Women's Tennis Completes Perfect Ivy Season, Earns NCAA Tournament Ticket
TigerBlog on the women's tennis championship
It isn't unprecedented, what the Princeton women's tennis team accomplished Sunday afternoon, but it sure is impressive.
A 6-1 win over Columbia was Princeton's 10th victory in a row and it delivered not only the outright Ivy League championship, but also the Ivy's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, both for the first time for Princeton since 2010.
Just a month ago, Princeton was 8-5 on the season with four of the losses having come to ITA-ranked teams. The last of those was by a 6-1 margin to No. 13 Miami on March 19. A day later, before the team left Florida, the Tigers beat Florida International 4-3. At the time, it seemed like a nice way to end the spring break trip, but now, it's so much more.
That match began Princeton on the current 10-match winning streak, with home victories over Maryland and FDU to get the team ramped up for the Ivy season. A win over Penn got the Ivy slate started the right way, but it was a 4-3 win at No. 52 Yale, which has won or shared the last three Ivy League titles, that really got things going.
Unranked at the time, Princeton began taking leaps up the ITA list, re-entering at No. 69 and coming into this weekend at No. 58. After the Yale win, two more victories over ranked opponents followed, over No. 46 Harvard and today against No. 37 Columbia, the highest-ranked opponent Princeton has defeated in three years, since taking down No. 29 Yale in the 2011 Ivy season.
Princeton entered the day assured of nothing except a share of the Ivy title, a piece clinched with Friday's win over Cornell and with Columbia's loss at Yale last weekend. That made it so Princeton could do no worse than 6-1 and Columbia no better than that should the Lions have won today. A trip to the NCAA tournament was no sure thing for the Tigers either, having a No. 58 ITA ranking entering the week.
But with the win, there will be no nervousness next Tuesday when the NCAA bracket is revealed (April 29, 5:30 p.m. ET on NCAA.com). For the fifth time in program history, and for the third time upon a 7-0 Ivy League season, the Tigers will be playing in May.
Ivy League Championships (11): 2014, 2010, 2009, 2000, 1994, 1993, 1990, 1983, 1982, 1980, 1979
NCAA Tournament appearances (5): 2014, 2010, 2009, 2000, 1983
7-0 Ivy League seasons (3): 2014, 2010, 2000
|6||(58) Princeton (18-5, 7-0) vs. (37) Columbia (16-4, 5-2)
Apr. 20, 2014 • Lenz Tennis Center
|1||Graff/Wolff (P)||(12) Sanon/Vaidya (C)||8-3|
|2||Hahn/Caroline Joyce (P)||(36) Jiang/Leung (C)||8-1|
|3||Joan Cannon/Tang (P)||Alecsiu/Takenaga (C)||8-3|
|1||Lindsay Graff (P)||(121) Kanika Vaidya (C)||7-6(5), 6-4|
|2||(99) Alanna Wolff (P)||Bianca Sanon (C)||7-5, 2-6, 6-4|
|3||Emily Hahn (P)||Tina Jiang (C)||1-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|4||Sivan Krems (P)||Crystal Leung (C)||7-5, 7-6(3)|
|5||Dorothy Tang (P)||Ioana Alecsiu (C)||7-5, 6-1|
|6||Katie Goepel (P)||Tiana Takenaga (C)||6-7(5), 6-0, 6-3|
|Match notes: Sivan Krems' win at fourth singles was her first singles win in two chances during the Ivy League season; Krems played at third singles against Cornell ... the win at first doubles by Lindsay Graff and Alanna Wolff over Bianca Sanon and Kanika Vaidya was just the second win for Princeton over an ITA-ranked doubles pair during either part of the 2013-14 campaign; the other came in September at a Missouri-hosted event by Katherine Flanigan and Emily Hahn over a Missouri pair that was ranked No. 32 in the nation ... Lindsay Graff completed a 7-0 Ivy season at No. 1 singles, making her the first Tiger since Hilary Bartlett '12 in 2010 to go 7-0 in the league at the top singles spot.|
|Next match: NCAA First Round, site TBA, May 9 (NCAA selection announcement is April 29, 5:30 p.m. ET, NCAA.com)
|Order of finish: Singles: 5,3,4,1,6,2; Doubles: 2,3,1|