Decades before the Ivy League announced plans for its first postseason tournaments, midseason tournaments played an important role in the development of Ivy women’s basketball.
In the 1970s, when Ivy schools were beginning to add women’s sports, few teams had enough money in their travel budgets to support a full league schedule, so they agreed to play a round-robin tournament at Princeton in December 1974.
The Tigers swept their Ivy foes, winning five games in two days to capture the first league championship. “I’m exhausted,” captain Janet Youngholm ’75 told The Daily Princetonian after scoring a team-high 11 points in the final game.
Organizers eventually added a third day and trimmed the number of games played in the tournament, which crowned the Ivy champion through 1982. Looking back, Youngholm laughs about the grueling format that first year. “We were just so happy to have the tournament,” she said. “We knew it was significant, but not historic.”