Princeton may be the last league-undefeated team in the Ivy League standings, but nothing is guaranteed for the Tigers as they head into the final Ivy weekend.
A win Friday in the 2 p.m. match at Cornell will give Princeton a share of the Ivy League title. Another win Sunday in the noon match against Columbia at the Lenz Tennis Center will send Princeton to the NCAA tournament along with giving the Tigers the outright title. Either would be a first since 2010.
If the Tigers get past Cornell Friday, they'll have their toughest test of the Ivy League slate waiting for them Sunday, going by the ITA rankings. Columbia is ranked No. 37 in the nation, 21 spots ahead of Princeton. If the Tigers defeat Columbia, it would be the highest-ranked opponent the team has defeated since knocking off No. 29 Yale in 2011 as the ITA's No. 56-ranked team.
Princeton entered the Ivy season 0-4 this spring against ranked teams but has gone 2-0 against ITA-ranked opponents in league play. The first of those wins came when Princeton was briefly unranked and yet knocked off No. 52 Yale 4-3 in New Haven two weekends ago. Last weekend, then-No. 69 Princeton defeated No. 46 Harvard 5-2.
While Princeton picked up its second straight weekend sweep, the path toward two Ivy-undefeated teams meeting Sunday was interrupted when Yale knocked off Columbia, putting Princeton just one win away from an Ivy title share instead of two.
If the Tigers complete the weekend sweep, it would continue Princeton's win streak to 10 matches, their longest since they ended the regular season with 10 straight wins in 2010. That's also the last time Princeton finished 7-0 in the Ivy, which is what the Tigers would do with a sweep this weekend. One win would give Princeton its 11th Ivy League title and third in the last six years. A sweep would send Princeton to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time and also the third in the last six years.
Here is a look at the Tigers and their opponents this weekend:
ITA Ranking: 58
Records: 16-5, 5-0 Ivy
ITA-Ranked Players: Alanna Wolff 99 (Singles)
||Cornell (vs. Princeton Friday, 2 p.m.)
ITA Ranking: NR
Records: 7-8, 0-5 Ivy
ITA-Ranked Players: Alex D'Ascenzo/Dena Tanenbaum 79 (Doubles)
Streak vs. Princeton: Princeton 18
||Columbia (at Princeton Sunday, 12 p.m.)
ITA Ranking: 37
Records: 15-3, 4-1 Ivy
ITA-Ranked Players: Kanika Vaidya 121 (Singles), Bianca Sanon/Kanika Vaidya 12 (Doubles), Tina Jiang/Crystal Leung 36 (Doubles)
Streak vs. Princeton: Columbia 2
Individually, three Tigers will put their Ivy-undefeated records on the line. Lindsay Graff is undefeated in the Ivy season, going 5-0 at the No. 1 singles spot, winning her last three matches in straight sets. Dorothy Tang is 3-0, winning at No. 5 against Penn and Dartmouth and at No. 4 against Harvard. Katie Goepel is 4-0, winning three times at No. 6 and once at No. 5. One Princeton doubles team is unbeaten in Ivy play, with Joan Cannon and Dorothy Tang going 2-0 with two unfinished matches at third doubles.
Princeton has won the doubles point in three straight matches, starting singles play in those bouts with a 1-0 lead, and won its first two Ivy matches, against Penn and Yale, despite losing the doubles point and starting singles play with an 0-1 deficit.