2009-10 Navy Sports Rankings Continue...

The Navy team rankings for the 2009-10 season continues with number 12 through 8. Three out of the five teams that are included in this portion of the countdown fell from last season's rankings. However, one of five teams beat Army and also upset a top-ten team that has a turtle for a mascot. That was good enough for them to jump nine spots from last season to this season.

Before getting to #12 - #8, here is a recap of the ten teams who have already made the rankings:

 

22. Volleyball

21. Golf

20. Men's Basketball

19. Baseball

18. Men's Track and Field

17. Women's Cross Country

16. Men's Lacrosse

15. Men's Soccer

14. Rifle

13. Women's Tennis

 

 

12. (10) Squash – Last season, the Navy squash team set an all-time record for wins (27) but struggled mightily against the stronger teams in the country. This year the team went 26-8 but fared better when they stepped up to play tougher opponents. In matches against top-ten teams Penn, Dartmouth, and Yale, the Mids didn't get shut out. In fact, they put a pretty good scare into #8 Penn. And the future is bright in Annapolis as freshmen Hunter Bouchard and John Richey led the team with 26 wins. Perhaps an upset of a top-ten program in on the horizon – now if only Army would field a team.

 

11. (9) Water Polo – Army currently fields a club team in water polo and I seriously doubt they have any real ambition to get into another water-based competition with the Mids (more on the other ones later in the countdown). However, Navy does play Air Force who continues to get better each season. The Falcons almost beat the Mids for the first time in 8 years, but Navy pulled out the victory 12-10. Unfortunately though it looks like this tightening series will take a break in 2010. According to Air Force's recently released schedule, the Mids are nowhere to be found on it. Perhaps Navy will be entering one of the many tournaments that Air Force is competing in next season. Anyway, back to this past season when the Mids failed to advance to the NCAA Championships after losing to Princeton in the CWPA Eastern Championship Title Game. The Mids were looking to become only the third team in history to win four consecutive tournaments.

 

10. (8) TennisIt would be an understatement to say that the Navy men's tennis team got off to a bad start. After posting an impressive 18-8 record last year, the team struggled out of the gate to the tune of a 4-9 mark; however they righted the ship at a good time, as they won 9 of their next 10 matches including conference wins over Colgate, Bucknell, Lehigh, and Lafayette. But the Mids picked the wrong time to lay an egg as they followed up their impressive streak by losing three in a row, including a 3-4 loss to Army in the star match. At 13-13 and with a new losing streak in tow, Navy headed into the Patriot League Tournament not brimming with confidence. However, the Mids dug deep and after shutting out its opponents in the first two rounds, they got a chance at revenge against Army in the finals. Led by tournament MVP Owen Bullard, Navy took care of business, beating the Cadets 4-2 to win the title. Navy has now won eight Patriot League crowns over the last 15 seasons, and each time they beat Army in the finals of the championship. As a reward for winning the league title, Navy got top-seeded Virginia (35-1) in the NCAA tournament and lost 4-0.

 

9. (11) Women's Track and Field – Last year, Amy Watson led the Mids to an amazing season, but with her abrupt departure from Navy this season, it looked as if the team could struggle, especially in the distant events. As former Navy assistant football coach and current ESPN commentator Lee Corso so famously says, "Not so fast." The Mids swept the Black Knights in both the indoor and outdoor star meets. Navy has now won nine of the last 10 duals against Army. Leading the way for Navy was sophomore Jess Palacio, who won both the 800 and 1,500 meter events. And although the Mids could not beat Bucknell in the outdoor championship, Palacio was named the Track-Athlete of the Meet. She won her second and third career individual titles in the 1,500 and 800 meter races. In winning the 800 meter race, Palacio was the first Navy runner to do so since Regina Ware in 1998. Her time of 2:09.85 was the eighth-fastest ever by a Navy athlete.

  

8. (17) Wrestling No Navy team had to deal with more injuries in 2009-10 than the wrestling program. Head coach Bruce Burnett talked about the significance of the injuries and more when he joined the GoMids.com Coach's Show back in March. However the Mids definitely improved upon their 7-9 record last year with a 6-2 mark in dual meets in 2010. The two highlights of the year were the victories over Army 26-6 and the upset win over #7 Maryland. The 19-14 win over the Terps was partially added by the fact that Maryland was missing three of their best wrestlers due to injury, but they weren't the only team that was without key grapplers. The Mids also won the All-Academy Championship (during a blizzard) and the Navy Classic Tournament.  In a bit of a disappointment, Navy failed to have any wrestlers earn All-American status this season after having two do it last year. All eyes will be on senior Bryce Saddoris next year as he is ninth in career wins (110) which is only 31 short of the all-time mark set by Matt Stolpinski.


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Seven teams (Women's Basketball, Women's Lacrosse, Women's Soccer, Women's Swimming, Men's Swimming, Men's Cross Country and Football) remain in the hunt for the coveted prize of being ranked number one.


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