This is the first edition of the winter sports rankings from The Brown and White sports section. This list is the editors’ ranking of the five varsity Lehigh winter sports based on record, strength of schedule and recent results.
1. Wrestling (3-0, 1-0 EIWA)
The wrestling team tops our first 2016-17 winter sport rankings, starting off the season undefeated, including a 28-8 blowout win over No. 21 Pittsburgh. The team’s most recent win was a 20-13 road win against Edinboro, which is also a top 30 program in the nation. The Mountain Hawks — ranked No. 11 in the country — will face their biggest challenge of the season next on Sunday against No. 2 Penn State.
2. Women’s swim and dive (4-1, 2-1 Patriot)
The women’s swim and dive team has strung together four straight wins after dropping its season opener at Boston University. Three of those four wins were by more than 100 points, including a 176-point victory against Lafayette. The team has more than a month off from regular season competition while some members will compete in the AT&T Winter Championships from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Atlanta, Georgia.
3. Men’s basketball (2-4, 0-0 Patriot)
While the men’s basketball team has faced by far the most difficult schedule of any Lehigh team this winter, the team has dropped two straight games, including most recently to La Salle, 89-81. The team started off with two tight losses, a three-point defeat to No. 7/8 Xavier and an overtime loss to Yale. The team’s two wins were both quite impressive — a home victory against Ivy League favorite Princeton and its first win over an SEC opponent in program history, Mississippi State. More quality wins will allow the team to move up in the rankings, especially when its schedule cools down.
4. Men’s swim and dive (3-2, 2-1 Patriot)
After also starting off the season with a loss against BU, the men’s team now has won two straight over Loyola and Lafayette — its 26th straight over the Leopards — both important Patriot League wins. In the Lafayette win, freshman Walker Wilson set a Lehigh record for the 100-yard backstroke, and senior Jacob Moyar one for 100-yard intermediate. The team doesn’t have another meet till Jan. 6 against Army West Point.
5. Women’s basketball (5-3, 0-0 Patriot)
The women’s basketball team started the season 4-1 against some weaker competition, including a closer-than-expected six-point win over Division II opponent East Stroudsburg in its season opener. All three of the team’s losses were by double digits, including both games in the Christmas City Classic in Bethlehem. The team’s second leading rebounder, senior Kiernan McCloskey, just tore her ACL, so she’ll miss the rest of the season, leaving it up to Quinci Mann, who’s averaging 18.7 points per game.