First-Place Volleyball Heads To Empire State, Opens With Upstart Columbia
After three heart-stopping home victories to open the 2011 Ivy League season, the Princeton women's volleyball team will head to New York this weekend to begin its league road schedule against both Columbia and Cornell.
Princeton and Yale both enter the weekend with matching 3-0 records to share first, while Columbia stands alone in third with a 2-1 record. Four teams are tied with 1-2 marks, while Cornell is winless in Ivy play.
Weekend play will open Friday at 7 when Princeton travels to Levien Gymnasium to take on the upstart Lions. The Tigers will be looking for a different result from last season, when they rolled to a 5-0 start in the Ivy League but dropped a five-set heartbreaker 25-15, 20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 17-15 at Levien. Princeton outside Lydia Rudnick was the match standout with 34 kills and 25 digs, but a balanced offensive effort and clutch play in the fifth set paced Columbia to the win.
The Lions completed the season sweep with a 3-1 victory at Dillon Gym; that match started a four-match skid that knocked Princeton out of the league race.
Princeton swept the season series against Cornell, including a 3-0 win at Newman Arena. That match was closer than the score indicates, as the Tigers won the first two sets by two points apiece. Senior Cathryn Quinn had 15 kills and six blocks in the victory at Cornell, while sophomore Sydney Brombal added five kills and a team-best 21 digs.
Quinn, a 2010 first-team All-Ivy selection, is on pace to duplicate that effort this season. She leads the league in points (4.4 per set) and is the only player in the league to rank in the Top 4 in hitting percentage (.326), kills (3.5), aces (.32) and blocks (1.07). In fact, no player in the league ranks in the Top 4 of two of those categories.
Freshman teammate Ginny Willis has moved into third in the Ivy League in assists (9.56 per set), and is one of two members of the Tiger Class of 2015 to earn Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors during the Ivy season. Willis took the honor after leading Princeton past Penn, while middle Nicole Kincade took the most recent honor; she had her best weekend of the season with 23 kills and 13 assisted blocks for a total of 29.5 points in Princeton's Ivy sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth.