By David F. Pendrys
NEW HAVEN, CT – Princeton winning in Yale’s building earlier this year had put a wrench in Yale’s Ivy Title plans, only to have that undone by the Bulldogs winning at Princeton later on. When all was said and done though the two teams had won a share of the Ivy Championship and needed to settle who would get the league’s auto-bid to the NCAA Tournament. With 1,700 fans in attendance including Yale’s President, the two teams went at it, but the result would not be what the Bulldogs intended. Princeton was able to sweep the match 25-23, 25-18, and 25-23 again.
In sets 1 and 2 Princeton outhit Yale as they posted .310 and .333 percentages to the .196 and .158 of Yale. In the third set, Yale seemed to be ready to prolong the match but they only hit .106. Princeton despite hitting .085 still just cobbled out the set win.
Yale had built a strong lead in set 1 getting all the way up to 17-7, but a string of runs by Princeton brought the score to 20-17. The Tigers kept rolling and tied the Bulldogs at 21. From that point it was anyone’s set, and Princeton managed to just get the two point lead they needed.
The two teams went back and forth to a 9-9 tie in set 2, but the Tigers then grabbed the initiative building to a 15-12, then a 20-15 advantage. Yale pursued but Princeton was able to hold them off.
Set 3 also was even for awhile to 10-10, Yale then grabbed a 15-11 lead to the joy of the fans, but the Tigers clawed back to tie it at 17. The Elis again took a big lead up to 21-18, but the visitors tied them right back at 21. The teams traded points to 23-23, but then to the shock of the crowd the Tigers scored two straight points for the victory.
Both teams were very strong or else they wouldn’t have been in the situation in the first place, though Yale’s inability to hold so many leads would seem to be uncharacteristic for the talented squad. Princeton however was a team built to exploit the opening.
Maggie O’Connell led the Tigers with 12 Kills, as Nnenna Ibe, and Natasha Skov had 8 apiece, and Caroline Slaver had 7. Ibe also hit for .421 through out the match. Jessie Harris posted 32 Assists, and Maddie Huber had 19 Digs, and Devon Peterkin had 14. Harris had one solo Block. Sklaver, Ibe, and O’Connell all shared two Blocks apiece, and Peterkin and Skov had one shared Block. Huber had the team’s lone service Ace.
Tristin Kott led Yale with 12 Kills while hitting for .312. Kelley Wirth had 9 Kills and Kathryn Attar had 7. Franny Arnautou had 16 Assists and Kelsey Crawford had 15. Kate Swanson came up with 19 Digs, and Attar had 13. Chiara Spain had 1 solo Block and two shared Blocks. Kott shared two Blocks, and Kelley Wirth and Kate Aitkenhead shared four Blocks apiece. Izzy Simqu and Crawford had two service Aces each.
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