Author Archives: Victoria Majchrzak

Women’s Swimming Falls Short of Title Repeat at Ivy League Meet

The atmosphere in DeNunzio Pool was electric from the start of the Ivy League Championships on Thursday to the last swim on Saturday. Head coach Susan Teeter was in her usual spot under the scoreboard, waving around a black and orange striped tiger towel for the swimmers in the water. It’s hard to see much else when you’re in the water, captain Nikki Larson said, and the towel stands out as an emblem of support from Teeter.

Though the Princeton women’s swimming and diving team didn’t manage to beat out Harvard for the Ivy League title, taking third at the end of the meet, Larson couldn’t have been prouder of the team. “I think this is the most fighting team I’ve ever been on,” said Larson, whose team brought home the Ivy title last year. “Each person can only control the things that happen in their race. And I don’t think I could be more proud of the team and the effort that they gave.”

Larson finished fifth in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Larson said she was happy that she focused on the morning sessions and heeded Teeter’s warning: If you don’t swim well in the morning, you don’t get a chance to swim well at night. Every Princeton swimmer’s goal is to get into the top eight to get themselves in scoring position in the evening, and Larson said they managed that goal incredibly.

“I think the reason [coach Teeter] is so successful is that she makes a huge effort to make sure all the girls know she cares about them as people. It’s easy to swim for someone who cares about you as a person,” Larson said, adding that Teeter takes special care to ask her swimmers about their lives outside of athletics. “It’s always been a holistic approach,” she said.

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Women’s Lacrosse Wins Title, Automatic NCAA Bid; Men’s Lacrosse Falls Short in Championship Game

Olivia Hompe ’17 (Noel Valero ’82 *85)

Olivia Hompe ’17 (Noel Valero ’82 *85)

Despite being the only undefeated team heading into the Ivy League Tournament this weekend, the No. 11 Princeton women’s lacrosse team was also entering into the competition an underdog of sorts against No. 13 Penn. The Quakers had won the last two Ivy League titles, and history can go a long way.

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Yale edges men’s lacrosse in Ivy final

But after dominating Harvard 15-8 in the tournament semifinal on Friday, the Tigers defeated Penn 14-11 on Sunday to win an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and its first Ivy League Tournament title since 2011.

“Penn has been the dominant team in the Ivies, but we knew that we wanted to get Princeton back on top and be able to compete at the highest level,” coach Chris Sailer said. “We just really worked hard for it.”

Leading the way for Princeton was the Class of 2017, which worked hard to dispel the “sophomore slump” myth as four Tiger sophomores were named to the All-Tournament Team. Midfielder Olivia Hompe’s nine-goal tournament earned her the tournament MVP title. Her career-high six-goal performance against Harvard was just one shy of senior Erin McMunn’s seven-goal Ivy League Tournament record that she set last year. Continue reading

No. 25 Men’s Tennis Sweeps Weekend Opponents, Preps for Ivy Season

Three weeks before the men’s tennis team starts its Ivy League season, the conference is shaping up to be one of the toughest that Princeton has seen in years. As the Tigers rounded out this weekend’s 7-0 double-header victories over Army and Binghamton, Princeton solidified its spot on the national stage. Yet even at No. 25 in Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, Princeton is the third-best Ivy team in what could be one of the most exciting seasons in Ancient Eight history.

Zack McCourt ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Zack McCourt ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Leading the pack is senior Zack McCourt, ranked 124th in singles and a member of last year’s first-team All-Ivy League singles team, building on that season with multiple clutch victories at the No. 1 spot this year. McCourt said that he is trying to end his collegiate career with “a punch and a bang,” with mental maturation and match-day focus being a critical component of that. A strong Ivy schedule only adds fuel to the fire.

“Competing at a higher level helps the team to improve even faster, so it’s definitely a privilege — particularly when you’re being tested on a national scale,” McCourt said.

