Women’s volleyball approaches the eve of the season finale with a second consecutive Ivy League title at stake.
This weekend, the Princeton Tigers (11-1 Ivy League) will play their final two games of the season in hopes of securing what has so far turned out to be an exceptionally successful season. On top of an impressive and undefeated first half of the season, nine of the Tigers’ eleven victories this season were 3-0 sweeps. It was only last weekend at New Haven where Princeton suffered their first defeat of the season in a nail-biting 2-3 game against second-place Yale (10-2).
With less than a week left to go, Princeton and Yale are the only two title contenders remaining this season. If the Tigers manage to win either of the two upcoming games, at least a joint Ivy League title will be secured. If they win both games, Princeton will not only be guaranteed the position as sole champions, but will also receive a ticket to the NCAA this year.
This weekend, Princeton hosts Cornell and Columbia in what will likely be the two most important games of the season. Although the Tigers defeated both teams in 3-0 sweeps back in October, neither game will come as an easy win as the respective fourth and third place teams are both coming away with a win in their latest games. The Big Red landed a 3-0 sweep against Dartmouth last week, and the Lions similarly took home a 3-1 victory against Harvard.
The Tigers, however, are still expected to play exceptionally well in these two games. Last weekend, senior co-captain Cara Mattaliano scored 34 total kills, while freshmen duo Maggie O’Connell and Devon Peterkin scored 36 and 26, respectively. Throughout the season, Tigers have dominated the statistic charts in both kills and hitting percentage, and a single loss against the Bulldogs is unlikely to alter that trend. If the Tigers display the level of performance they have been demonstrating the entire season, a back-to-back Ivy League title could become a reality very soon.
A lot is at stake as the team prepares for their last games of the season, and for some — seniors Cara Mattaliano, Brittany Ptak, and Lauren Miller — this will be their last Ivy League game as Tigers. A second crown to the title and a place in the NCAA will be a well-deserved career climax for the four years these three players have given to the team.
Friday’s game against Cornell will be played at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday’s will be at 5:00 p.m. Both games will be in Dillon Gym.