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Princeton University women's volleyball vs. Penn, Princeton, N.J., September 22, 2017.

By Beverly Schaefer

After a tough loss against Yale that ended its ten-game home winning streak, the women’s volleyball team has found its form again, winning its third straight game in the Ivy League. The Tigers swept both Columbia and Cornell, two teams the Orange and Black had struggled against earlier in the season. The crucial wins this past weekend once again put Princeton level with Yale at the top of the Ivy League table.

The Tigers opened the weekend with a dominant performance against Columbia. Sophomore setter Jessie Harris paced the match with 38 assists and contributed to the Princeton offense with eight kills at a 0.727 hitting percentage. If their loss against the Bulldogs bothered them, the Tigers did not show it as they avenged their defeat earlier in the season. Other notable performances came from sophomore Maggie O’Connell and junior Caroline Sklaver, who led the offense with 12 and 10 kills, respectively.

The win was made even sweeter that evening when Harvard defeated the Bulldogs to bring Princeton back into first place in the Ancient Eight.

Not resting on their laurels, the Tigers returned the next day with a similarly dominant performance over Cornell. Using its efficient offense, the well-oiled Princeton squad emphatically avenged another earlier conference loss. Sklaver and O’Connell once again led the offense with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. The victory, along with a Bulldog sweep of Dartmouth, pushed the Tigers to stand level with Yale as they now head into their final weekend of Ivy League play.

Princeton will face Harvard and Dartmouth in the final two matches of the season. Two wins will guarantee a share of the Ivy League crown, while a loss will place the ball into Yale’s court. Undoubtedly, the Tigers will be looking to take charge as they hope to retain the Ivy League title and return to the NCAA championships.

The Tigers are certainly capable of another perfect weekend. Princeton defeated both Harvard and Dartmouth earlier in the season. However, the Tigers will now have to face both rivals without a home court advantage. The Crimson and Big Green have shown themselves to be dangerous adversaries. Indeed, Harvard recently beat Yale after rallying from a 2-1 hole. Princeton will need to carry its usual poise and efficiency if they want to grab two crucial wins.

Yale will face Columbia and Cornell to close conference play. The Lions and Big Red are the only team besides Yale to have defeated the Tigers and should prove to be a tough match for the Bulldogs, who are traveling.

With the title on the line, fans of Princeton volleyball with certainly not want to miss this weekend as the two-time defending champion Tigers look to complete a three-peat and earn the right to compete in the NCAA. The Tigers will begin weekend play against Harvard on Nov. 10 and close the regular season on Nov. 11 against Dartmouth. 

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