Tuesday, January 31, 2017

From 30 to 127, At Least

The news of the big upset came in the form of a subject line in an email.

It read "Pallister out." It came from men's soccer coach Jim Barlow, and it had no additional text. It didn't need any.

It meant that Barlow had beaten Pallister, the two-time defending champion, in the Dillon Gym ping-pong tournament. TigerBlog assumes the match had a little "Rocky IV" feel to it.

The Jadwin tournament has reached its conclusion. The champion is Mollie Marcoux Samaan, who defeated Mitch Henderson in two games.

The Dillon tournament is a bit slower to move along, though it did have nearly twice as many entries. It's possible it could be heading to an all-soccer final between Barlow and his top assistant, Steve Totten.

Today is the last day of January. Princeton Athletics has featured more ping-pong matches than it has intercollegiate athletic events in the month that ends today, what with first-semester exams. Actually, that's more truth than hyperbole, as there were 30 Princeton events in the 31 days of this month, including the women's hockey game at Quinnipiac today at noon, and 31 ping-pong matches between the two tournaments.

Now that's a great stat. There were 30 events and 31 ping-pong matches in January.

Anyway, women's hockey on a Tuesday at noon? That's a great time for a game.

Princeton should do that every week. Have a special event every Tuesday at noon. What? School gets in the way? Oh yeah. Scratch that idea.

The women's hockey game is a big one. It's not the first of the season between the Tigers and Bobcats, and it's possible that it won't be the last either. As for the schedule to date, these two teams will have met at the wildly unlikely times of New Year's Day and then a random Tuesday at 1.

There are 12 ECAC hockey teams, and 10 of them have played 16 games on the women's side. The game today is the last between travel partners, which will bring the Tigers and Bobcats up to 16 played each as well.

Princeton and Quinnipiac are both 9-4-2 in the ECAC, tied for fourth. Unlike the men, only eight women's teams make it to the playoffs, so the top four will host first round series. Princeton won the first game between the teams, so a win for the Tigers would mean the tiebreaker should the teams stay tied for fourth at the end of the season.

Princeton and Quinnipiac have 20 points each. The third place team is currently Cornell, with 23 (the Big Red also lead Princeton in the Ivy League standings with 14 points to 10 for the Tigers). Also the chasing the home ice for the playoffs is Colgate, one back of Princeton and Quinnipiac with 19. The league leaders are Clarkson (29) and St. Lawrence (27).

So that's the 30th event of January.

There will be more than 30 events in February by the end of the day Saturday, just the fourth of the month. Anyone want to guess how many events are on the schedule for the month of February? How about 127.

And February is the shortest month of the year.

If TigerBlog is counting correctly, then Princeton will have 18 teams who will compete in the next month. That's a lot of teams.

Princeton teams came back from exam break slowly this weekend, with three events Saturday - two women's tennis matches (5-2 wins over both Delaware and Seton Hall) and the men's hockey win over Penn State. There were more events Sunday, with men's volleyball against No. 2 UCLA (a competitive showing for the Tigers, whose coach, Sam Shweisky, also lost to Barlow in ping-pong, as an aside) and the HYP men's and women's track and field meets at Yale.

On the women's track and field side, Katie Hanss set a school record for the 1,000 in 2:46.20 as the Tigers won handily. The men did likewise, and their dominant performance (Princeton 110.5, Harvard 41, Yale 28.5) included a 7.96 60-meter hurdle performance from freshman Joey Daniels. His time marked the first time someone went under 8.0 seconds in the HYP meet and was the 41st best in the country so far this year.

For the rest of the week, there are as many events in Princeton as there are in Texas. The women's hockey and women's basketball teams will both be home this weekend.

Oh, and TB forgot to count the women's hockey ECAC playoff games that will be held the last weekend of February in the total number of events next month.

If it goes the distance, that would mean three more games, or 130 for the month. After 30 this month.

In other words, it's about to get really busy around here. 

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