Category Archives: Student Bloggers

Pitchers Lead Princeton Baseball to Strong Ivy Start

The big question coming into this baseball season was, “What are they going to do without Zak Hermans ’13 and Mike Ford ’14?” The two pitchers combined for nine wins, 87 strikeouts, and only 22 earned runs over 120 1/3 innings last season with 11 complete games between them. Hitting .320 with 38 RBI, Ford made history by becoming the first player in league history to be named Ivy League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.

Pitcher Michael Fagan ’14. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Pitcher Michael Fagan ’14. (Office of Athletic Communications)

When they left, both for professional teams, it looked like Princeton’s pitching was bound to struggle. So far, that hasn’t happened.

Thanks to an influx of young talent for which virtually no adjustment period was necessary, the Tigers have jumped out to a good start in Ivy League play (4-2 after a pair of close losses at Yale Sunday). While the offense has been surprisingly productive early on, the Tigers would not have a winning record in the league without pitching.

When the Tigers mustered just three runs against Brown Saturday, the pressure was on starter Michael Fagan ’14. The veteran lived up to the challenge, allowing two runs on just four hits while fanning 11 Bears. This from a guy who was dogged by control issues for his first three seasons, to the extent that last year I argued that he shouldn’t be in the starting rotation. I take it all back. Fagan’s 3-1 record is the best on the team, and his ERA is a staunch 2.15.  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

Women’s Water Polo Continues Success in California

Ashleigh Johnson ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Ashleigh Johnson ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Katie Rigler ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Katie Rigler ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

For most teams, a trip to California would be a trip across the country to train, compete, and bond with teammates, but for many on the women’s water polo team, it is also a trip home.  With a schedule that affords them only six home games at DeNunzio Pool all season, the trip provides an additional opportunity for friends and family of 11 of the 15 women to see them play.

“We are luckily to get to stay with teammates’ families while we are in California,” junior Kelly Gross said of the visit home.  “It’s really nice to be in a home instead of a hotel for the whole week and get some home-cooked meals, too. My mom even brought our new puppy to our tournament, which was definitely a highlight!”

The two-time reigning CWPA champion Tigers continued what has been a strong start to their season as they headed to the West Coast on an eight game trip that left them with a 21-1 mark and a six-game winning streak.  The Tigers started off the week with a triple-overtime 14-13 win over No. 13 UC San Diego, but lost 10-6 the next day to No. 14 San Jose State, giving them their first loss of the season.  However, they would win the remaining six games of the trip, including a decisive 9-3 victory over No. 8 Loyola Marymount during the second weekend. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: ROTC at Princeton

Princeton students are a chronically busy crowd — we love to fill our schedules with as many classes, extracurriculars, and social events as possible. And yet, there is a group of Princeton students that goes above and beyond by somehow finding time to also serve their country through ROTC. This fall, the University will welcome back Naval ROTC for the first time since the Vietnam War, partnering with Rutgers to allow students to participate in a “crosstown” training program.

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Women’s Basketball Rolls in Final Weekend, Setting Up De Facto Championship Game vs. Penn

Alex Wheatley ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Alex Wheatley ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Nicole Hung ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Nicole Hung ’14 (Office of Athletic Communications)

After taking care of business with two blowout wins this weekend, the women’s basketball team has set the stage for a high-stakes showdown Tuesday night against Penn.

“You always want to have a chance to play for an Ivy League title,” head coach Courtney Banghart said. “And to be able to do that after what this young team has had to go through and all the growing we’ve had to do in a short period of time, it’s really exciting.”

The Tigers, who had just two Ivy League losses over the last four seasons, find themselves in a much tighter title race than they are used to. A loss to Harvard in Jadwin Gymnasium near the start of Ivy play and a March 1 loss to Brown have put them in a tie for first place with the Quakers. Each team has an 11-2 record in the Ancient Eight. 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