In a weekend that figures to make the Ivy League standings picture a bit clearer, the Princeton tennis teams will face Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend with the women at home and the men on the road.
The women's matches will start at noon each day, with Dartmouth coming to the Lenz Tennis Center Saturday and Harvard visiting Sunday. With temperatures forecasted for the 70s, both matches figure to be played outside unless rain enters the picture and forces the matches into Jadwin Gym.
The men's matches will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday in Hanover and 2 p.m. Sunday in Cambridge.
Princeton's men, 12-8 overall, are tied atop the Ivy standings with Columbia at 3-0, but Harvard, Dartmouth and Yale are all right behind at 1-1. The only team among them that Princeton has faced is Yale, to whom the Tigers dealt a 4-3 defeat last weekend.
Both of Princeton's foes this weekend are ranked nationally by the ITA, Dartmouth at No. 62 and Harvard at No. 24. The Big Green, at 15-2 overall, had won seven straight before being tripped up 5-2 at Columbia last weekend and then edging Cornell 4-3. Harvard, at 17-2 overall, had won 13 in a row before it also lost 5-2 at Columbia last time out.
A year ago, Princeton swept Dartmouth and Harvard in a home weekend, marking just the second time that the Tigers have swept Dartmouth and Harvard since the teams began playing back-to-back every year in 1994. The other occurrence was also in Princeton, in 2009.
In the updated singles and doubles rankings out this week, Princeton's Matija Pecotic checks in at No. 82, while the doubles pair of Matt Siow and Matt Spindler are at No. 44. Among Princeton's opponents this weekend, Harvard also boasts a ranked doubles pair with Alistair Felton and Casey MacMaster at No. 63.
The women's standings have Yale, Brown and Harvard at 2-0, followed by Columbia at 2-1, Dartmouth at 1-1 and the Tigers at 1-2 and 8-10 overall. The weekend will be key for Princeton to stay in the Ivy race as it did a year ago right through the final matches when Yale and Dartmouth tied for the title at 6-1 and Princeton was next at 5-2.
Among Princeton's opponents this weekend, Harvard entered the ITA rankings this week at No. 72, while the only ranked singles player among the trio of teams is Princeton's Hilary Bartlett at No. 100. On the doubles side, Bartlett and Lindsay Graff are No. 30 nationally, while the Harvard pair of Hideko Tachibana and Kristin Norton check in at No. 48.
The Big Green are 7-9 on the season entering the weekend, while the Crimson are 9-4 overall, taking a four-match win streak into their meeting with Penn Saturday.
The Tigers split last year's Harvard-Dartmouth weeknd in Princeton, both by 4-3 finals, defeating the Crimson for the fifth straight time in league play while seeing a 13-match win streak in league play against the Big Green come to an end.
The weekend is the penultimate for both teams in the regular season, as Princeton will tangle with Columbia and Cornell next Friday and Sunday, respectively. The women will be at home for Columbia Friday before the men host Cornell Sunday.