The Tigers were forced to fill holes in their roster left by Ivy heavyweight Matija Pecotic ’13 and last year’s graduates Dan Davies and Augie Bloom. Sophomores Thomas Colautti and Alexander Day have been instrumental in adding depth to the lineup and clinching wins in the hot 13-3 start to this season. More importantly, McCourt added, is that this year’s team just loves to compete.

“The sophomore class returns with invaluable experience, while a deep freshman class fortifies the remainder of the lineup,” McCourt said. “I can’t remember ever playing with a group of guys who have so much fun on the court as our team does now. That kind of competitiveness coupled with the team’s talent and outstanding work ethic has made all the difference.” Continue reading

21-0: Women’s Basketball Remains Undefeated, Matches Program-Best Winning Streak

Michelle Miller ’16 scored a combined 31 points in the weekend wins over Columbia and Cornell. (Beverly Schaefer)

Michelle Miller ’16 scored a combined 31 points in the weekend wins over Columbia and Cornell. (Beverly Schaefer)

A new semester did nothing to stall the women’s basketball team’s winning ways: The No. 18 Tigers won their fifth straight Ivy game and extended their undefeated record to 21-0 after beating Columbia and Cornell at Jadwin Gym Feb. 6 and 7.

Friday’s 83-44 victory against Columbia showcased Princeton’s domination in the paint, as the Tigers held a 50-6 margin in points there. Junior guard Michelle Miller continues to be a force to be reckoned with, sinking 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Upperclassman duo Blake Dietrick ’15 and Taylor Williams ’16 put up eight points, six rebounds, and four assists, and joined by junior Alex Wheatley’s 10 points and three rebounds, rounded out the defensive block to thrash the Lions.

On Saturday against Cornell, Princeton never trailed, paced by Miller’s double-double (15 points and 11 rebounds). Wheatley followed close behind with 14 points and eight rebounds, and the Tigers routed the Big Red 75-47. The win matched the 21 straight wins record that was set during the 2009-10 season.

Dietrick said that a huge factor in the team’s success this year is that the Tigers have “recommitted this season to our defense,” as Princeton leads the Ivy League in rebounds and has won by at least a 20-point margin of victory in all but three of its matchups. This points to Princeton’s incredible depth as well — Tigers hold three of the Ivy League’s top five spots in both field goal percentage as well as three-point percentage. Continue reading

Ayala ’16, Wrestlers Have High Hopes for 2015

Abram Ayala ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Abram Ayala ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Princeton wrestling awards the Triede Trophy each year to the member of the team “who by his spirit, ability, and sportsmanship has contributed most to the sport.” Last year, that privilege went to Abe Ayala ’16, who had a standout sophomore season in the 197-pound bracket. His 27-win season included a fifth-place finish at the EWIA Championships, which clinched a debut appearance at the NCAA Championships.

“Last season felt like a dream,” Ayala said.

The dream followed a freshman campaign that was more like a nightmare for Ayala, who was dismissed from the team late in his first season. Ayala admitted that as a rookie, he invested a lot into the season too early on and in the wrong places. He said that he didn’t account for the jump from high school to college wrestling.

Ayala also was cutting a lot of weight. He walked onto campus weighing around 190 pounds, but started the season wrestling at 165. He was locked in a position battle for the starting spot, and he wrestled poorly in his first tournament.

“After that performance in the first tournament, I was losing morale,” Ayala said. “And with the combined pressure of the wrestle-off, I kind of mentally broke, that’s the bottom line.” Continue reading

Princeton Men’s Soccer Shares Ivy Title, Waits for Postseason Fate

Cameron Porter ’15, left, in action vs. Penn Nov. 8. (Beverly Schaefer)

Cameron Porter ’15, left, in action vs. Penn Nov. 8. (Beverly Schaefer)

As the clock wound down in New Haven Saturday night, the men’s soccer team was faced with the possibility of ending its Ivy League season the same way it had started — with a long, drawn out match in which the Tigers (11-3-3 overall, 5-1-1 Ivy) came out on the wrong side.

“We knew the game would be a challenge,” senior forward Cameron Porter said. “No team wants to end the season on a loss.”

Porter — No. 1 in the NCAA in total goals, goals per game, and points per game — stepped up with the league title on the line. With 32:35 to play in the second half, he scored the only goal of the match. Princeton held on and clinched a share of the Ivy championship.

“For parts of the game they definitely had the better of us, but it was great to see the defense step up and get a huge shutout,” Porter said. Continue reading

Tigers Prove Quarterback Depth is Useful for More Than Creative Formations

Last year, Princeton football made headlines for lining up its three quarterbacks on the field at the same time, alternating who took the snaps. As unusual as the strategy seemed, it paid off—the Tigers led the Ivy League in yards per game and rushing yards last season. Of that trio, then-junior Quinn Epperly was the most familiar face on the field. The 2013 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year topped the conference in both rushing and passing touchdowns, leading the nation in points responsible per game.

Connor Michelsen ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Connor Michelsen ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

But as Ivy football rolls into its midpoint this season, Princeton saw a change of scenery in its quarterback spot during a 27-16 victory over Brown. Senior Connor Michelsen, taking over for his injured classmate Epperly, looked comfortable in the pocket throughout the game, throwing for 367 yards and two touchdowns to keep Princeton perfect at 2-0 in Ivy play (3-2 overall).

On Saturday, there was no trace of the sluggish starts that plagued the Tigers last season. Princeton sealed its victory early, scoring on each of its first four drives to the Brown end zone. Kicker Nolan Bieck ’16 converted on a 26-yard field goal to start things off, bringing him to twelve consecutive conversions since last season. Michelsen later connected with Matt Costello ’15 for a 49-yard touchdown, moving the seasoned wide receiver into sixth place on Princeton’s all-time receptions list. Continue reading

Women’s Volleyball Tops Penn, 3-0, in Ivy Opener

Sarah Daschbach ’16’s serves helped Princeton open the Ivy League season with a win over Penn. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Sarah Daschbach ’16’s serves helped Princeton open the Ivy League season with a win over Penn. (Office of Athletic Communications)

For the last four years, Yale has held an iron grip on first place in Ivy League women’s volleyball. Each Ancient Eight team knows that the key to dethroning the Bulldogs is winning out their other Ivy matches, since Yale has gone undefeated in league play only once in that time.

Add that kind of heavy Ivy pressure to the fact that Princeton’s league opener against Penn has gone deep into the fifth set in each those four years, and the odds start stacking up against the Tigers. But this Friday in Philadelphia, Princeton broke with this tradition and pulled out a quick three-set victory, pulling the team up to 6-5 overall on the season. The 25-15, 25-16, 25-14 win was a much needed confidence booster for the Tigers—it is their only three-set victory this season.

The match didn’t look so bright for Princeton at first. Penn held a 10-8 lead early in the first set, until junior libero Sarah Daschbach embarked on a 10-0 service run to blow the Quakers away. Daschbach’s serves would be critical in the second game as well, when she built up the Tiger lead in an opening 9-0 run.

“Smart and aggressive hits were the key to success,” Daschbach said. She also pointed to junior Kendall Peterkin and sophomore Cara Mattaliano’s offensive skills, saying on the backcourt, “Kendall and Cara are great at hitting from the back row and giving us plenty of offensive options.” Continue reading

Women’s Tennis Makes History in NCAA Tournament

Freshman Alanna Wolff won the clinching singles match against Arizona State. (Beverly Schaefer)

Freshman Alanna Wolff won the clinching singles match against Arizona State. (Beverly Schaefer)

When the women’s tennis team arrived in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to compete in the NCAA Championships, it was the Tigers’ fifth appearance in the tournament in program history. No Princeton team had ever won a match on the national stage before. Across the court stood Arizona State, back for its 27th consecutive year.

The Sun Devils’ No. 25 ranking and longstanding NCAA tradition, however, did not daunt this year’s Ivy League champions, who came into the competition riding a 10-match winning streak.

“It was a great draw for us and we knew we were capable of beating them,” junior Katie Goepel said. “Knowing how far we had already come, I think all of us had the belief that we could win if we went into it with the same mentality that we had throughout the entire Ivy season, which we definitely did.”

Despite a hard fought win from sophomore duo Emily Hahn and Amanda Muliawan on the court, Arizona State took the doubles point after Princeton’s remaining matches could not rally. Continue reading

Women’s Tennis Sweeps the Ivies, Earns NCAA Bid

Lindsay Graff ’15 was the first Tiger since Hilary Bartlett ’12 in 2010 to go 7-0 in the Ivy League at the top singles spot. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Lindsay Graff ’15 was the first Tiger since Hilary Bartlett ’12 in 2010 to go 7-0 in the Ivy League at the top singles spot. (Office of Athletic Communications)

In March, the women’s tennis team was 8-5 and reeling after a pair of lopsided losses, just 10 days away from its Ivy League opener. Princeton was about to lose its national ranking with the toughest part of its schedule around the corner. With the Tigers dangerously slipping towards the .500 mark, head coach Laura Granville and her staff pulled the team in for a meeting.

“They said, ‘We all know we’re really talented, and we know we’re really good, but none of the other Ivies are worried about us,’” junior Katie Goepel said. “And that really lit a fire under us. We really wanted to prove that we are the team you see now.”

That Tiger team that you see now is the team that won the Ivy League Championship outright this weekend with a perfect 7-0 conference record. Since that fire was lit, Princeton has won 10 straight, including three matches against nationally ranked opponents.

Ranked No. 58 going into last weekend’s matches, Princeton beat Cornell 6-1 on the road on Friday to clinch at least a share of the Ivy title, before returning to home court to defeat No. 37 Columbia on Sunday. The Ancient Eight title also gives Princeton an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in May, the Tigers’ first trip since 2010.   Continue reading

Pedaling to Ireland: Ruggers Train, Tour Over Break

Men’s rugby spent a week training on the wind-swept west coast of Ireland. (Courtesy Chris Shin ’17)

Men’s rugby spent a week training on the wind-swept west coast of Ireland. (Courtesy Chris Shin ’17)

On night in mid-November when temperatures dipped below freezing, Nick Martin ’15 sat pedaling on a stationary bike outside of Frist Campus Center. He was one of 40 Princeton men’s rugby players and alumni to participate in the team’s “Dash to Dublin” — a round-the-clock, eight-day bike-a-thon to raise money for the spring break training trip that the team just returned from.

The tour, which has been part of Princeton rugby tradition since the mid 1970s, is critical for the team. The Tigers have traveled to England, Argentina, the Cayman Islands, and all over the world to see how their team stacks up against international standards in places where rugby is the most popular sport.

This year the team traveled to Ireland, where not only is the competition tougher, but the weather is too. The squad spent the majority of its time training on the west coast near notoriously windy Galway.

“The field was soaked in water. It was one of the windiest places I’ve ever been,” Martin said. “You’d be standing around the huddle and get blown over. You couldn’t even pass the ball. It’s definitely not like Princeton.” Continue reading

Princeton Men’s Volleyball Upsets Penn State

The last time the men’s volleyball team beat Penn State, Cody Kessel was six years old. On Friday night, the junior outside hitter contributed 14 of Princeton’s 55 kills and helped secure the Tigers’ first win over the Nittany Lions since 1998.

Cody Kessel '15 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

Cody Kessel ’15 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

After Princeton dropped the first set of the match 18-25, everything indicated that things would go in the same direction as they always have for Penn State. The No. 10 Nittany Lions have won every EIVA championship since Princeton’s lone title 15 years ago. Heading into Friday night’s match, Penn State had dropped just one conference loss in the last five years and entered on a nation-best 12-match winning streak.

Penn State’s circumstances quickly changed when Princeton clawed its way to a 22-25 second set victory. The Tigers ran away with the third set as well after jumping out to a formidable 8-1 lead off the serving of senior Pat Schwagler and freshman Chris Kennedy.

“We knew we had to be aggressive with our serving game to get Penn State out of system,” Kessel said. “We were able to do that this time better than we have in the past. Even though I think they hit better than us percentage wise, we were able to win the serve battle.” Continue reading

Men’s Squash Finishes Ivy Season With Loss at Jadwin

A lot has changed for the men’s squash team over the last year. The Tigers entered this season without two players from the top five spots on the ladder — most notably Todd Harrity ’13, the three-time CSA national finalist and 2011 champion. It would also be the first time in 32 years that Princeton would take the court not under the training of Hall of Famer Bob Callahan ’77, the head coach that led Princeton to the legendary 2012 national championship over Trinity and retired last year. 

The Tigers finished the year with a 5-7 overall, 3-4 Ivy League record after dropping their final match of the regular season 6-3 to Cornell. And although this year’s seniors finished their collegiate squash careers without Callahan or an Ivy League title, they made sure to end them on a personal high note. 

Ash Egan ’14, left, and Dylan Ward ’14 (Photos: Office of Athletic Communications)

Seniors Ash Egan and Dylan Ward both earned victories in their final collegiate match on the Jadwin Gymnasium C-floor. Ward, playing at the No. 3 spot, dominated his match in three games and only gave up eight points. It was fitting that the courts where he played his last match at Jadwin were where he won victories in the 2012 national championship and the 2013 Harvard match that led Princeton to that year’s Ivy title. Egan got off to a rockier start, dropping his opening game at No. 8 before winning the next three to earn the victory.

“I was happy to finish my home career on a high note,” Egan said. “It was a hard fought battle against a solid team.”

New head coach Sean Wilkinson — the eighth men’s squash coach in Princeton’s 83-year-old program — hopes to have a more definitively positive ending at the looming CSA team championship after a season of mixed results. The team championships, hosted by Harvard in Boston, are just two weeks away, and Wilkinson will be heavily relying on his seniors as well as his top two players in the flight, All-America juniors Samuel Kang and Tyler Osbourne. Rookie Ben Leizman has also put in some solid matches at the No. 9 position. 

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Rookie Takes Over Top Spot in Women’s Squash

Julie Cerullo ’13 was a staple in the women’s squash lineup, playing almost every match of her Princeton career at the No. 1 position and earning All-America honors four years in row. When Cerullo graduated in June, she left a huge hole for the No. 1 incoming freshman in the country to fill.

Maria Elena Ubina ’17 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

Rookie Maria Elena Ubina started her first collegiate squash season as the top-ranked player at the under-19 level and boasts an impressive resume. A four-time member of the U.S. World Junior team, Ubina won the 2011 U.S. Junior Open Squash Championship in the under-19 category when she was just 16 years old.

Ubina, however, says that playing on the collegiate level is different than competing on the junior circuit.

“Playing for [head coach] Gail [Ramsay] and playing with the team was a different experience because college squash is so different from junior squash,” Ubina said. “Junior squash is very different because you’re playing for yourself. This is more team-oriented. Even playing for your country, it’s a little more individual. The kids are younger and they’re a little more self-centered, but here everyone is rooting for the University instead of for themselves.”

Ubina has had an interesting start to her season thus far. After easily sweeping her opponents in the season’s first two matches, she was forced to sit out Princeton’s match against Drexel due to an ankle injury. She returned to the court on Saturday at “pretty much” 100 percent to take on George Washington’s Gaby Parras in a high-scoring match that went to five games.

