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Sports shorts: Women's water polo remains perfect, men's tennis drops first match

Men’s volleyball splits EIVA opening weekend

Thursday night saw Princeton drop its EIVA opener to Harvard at Cambridge, Mass. The loss marked the Tigers’ (0-5 overall, 0-1 EIVA) fourth consecutive loss in where the match went to five sets. Despite a dominating 25-12 fourth set performance, the Tigers were unable to carry momentum into the fifth, with Harvard (4-3 overall, 3-0 EIVA) taking the W 15-12. Statistically, the Tigers put up a winning effort, hitting 0.395 while also recording greater shots, digs, kills and blocks than Harvard. Senior outside hitter Pat Schwagler played with his usual brilliance, amassing 22 kills and eight digs on his way to a .514 hit percentage for the match. Outside hitters sophomore Devin Stearns and junior Cody Kessel again mirrored each other’s performance with 14 kills apiece, while junior middle blocker Will Siroky also recorded double digits with 10 kills. Senior setter Davis Waddell provided the fire for the hot hitting offense with 31 assists.

The Tigers earned their first win of the season in a straight set fashion against EIVA opponent Sacred Heart. While the Tigers out hit Sacred Heart (5-6 overall, 2-2 EIVA) .371 to .205, the match was kept tight throughout with the largest margin of Tiger victory in a set being only three points. Kessel showcased his versatility around the court with 13 kills, six digs and four blocks while his usual partner in crime Stearns added a further 12 kills and four blocks to the Tiger stat board. Talented freshman middle blocker Junior Oboh put up six blocks and four kills for the outing while Waddell again steered the offensive-ship with 35 assists as starting setter.

Tigers  claim Hoehn Cup in team competition

A season replete with close matches and tough breaks resulted in Princeton men’s squash being seeded as No. 1 in the Hoehn Cup competition this past weekend. According to the College Squash Association website, the eight-team tournament features teams ranked ninth through 16th in the nation. The Tigers, defending Ivy League champions, started the season with higher aspirations, as this is the first time in recent memory that the men’s squad has not competed in the “A” division of the national championships.

However, Princeton’s nine made the most of the opportunity up in Boston. A convincing 8-1 win over Bates College set up a rematch of a January matchup at Ivy rivals Dartmouth. The visiting Tigers pulled off a strong 7-2 victory in that earlier contest. A 6-3 Princeton victory came at the cost of losing two-time All-America junior Tyler Osborne to an injury. Osborne had to retire in his third game, having won the first two games at the No. 2 two spot by 11-7 margins.

This semi-final win set up a championship showdown against Columbia, who Princeton had dispatched in New York just the previous Friday by a score of 7-2. Even in Osborne’s absence, Princeton pulled off a close 5-4 win. Losses in the one, three and four spots were overcome by wins in spots five through eight. Senior cocaptain Dylan Ward played four close games at the No. 2 two spot, losing the first in a 13-11 battle but winning the next three.

Two weekends from now, the Tigers will send representatives to Philadelphia for the College Squash Association’s individual national championships. Osborne represents Princeton’s best chance for individual glory, but will have to persevere in the face of what has been an injury-ridden season.

In other team notes, the Tigers were given the Sloane Award which yearly recognizes outstanding team sportsmanship. In the same ceremony it was announced to a standing ovation that Head Coach emeritus and Princeton legend Bob Callahan ’77 would be inducted into the Men’s College National Squash Hall of Fame this year.

Men’s tennis drop first match of the season to Columbia

The 55th-ranked Tigers fell 4-2 to 40th-ranked Columbia in the ECAC tournament opener. Princeton (6-1) took the doubles point with seniors Augie Bloom and Daniel Davies leading the charge with a 6-1 victory. Back in the No. 1 spot for singles, junior Zack McCourt faced tough competition and fell to 11th-ranked Winston Lin 6-4, 6-4. The only Princeton singles victory came from freshman Thomas Colautti playing in the No. 3 singles spot. Colautti’s 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 against an opponent ranked in the top 100 in the nation marked the freshman’s first win of the dual season over a ranked player.

Princeton dismantled George Washington University 4-0 in Sunday’s ECAC consolation match. After dominating in doubles play, the Tigers quickly wrapped things up in singles play, with Davies, Colautti and freshman Josh Yablon providing the wins needed to complete the match. Princeton’s all time record against George Washington now stands at 13-0.

No. 8 ranked Tigers maintain undefeated record

Women’s water polo stretched their perfect start to the season to 7-0 with four wins over the weekend at the Bison Invitational. The eighth ranked Tigers (7-0 overall, 0-0 CWPA Southern Division) made light work of Marist in the opening game, winning 11-5. The first ranked opponent came later in the day in the form of No. 13 UC San Diego. Senior utility Molly McBee notched four goals in the game, including the last quarter game winner as the Tigers took the match 9-8. Sunday’s matchups started off much the same as the Tigers roared past hosts Bucknell 10-3. Juniors left attack Kelly Gross and utility Camille Hooks lead the assault with two goals apiece, while standout sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Johnson split time in goal with junior CeCe Coffey to record six and three saves respectively.

The final match of the weekend against No. 20 Michigan provided some champagne polo as the Tigers held off a last quarter Wolverine resurgence. After coming into the second half with a 4-2 lead, the Tigers’ defense kept the Wolverines scoreless in the third to enter the final quarter with a three-goal buffer. The Wolverines answered by scoring four goals in the final quarter, but the Tigers were able to answer with three goals of their own to secure the victory 8-6. Senior utility Katie Rigler led the scoring with four goals, while Gross showed her all round ability notching two goals, two assists and a steal. Johnson showed why she is one of the best goalies the business, recording 13 saves and two steals.

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