In a repeat of last year’s result, women’s volleyball opened the season with another win over Penn. The reigning Ivy League champions swept the Quakers, 3-0, in an encouraging performance as they look to defend their title in the Ancient Eight this year. The Tigers (1-0 Ivy) have now won 21 of their last 22 games in conference play and will look to extend this impressive record when they face Brown and Yale next week.
The first set proved the most exciting. While Princeton took a narrow lead by the end of the set, the Quakers showed their resilience by fighting off three set balls before freshman defensive specialist Lauren Flaming clinched the set by hitting an ace. The Tigers carried the momentum as they moved into the second set, comfortably beating Penn 25-18. The Princeton squad would repeat its success in the third set, cruising to another 25-18 win.
Sophomore outside hitter Natasha Skov led the offense with 13 kills. Fellow sophomores Maggie O’Connell and Devon Peterkin both added nine kills apiece. Senior co-captain Maddie Huber spearheaded the Tigers' defensive effort with 12 digs.
Despite the win, the Orange and Black will not have time to celebrate as it faces two more important matches next week. Last season, the team managed an impressive 10-0 start en route to an Ivy League crown and NCAA bid. The Tigers will undoubtedly be looking to replicate this success and continue to build momentum as they start their Ivy League campaign.
The Princeton team will start next week by traveling to Providence to face Brown. The Tigers swept the Bears in their two encounters last year. However, Brown could still be dangerous in front of a passionate home crowd. Princeton will need to show the poise and resilience that carried it out of many tough situations last year if it wants to record another win in Providence this year.
Next, the Tigers will travel to New Haven for their match against the Bulldogs. This may prove to be a particularly challenging matchup for the Princeton team. Indeed, the Tigers sole loss last season came against Yale in New Haven. Despite a highly contested match that ultimately went for five sets, the Bulldogs narrowly edged out a 15-11 scoreline in the final set to clinch the win. Co-captain Cara Mattaliano recorded 24 kills in that Princeton effort, but the Tigers fell short.
Yale also ended the Tigers' 14-game winning streak, so the Princeton squad will undoubtedly be looking to avenge its previous loss. The Bulldogs are currently on a three-game winning streak, having won their last three games by sweeping their opponents. Most recently, they defeated Brown in their Ivy League opener.
Clearly, fans of Princeton volleyball will have plenty to be excited about as the Tigers face Brown and Yale. Princeton's women will travel to face their Ivy League rivals this coming Friday and Saturday. Both games will be streamed on the Ivy League Digital Network.