It was an important test for Ubina, who will face off against reigning national champion Amanda Sobhy when Princeton plays Harvard after its return from winter break in January. The match will prove to be an interesting parallel between Ubina and Cerullo, given Princeton’s recent rivalry with the Crimson on the court.

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Sherburne ’14 Leads Men’s Basketball to Opening Win

“It feel’s good to be back. It’s been a while,” Jimmy Sherburne said with a smile. 

After taking a one-year hiatus due to injury, the senior guard from Wisconsin is back with a bang. In the men’s basketball season opener at home against Florida A&M in Jadwin Gymnasium on Sunday, Sherburne finished second on the team in points with 13, sinking three of five 3-pointers and pushing the Tigers to a 67-50 victory over the Rattlers.

Hans Brase ’16 attempts a shot in Princeton’s opening win over Florida A&M. Brase scored six points and led the Tigers with 10 rebounds. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

Sherburne’s not the only player who has returned to the team after a long break. Junior guard Ben Hazel and junior forward Dan Edwards are also back on this season’s roster after taking last year off, and the trio’s return couldn’t be more critical. Sunday’s game was the first test for a Tiger team playing without last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, Ian Hummer ’13.

Hummer’s absence will have a huge impact on this year’s Princeton squad. He led his team last year scoring, assists, blocks, rebounds and offensive rebounds, leaving a large hole to fill by both returning players and new faces, and the Tigers’ freshmen class did not disappoint Sunday. Forwards Pete Miller and Spencer Weisz looked comfortable on the court throughout the game, culminating in dunk from Miller towards the end of the game on a pass from his fellow rookie.

“We got a lot of new pieces this year, a couple of freshmen in the lineup, with Pete and Spencer. Early in the year, especially, it’s important to play the right way and get a new flow,” said junior forward Denton Koon, who had added a team-high 17 points.

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With Final Four Team Watching, Men’s Soccer Stays Unbeaten in Ivy Play

When the Princeton men’s soccer team took the field at Roberts Stadium on Saturday, trying to stay undefeated in the Ivy League against Columbia, no one was rooting for the Tigers more than a group of men in the stands who had found themselves in the same position 20 years ago.

The 1993 squad returned to campus, as the program honored the NCAA Final Four team at halftime. That year, when the Tigers reached the semifinals of the national tournament for the first time in history, the only blemish on their Ivy record was a 3-1 defeat to Columbia. The loss meant that Princeton would share the Ivy championship with the Lions.

Brendan McSherry ’16 (Photo: Office of Athletic Communications)

Two decades later, Columbia and Princeton both entered the match as undefeated Ivy teams, but history did not repeat itself. Sophomore midfielder Brendan McSherry scored his first career goal in the 87th minute, giving the Tigers a 2-1 victory and knocking the Lions out of the top of the Ivy standings.

At an alumni banquet after the game, assistant coach Jesse Marsch ’96 read a letter written by Bob Bradley ’80, the coach of the ’93 squad. Bradley, who was not able to attend because of his obligations as the head coach of the Egyptian national team, said that the Final Four team had a huge role in starting his career at a professional level, and that he always loves reading about the program because Princeton was such a special time for him.

Bradley also stressed how special the history of Princeton’s soccer program is. The Tigers played their first game in November 1906, and their first game against the Lions was a year later. With Saturday’s victory, Princeton’s record against Columbia in over a hundred years of athletic competition now stands at 21-31-9.

Junior defender Myles McGinley said that the alumni offered important advice and emphasized the importance of sportsmanship and playing not as individuals, but as part of a larger unit.

“They talked a lot about taking the ego out of it and putting the team first,” McGinley said.

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At Home on the Road, Men’s Water Polo Moves to 10-3

For most of the players on the men’s water polo team, flying to Southern California for a three-day seven-game weekend wasn’t a road trip — it was going home. Thirteen of the 20 players on the roster hail from the Golden State, and many of their opponents this weekend were old childhood friends.


