Volleyball splits Harvard and Dartmouth matches, shares Ivy League title with Yale
The women’s volleyball team split this weekend's games against Harvard and Dartmouth and will share the Ivy League title with Yale. This is the third straight year the Tigers have earned a share of the Ivy League crown. The Tigers (10-4 Ivy League) swept the Crimson and narrowly lost to Big Green in five sets. The Princeton team will head to New Haven this weekend to play for an NCAA bid.
The Tigers started the weekend with a strong performance against longtime Ivy rival Harvard. The Princeton team had previously beaten the Crimson at home and repeated its past success with the Ivy League title on the line. The team came out strong, clinching the first set and fought off a Harvard push in the second set to eventually sweep the Crimson again.
The reigning Ivy League rookie of the year, sophomore Maggie O’Connell, spearheaded the offense with a match-best 18 kills. Sophomore Ivy League assist leader Jessie Harris contributed a double-double to the Princeton effort with 44 assists and 10 digs.
The Tiger win, combined with a Yale loss to Cornell, propelled the Princeton squad to the top of the Ivy League standings. It's quite an accomplishment, considering the Orange and Black had trailed the Bulldogs by two games earlier in the season. The win assured the Tigers a share of the Ivy League crown. Another win at Dartmouth would have secured an outright title.
Unfortunately, the Dartmouth women had other plans. Despite defeating the Big Green earlier in the season, the Tigers were unable to replicate their results away. Dartmouth opened the match with two impressive sets that sunk the Princeton team in a 2-0 hole. The Tigers would respond valiantly, dominating the second half of the match to tie the game at two sets apiece. However, Dartmouth would hold off a Tiger rally in the fifth set, beating Princeton 15-11.
The loss, combined with a Yale victory, means that the two Ivy powerhouses will each clinch a share of the title. Just as importantly, the tie sets up a crucial playoff match as both teams vie for a coveted spot in the NCAA championships.
The Bulldogs, who won the head-to-head, will host Princeton this coming weekend. Yale and Princeton split their two matches this season, with the away team winning each of the encounters. This bodes well for the Tigers, but the team will undoubtedly need to be in top form as they look to topple a tough opposing side away from home.
The rest of the postseason is on the line as the Tigers prepare to face Yale. The match will be streamed live on the Ivy League Network on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.