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Princeton University men's volleyball vs. Penn State, Princeton, NJ, February 11, 2017.

By Beverly Schaefer

This weekend marked a major season milestone for all four teams of the Princeton Boathouse. Each one competed in historically competitive races, proving their strength and potential for races ahead.

The first race of the weekend was held on home waters at Lake Carnegie on Friday against the men’s heavyweight teams of Penn and Columbia in the 50th annual Childs Cup. This was the Tigers’ first real test of the season, but they managed to keep their undefeated record with their fourth win against the 14th-ranked Quakers. Despite this being their first real challenge of the season, a Tiger win was somewhat expected, as Princeton is ranked 10 seeds ahead of Penn and has won 23 of the last 24 in the series against Penn. Coming up in the rest of the season, the team now has three historic Cup races to compete in at Carnegie. The team will start this stint next Saturday with the Compton Cup against historic Ivy League rival Harvard, which will be available to watch on the Ivy League Digital Network.

The men’s lightweight team used their momentum from last week’s win against reigning IRA champion Columbia to push them to victory against Delaware and Dartmouth this Saturday at home as well. The light’s 1V took the win in 6:22.5, more than a full nine seconds faster than Dartmouth. Despite this big win though and a victory from the Princeton 3V, Delaware beat out the Tiger 2V by a little under six seconds. Unlike their counterparts, this race marked the last home race for the men’s lightweight team, as they will be traveling the next three weekends for their races.

Both women’s teams raced away from home this weekend, with the openweights traveling all the way to the Charles and the lightweights competing just 15 minutes from home in Mercer, New Jersey. Each of Princeton's openweight boats posted strong finishes against Ivy League rivals Harvard and Cornell. The 1V did not allow Big Red or the Crimson to get ahead the entire race, putting themselves at a guaranteed victory position by the midway point of the race. They finished with a time of 7:35.25, while Harvard finished second almost a full 20 seconds behind them in 7:56.96, and Cornell taking third at 8:16.83. Like the men’s heavyweights, the openweight 2V is also undefeated this season and finished Saturday’s race with a time of 7:46.25, 17 seconds ahead of Harvard. The team will travel next weekend to Yale University to compete against the Bulldogs in the Eisenberg Cup.

The lightweight team had a hectic weekend, facing last-minute cancellations of all races on Saturday due to extreme weather conditions. The winds and whitecaps caused one boat at the regatta to capsize, subsequently causing all racing to be suspended until Sunday. While the Tigers were excited to race, moving all races to Sunday meant for an early wake-up call for the team. Despite this, the Tigers came out strong, winning five of the six races of their morning session and sending all four of their boats to the finals. The 1V ladies were incredibly nervous for their debut race this weekend, as it marked the first time they would be competing against all teams they will later face at IRA’s in a few weeks. The top eight finished the lightweight eight grand final in third place with a time of 6:47.85, only 3.59 seconds behind 1st place Stanford and a mere 1.1 seconds behind Boston University. Three members of its most talented boat are freshmen, showing the potential the team has for races and season to come. The team separated its second varsity boat into two fours, with its 'A' boat finishing third overall in the final with a 7:53.37 split and the 'B' crew finishing in at 8:04.15. Nine Tiger lightweights made their collegiate debut in the Open Novice final, where Princeton finished first in its qualifying heat and sixth in the finals with a time of 7:46.08. The team will next compete against Georgetown at home next Saturday.

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