Sabrina King, a member of five Princeton Ivy League championship teams as either a player or assistant coach, will enter her fourth year as head coach during the 2014 season. She was named the fourth head coach in program history, and she has led Princeton to second-place finishes in the Ivy League in each of her first two seasons.
During her first year (2011), Princeton went 18-8 overall and 11-3 in the Ivy League. The Tigers, who finished one match out of a first-place tie with Yale, were the first Ivy team to defeat Yale during the season. Under King's guidance, three players earned All-Ivy honors, including first-team selections Cathryn Quinn and Lydia Rudnick.
Making the year all the more impressive was Princeton's youth, as the Tigers started three freshmen for most of the season. Setter Ginny Willis was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week three times and earned second-team All-Ivy honors after ranking second in the league in assists.
King's development of young players continued to show over the next two seasons. In 2012, Kendall Peterkin was named to the All-Ivy first team after ranking in the Top 3 in both kills and points in the Ivy League. She ranked in the Top 3 in both stats last season, as did freshman teammate Cara Mattaliano, who also earned First-Team All-Ivy honors.
Over the last two seasons, King has placed six players on the All-Ivy League team, including a pair of honors for middle Tiana Woolridge.
King, who has been an invaluable member of the Princeton Volleyball family for more than 15 years, had her first full recruiting class earn High Honorable Mention by PrepVolleyball.com.
King, who had been a member of the Princeton volleyball program for 11 of the previous 14 years before her hiring, led the Tigers to an Ivy League title as a player in 1997, 1999 and 2000, as well as to titles in 2004 and 2007 as an assistant coach.
King was a standout as both a player and coach under legendary Princeton coach Glenn Nelson, the winningest coach in University history. The 1999 Ivy League Player of the Year, King ranks in the all-time Top 5 at Princeton in kills (1367), digs (1441) and aces (121). She either played with or coached almost every member of the Top 5 in each major statistical category. She is also well versed in what it takes to succeed both on the court and in the classroom at Princeton.
After graduating in 2001, King returned to the bench as Nelson’s lone assistant coach in 2002 and took over the duties as recruiting coordinator. With Nelson also serving as the head men’s coach, King assumed all responsibilities for the women’s program in the spring. She helped guide the Tigers to two titles, including a 2007 championship run that featured the first, and so far only, perfect season in Ivy League volleyball since double round-robin play began in 2001.
“I think all of my experiences in seven years as an assistant coach will have me ready to go immediately,” King said. “From recruiting to handling the offseason and preparing for matches, I believe I am ready for this challenge, and I can’t wait to begin.”
In her seven years as an assistant coach, Princeton averaged 18.7 victories per season. In her final three seasons, which included the terrific Class of 2009 that was led by three-time first-team All-Ivy League selections Lindsey Ensign and Parker Henritze, the Tigers went 37-5 within the Ivy League and never finished below second place.