Second MIT Athletics Weekend Highlights Fall Sports Saturday

After a successful inaugural athletics weekend highlighted MIT’s spring sports last April, a new set of sports will move into the spotlight for the second MIT Athletics Weekend on Saturday.

The event has been organized by the UA Committee on Athletics with the support of DAPER, the Undergraduate Association, and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). With the intent of attracting higher attendance and attention for MIT Sports, Athletics Weekend will feature a number of events and competitions throughout the day at the varsity games and the Zesiger Center, and the festivities will go on rain or shine.

The day kicks off with women’s tennis continuing play in the ITA New England Championships starting at 8:00 a.m. At 12:00 p.m., the women’s volleyball team will be playing in the MIT Invitational. In the afternoon, the football team will be playing Nichols College at 1:00 p.m., fully supported as always by the MIT Marching Band. At 2:30 p.m., field hockey faces the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with the Chorallaries performing the national anthem.

A poster-making competition will be taking place at all of Saturday’s varsity games. Half-time of the football game will feature a punting competition. Likewise, field hockey spectators will get the chance to participate in a half-time shoot-out.

From 10:30 a.m. on, a number of festivities will be taking place in front of the Zesiger Center, including a basketball shooting contest, a pull-up contest, and a free barbecue at noon. And for those still hungry, there will be a hot dog eating competition at 4:00 p.m. Also going on all day in the Z-Center lobby, SAAC will be selling old varsity equipment and uniforms at discounted prices.

Free food, t-shirts, and prizes await spectators at all of the varsity games on Saturday. Dedicated fans who attend all of the day’s events and cheer on the Engineers can compete for the title of “Crazed Fan.”

According to Athletics Committee Chair Catherine Melnikow ’10, Athletics Weekend is planned to continue at least in the fall and spring seasons every year and potentially during the winter season.

The event cost over $6,500 , a total somewhat smaller than that of last spring’s Athletics Weekend. Melnikow hopes to see participation in this fall’s events exceed 500.

What to Watch for on Saturday

Women’s Tennis ITA New England Championship, 8 a.m.

The women’s tennis team has had a fantastic start to their season, dropping only two matches over their first three meets. The team of Leslie A. Hansen ’10 and Stasey Vishnevetsky ’12 were named NEWMAC doubles team of the week on Tuesday.

Women’s Volleyball MIT Invitational, 10 a.m.

The women’s volleyball team hosts ten schools at the MIT invitational this weekend as they seek to rebound from their straight set loss to Springfield College on Tuesday and recapture the brilliance that carried them to 5-0 as they started the season.

Football vs. Nichols College, 1:00 p.m.

MIT football plays their second home game of the season Saturday afternoon. MIT defeated Massachusetts Maritime 42-14 at home two weeks ago, but suffered a narrow 42-38 loss at Framingham State last week. DeRon M. Brown ’10 was awarded the prestigious Boston Globe Gold Helmet award after accruing the second highest one-game rushing total in MIT history in the victory over Massachusetts Maritime.

Field Hockey vs. WPI, 2:30 p.m.

After a rough start to their season, the MIT field hockey team has won three games in a row, edging Nichols College 3-2 in double overtime on Tuesday.

Women’s Volleyball MIT Invitational Finals, 4:30 p.m.

The MIT Invitational continues Saturday afternoon with the final matches.