The Princeton women's volleyball team will return its full starting lineup from a squad that closed the 2013 season with four wins in its final six matches. It also will bring in a talented group of five freshmen who comprise the Class of 2018.
Head coach Sabrina King announced that Deniz Cekirge, Maddie Huber, Pauli King, Kelly Matthews and Alex Thompson will join a team that returns multiple former All-Ivy players, including 2012 first-team selection Kendall Peterkin and 2013 first-team selection Cara Mattaliano.
The group provides versatility and depth at several positions for King. Both Cekirge and Thompson will compete in the middle and provide competition to senior returners Nicole Kincade and Tiana Woolridge. King and Matthews play the outside/opposite positions, while Huber will compete at libero.
You can read about the five newest members of the program below. The season will begin Sept. 5 when Princeton plays three matches at the Temple Invitational.
MB • 6-2 • Ankara, Turkey
Ankara College Foundation
“I chose Princeton because it is a very prestigious academic institution with an undergraduate focus.”
Before Princeton — led team to three regional championships, a Capital title and a runner-up finish … reached national semifinal once, as well as another trip to the national quarterfinal … invited to the National Nominees of Professional Volleyball Tournament … representative of Turkey in the European Youth Parliament … earned perfect academic achievement each year.
Personal — born June 19, 1996 … daughter of Saruhan Cekirge and Isil Saatci Cekirge … has a younger sister Dafne … enjoys playing the piano, reading and traveling … may study engineering.
Coach King on Cekirge: Deniz is a physical player who has the potential to be an impact player in the middle or even right side. She has trained with the top players in Turkey and will bring European volleyball savvy to our gym.
Libero • 5-9 • Palo Alto, Calif.
“I chose Princeton because of a great mix of excellent academics, competitive athletics and a rich tradition and spirit.”
Before Princeton — one of 20 girls from schools of all sizes to be named to the California all-state team … led the Menlo School to Sectional, Nor Cal and California state championship matches as a senior; team went 32-6 … named the West Bay Athletic League MVP two straight years … named to MaxPreps 2013 California all-state team … earned third seed at 2014 Junior Nationals 18 Open this year; club (Vision Volleyball Gold) was ranked fourth overall in 2013 … four-year high school starter and was named to Prep Volleyball Frosh 59 as one of the best varsity-playing freshmen in America in 2010 … has served as captain of both high school and club teams … won biotech award among her senior class.
Personal — born Jan. 12, 1996 … daughter of John and Marie Huber … has an older brother James … enjoys cooking, baking and playing sports … may study biology.
Coach King on Huber: Maddie Huber is a rock. She will stabilize the back court for us and will likely find a way into the line up immediately because of her passing and defensive consistency.
OH • 5-11 • Atherton, Calif.
“Princeton gives me the opportunity to push myself as a student, as an athlete, and as a person.”
Before Princeton — four-time invitee to Junior Nationals … earned three first-team all-league honors, and was named team MVP as a senior … three-time all-county honoree … helped team to 2012 state semifinal and CCS Division 1 title … helped team to more than 100 victories as a four-year starter … missed final two club seasons while rehabbing from injury … CFS Scholar and AP Scholar … National Merit Scholar Honorable Mention … earned Science Letter of Commendation … named to President’s Education Awards Program for Outstanding Academic Excellence.
Personal — born Nov. 19, 1996 … daughter of Tom and Liz King … has an older sister Sofi … enjoys cooking, playing the piano/guitar, and making ceramics … may study mechanical engineering.
Coach King on King: Pauli has tremendous leaping abilities and is a fun player to watch. A true six-rotation outside hitter, she has excellent ball control and the ability to terminate. Once she returns to full strength she will be a major force in this league.
OH/OPP • 5-10 • Honolulu, Haw.
“I chose Princeton because of the friendly people, beautiful campus, exceptional academics and rad volleyball team.”
Before Princeton — helped Punahou win two Hawaii state championships … served as team captain … earned an Academic Senior Plaque.
Personal — born Jan. 19, 1996 … daughter of Tate and Cindy Matthews … has an older brother Patrick … enjoys hiking, beach volleyball and taking her dog to the beach.
Coach King on Matthews: Kelly is a typical Hawaiian player in that she can play the whole court, has ball control, and has a lot of finesse to her game. She has achieved a great deal of success on the beach, and she uses those tools for her indoor game as well.
MB • 6-0 • Los Angeles, Calif.
“What really sets Princeton apart for me is the strong community that envelops the student body and the emphasis on tradition. The honor code, something I was immediately drawn to, is a symbol for both of these factors and demonstrates the prominence and importance of them in the Princeton community.”
Before Princeton — four-time invitee to Junior Nationals … named the 2013-14 CIF Southern Section Female Athlete of the Year … CIF Sunshine first-team all-league honoree … named to the 2013 Junior Nationals all-tournament team … captain of both her high school and club (Sports Shack) teams … co-founded her high school lacrosse program and was a three-year team captain … National Merit Commended Scholar and National AP Scholar with Distinction … earned the Marlborough School Trustee Prize as a senior … member of the Cum Laude Society … California Scholarship Foundation lifetime member … earned the Physics Book Award and the Multivariable Calculus Book Award.
Personal — born March 22, 1996 … daughter of Katherine and Douglas Thompson … has a younger brother Philip … enjoys concerts, lacrosse and the beach … may study bioengineering or biophysics.
Coach King on Thompson: Alex is a hard-working middle blocker who covers a lot of court and understands the game well. She does not make a lot of mistakes and is a strong leader.