The Yale women's volleyball team clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title and moved one win away from another trip to the NCAA tournament by rallying past a game Princeton squad Saturday night in New Haven. The Tigers, who navigated through a tough road trip to get a shot at playing for first place, will need to win out and get help to earn a share of the title.
Princeton, which fell 23-25, 25-20, 25-10, 25-22, is now 16-8 overall, 9-3 in the Ivy League, and will conclude its season next weekend at Dillon Gym against both Cornell and Columbia. The Tigers are two behind Yale (11-1) in the Ivy standings, meaning Yale needs only a win at either Harvard or Dartmouth to knock Princeton out of the race.
Princeton rallied from a 21-18 deficit in the first set by winning seven of the final nine points to take the opening set. The Tigers looked to build on that in the second and held an 18-16 lead, but Yale was now the team with the late answers. The Bulldogs got the score to 20-20 and then won the final five points to take the set.
Princeton got out to a 5-2 lead in the third, but Yale went on a remarkable 18-2 run to seize control. The Tigers showed fight in the fourth, cutting into several deficits, including one at 22-17. Princeton won the next four points to get within one, but Yale never let Princeton get a tie and finished off the 3-1 win.
Tiger junior Lydia Rudnick led the team with 17 kills and 17 digs, while freshman outside Sarah Hanna added seven kills. Senior libero Hillary Ford had a team-best 26 digs, while freshman setter Ginny Willis added 38 assists and 10 digs. Both Nicole Kincade and Jennifer Palmquist recorded six kills, while Cathryn Quinn added five.
Princeton will open its final weekend of the regular season Friday night against Cornell.