This weekend is the women’s basketball team’s last home-stand of the season, and it marks the final time the squad’s three seniors will play in Yale blue on the courts of the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Princeton (8-14, 2-7 Ivy) and Pennsylvania (9-13, 5-4 Ivy) make the trip up to New Haven to face Yale (12-11, 5-5 Ivy) in the second to last weekend of the Ivy season. At Saturday’s game with the Quakers, the Bulldog’s three seniors, captain Meg Simpson ’02, Caitlin Bair ’02 and Kate Merker ’02.
“All three of them have done just a terrific job with leading and setting a great example for work ethic,” head coach Amy Backus said.
The seniors will need to display that competitive drive in both games if the Elis are going to come away with their first weekend sweep of the season. Just two weeks ago Yale split its two contests at Princeton and Penn, defeating the Tigers 85-80 in overtime and falling to the Quakers 68-65.
At 2-7, Princeton is a team that Yale should easily beat. But the Bulldogs struggled to put the Tigers away in front of a packed Jadwin Gymnasium on Feb. 9. This time around, the Elis will try to jump out early on the young Tiger squad.
“We’re not a team that can exploit match-ups,” first-year Princeton head coach Richard Barron said. “Just being competitive is a real stretch for us.”
The Quakers, on the other hand, come to Payne Whitney having won four out of their last five contests. The one loss came at the hands of first-place Harvard, and was by just four points. The team is helped by a number of surging freshmen, including Katie Kilker, who is averaging 10.2 points per game in conference play.
“We are very happy with our team’s progress this season,” Penn head coach Kelly Greenberg said. “We have quietly gotten better game by game. We play together and we play hard.”
Although Yale’s hopes for an Ivy title are all but extinguished, a sweep this weekend would make it possible for the Elis to finish as high as third in the Ancient Eight. That would be the highest finish for the Bulldogs during Backus’ three years at Yale.