Kurt Buchbinder ’14 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

“Water polo is a pretty small community to start out with, and you’re going home and seeing guys that you played in high school or club. You get to catch up and say hello,” said co-captain and Long Beach native Kurt Buchbinder ’14. “It’s fun just to see where they’re at and how they’re doing. Sometimes you mess with them in the water a little bit more than you would normally, but it’s all in good fun.” 

But that’s where the familiarity for the Tigers ends. Though Princeton is the top-ranked program outside of California, Golden State teams dominate the sport. A California school has won every NCAA Championship title, a streak that spans the last 44 years.

Princeton split its first day of play on Friday, beating Chapman 13-9 and extending its win streak to seven games this season, before falling to its first ranked opponent of the weekend, No. 7 Long Beach State, 11-7.  On Saturday, a 13-5 victory over La Verne was sandwiched between lopsided losses to No. 2 Southern California (22-4) and No. 1 UCLA (15-3).  


Drew Hoffenberg ’15 (Photo: Courtesy Office of Athletic Communications)

“We knew that coming out here and playing [Southern California] and UCLA would be hard — they’re ranked one and two in the nation But it’s good to play at a little higher level of competition because playing against better people makes you better next time,” co-captain Drew Hoffenberg ’15 said. “You can see what they’re good at and learn from what they do.”

Princeton swept its final day of play on Sunday, beating Claremont McKenna, 13-9, and Whittier, 8-6. Hoffenberg finished with day with 10 goals — five in each game.

Buchbinder said that the biggest adjustment that Princeton had to make as an East Coast water polo team was to “focus a lot more on the very little things.”

“Whether it’s pressuring the ball or shot blocking, or staying in position, it’s unreal how good they are at the little things and that adds up and really helps them out in the long run,” Buchbinder said. “So we have to focus on protecting the ball and getting to our spots.”

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Ellis ’13 leads women’s lacrosse and looks forward to World Cup


Sam Ellis ’13 will be part of the first team to represent Israel at the Women’s World Cup. (Photo: Shannon Davis)

On Saturday, Sam Ellis ’13 had her fourth collegiate hat trick in a 11-9 victory over Harvard that clinched an Ivy League Tournament bid for the women’s lacrosse team. The senior attacker’s biggest goal of the game came with 1:24 left to play in the first half, when Ellis scored to tie the Crimson at 4-4.

This summer, Ellis will try to build on the success that she has had at Princeton and make her mark in international lacrosse with the Israeli women’s national team. On March 25 the Israel Lacrosse Association announced the 2013 Women’s World Cup roster, made up of 10 Israelis and 10 Americans, one of whom was Ellis. She will play for the squad at the Federation of International Lacrosse’s Women’s World Cup, July 11-20 in Canada. It is the first time that Israel will have a women’s national lacrosse team.

“It’s really cool to play a part in growing a sport, because this is the first team in Israel,” Ellis said. “You’re dedicating your time to this country and doing something for your religion, which is something that’s so meaningful. So I’m in the process right now of getting citizenship so I can be over there and play for the country and do my part to help spread the word for lacrosse.”

But for Ellis, participating in the World Cup means far more than making an impact in women’s lacrosse. Her maternal grandparents, who were Holocaust survivors, met in Auschwitz where they were both interred.

“I know that they would just be so proud.” Ellis said. “They were such strong people to make it through that camp.”

Between the time he got out of the camps and immigrated to America, Ellis’ grandfather played for the German national soccer team. “It is kind of strange that he played, but that’s where my mom says I get my athleticism from,” Ellis said.

Ellis will travel to Israel to train with the team in the first week in July. The squad will then fly to Toronto before their first matchup against Germany on July 11. Ellis said she is excited for the “unbelievable experience” and knows that her grandparents would be happy that she will be a part of the experience.

“I just want to do something for them, in memory of them, and keep their spirit alive,” she said.

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