Elizabeth Duserick (Jr., Arlington, Mass.)
2 – Lillie Ketterson (So., Boston, Mass.)
3 – Clementine Perry (Fy., Wellesley, Mass.)
4 – Emmeline Laurence (Fy., Greenland, N.H.)
5 – Christiana Congdon (Fy., Stonington, Conn.)
6 – Hannah Smith (Jr., Long Beach, Calif.)
7 – Elizabeth Cooper (So., Melbourne, Australia)
Stroke – Tessa Mapplebeck (So., Sydney, Australia)
Cox – Hannah Yi (So., Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Report filed by Tim Bennett (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity