Even after her team dropped its first three Ivy League matches, women’s volleyball coach Sabrina King ’01 had high hopes. “We all knew that this was a very talented team,” she said.
Her players seemed to realize this, too — and that was part of the problem, in King’s view. They put too much pressure on themselves. When the Tigers began to swing freely, they proved that they belonged among the Ivy’s best.
On Oct. 30 and 31, Princeton completed 3–0 sweeps against Harvard and Dartmouth, which had been tied for first place entering the weekend. Two weeks and four wins later, the Tigers finished the league season with a 10–4 record, sharing the Ivy championship with Harvard.
Outside hitter Cara Mattaliano ’17 was named the Ivy Player of the Year, and right-side hitter Kendall Peterkin ’16 earned All-Ivy honors. King also gave credit to setter Claire Nussbaum ’19, who took over a high-pressure starting role as a freshman.
The only stumble in the final month of the season came in a playoff at Harvard Nov. 20, when the Crimson won 3–1 to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. King believes that coming so close will keep her team hungry next year. “The goal is attainable,” she said, “and they know that now.”