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Princeton huddles in the first set of the win over Yale.

Photo Credit: Jack Graham / The Daily Princetonian

Junior Clare Lenihan put the icing on top of an incredible season with the game-winning kill for the women’s volleyball team — one that punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament.

Princeton faced Yale on Friday night in a battle of Ivy League Champions. After taking a tough five-set loss to the Bulldogs on Nov. 16 to share the Ivy League title, the Tigers came out full force to take the victory in just four sets (23–25, 25–21, 26–24, 25–15). 

Yale was outworking Princeton in the first set, taking a promising 23–16 lead before the Tigers started coming back. A quick 7–0 run by Princeton tied the score at 23-all, but Yale gained the momentum it needed to score a quick two points from a kill and a block to take the first set win.

The second set started as a tough matchup; Yale took a quick 3–2 lead, but Princeton would rally off two more points to take its first lead. Yale wouldn’t take the lead for the rest of the set.

After coming off of a 13–12 lead, the Tigers were able to keep the Bulldogs astray until three Yale points set the score at 20–19. Princeton would go on a 5–2 run to take their first set win.

Yale came out aggressive in the third. After Princeton’s 4–1 lead, the Bulldogs used a six-point run to take a 7–4 advantage, before the Tigers tied the score at 7-all. The score would be tied seven more times until a 7–0 run put the Tigers up 20-14.

Despite this advantage, Yale used a 8–2 run to tie the score once more at 22-all. The score would be tied again at 23-all and 24-all, before two Princeton points gave them the win.

While the fourth — and final — set started as a back-and-forth battle, two Yale attacking errors and a kill from Lenihan gave the Tigers a 6–3 lead. Yale continued to fight back, but the Bulldogs wouldn’t see a lead for the remainder of the match, eventually losing their opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament 25–15. 

Sophomore Elena Montgomery led the Tigers with 19 kills, with senior Natasha Skov adding 16 and Lenihan contributing 13. Senior setter Jessie Harris reached her 1,000-assist mark for the season, as she added 57 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore libero Cameron Dames had 23 digs, while Skov added eight.

The NCAA selection show will take place on Sunday, Dec. 1, when the Tigers will learn their opponent and the venue where they will face off. 

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