• GoPrincetonTigers.Tv Princeton Store Tickets
  • Donate Live Events Live Stats
Close Video

Volleyball Hopes Depth, Competition Lead Tigers Back Atop Ivy League

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 09/04/2013
Play Video
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Princeton opens the 2013 season this weekend at George Mason.
View larger
Send this article to a friend Print RSS

Check out the new Information Central page for Princeton women's volleyball.

When Princeton won the 2007 Ivy League title, there were 15 players on the roster and most of the spots in the starting lineup were all but solidified well before the season opener. Sabrina King, who has won Ivy League titles as both a player and an assistant coach, hopes a new method will lead to similar results this season.

When King, now in her third season as head coach, looks out on her preseason practices, she sees 20 players battling for almost every position on the court.

And that competition is driving the entire roster to one of Princeton's most productive preseasons in years.

"I've been really pleased at the way we have worked throughout the preseason," said King, who has been part of five Ivy League championship teams. "They have competed hard, but they have supported each other throughout the process. There is a really good dynamic in the gym, and strong leadership has been an important part of that."

Princeton lost only one senior starter from the 2012 season, but she was one of the league's most reliable hitters. Lydia Rudnick led the Ivy League in kills and points, and she was a three-time member of the all-league first team.

King doesn't necessarily believe one player needs to step up and replace Rudnick's production; instead, she thinks the offense can find a greater balance, and she is counting on both the experienced returners and the talented newcomers to share that burden.

Princeton could use a countless array of tandems on the outside this weekend alone, several of which include 2013 co-captains Chelsea Parker and Sarah Hanna. Parker averaged a kill per set last season, but she has as much experience as anybody on the roster. Hanna averaged 1.7 kills per set, but she was a starter in 2011 and proved to be a tricky hitter to defend when she was on her game.

Another option could be sophomore Kendall Peterkin, a first-team All-Ivy League honoree last season. Peterkin played the right side last year, and she could remain there this season, but King could experiment with her on the left side as well. Peterkin ranked second in the Ivy League with 3.7 points per set, and she demonstrated her potential with a 27-kill performance in a victory over Harvard.

Freshmen Cara Mattaliano, Ellie Shannon and Mary Claire Bartlett have all pushed the competition in the preseason, and King is excited to see what they can do in the early-season tournaments.

Read all about the Class of 2017 here.

Peterkin does return as the starting right side, but King can test her on the left because of the presence of junior Francie Jenkins. Though her experience is somewhat limited, she has consistently made an impact when she has seen the court, including a victory at Penn.

There is no lack of experience in the middle, as Princeton returns its entire group from last season, and adds a talented newcomers.

Senior Leah Jordan and juniors Tiana Woolridge and Nicole Kincade all played between 58 and 64 sets apiece last season. Kincade had the highest number of kills (2.1) and blocks (1.1) per set, while Jordan had the highest hitting percentage (.336). Woolridge peaked during the Ivy season, though, and was selected for the All-Ivy League Second Team.

Freshman Brittany Ptak, a former All-Orange County first-team honoree, is doing all she can to earn time in the middle rotation.

The setter position has also had quality competition this fall. Junior Ginny Willis, a two-time All-Ivy honoree, is the incumbent starter and averaged more than 10.6 assists per set last season. She has been the primary setter throughout her career, and her big-match experience is a major advantage.

Highly touted freshman Lauren Miller has also played well in the preseason, though, and will likely see some quality time over the next few tournament weekends.

Princeton opens its season this weekend at the George Mason Tournament, including the Friday night opener at George Mason. The Tigers will also play against both Coppin State (11 am) and Radford (5 pm) Saturday.

All three matches can be seen live through the Ivy League Digital Network.

Back
ETAPVCFriends Groups
Free VideosTiger BlogMore Headlines

TigerBlog , the official blog of Princeton Athletics.

July 10, 2014 - The Real World Championships Begin
Tags: Lacrosse

July 9, 2014 - Blowout
Tags: World Cup

July 8, 2014 - Fun In The Pool
Tags: World Cup

July 7, 2014 - Hot Dogging
Tags: soccer, basketball

July 3, 2014 - Fish Tales
Tags: General

May 15, 2014 TigerCast
Rowers Will Gillis (heavyweights) and Ed Northrop (lightweights)...
May 8, 2014 TigerCast
Molly Higgins and Adam Bragg join TigerCast to discuss the...
May 1, 2014 TigerCast
Junior Erin McMunn joined the latest edition of TigerCast to...
Squash Camp
Robert Wood Johnson
Hyatt Slider

Sports Camps
PNC Bank
Tyco Community Spotlight
   
   
Athlete of the Week
Presented by Coach USA
Returns Sept. 8
National Champions
Julia Ratcliffe Wins Title
Championship Streak Now 43
Princeton Sports Properties
Official Corporate Partners
Join the Princeton Corporate Partner Team
Sports Tickets
Proud Partner of Princeton Athletics
Buy and sell college and pro sports tickets
Email Updates
Don't Miss a Minute of the Action
Sign up to receive exclusive Princeton Tiger email updates