Friday, April 13, 2018

Instant Summer

The monthly Princeton Department of Athletics staff meeting was held yesterday at the boathouse.

As TigerBlog walked from Jadwin to the meeting, he walked down the back stairways behind the building. And what did he see?


Not a lot, but snow nonetheless, still in a few small piles.

When Princeton played men's lacrosse at Siena Tuesday, there was a huge snowbank on the far side of the parking lot. And it snowed during the game on top of that.

Yeah, it's been a strange April so far. Or a cold one. There have been two separate snowfalls, and it's been insanely cold, pretty much like it was February. Actually, it was worse than February, because your body knows it's supposed to be really cold in February. In April, the body isn't ready for it to be as cold, and so it just seems like it's way colder.

At least that's what TB's theory is. A 35-degree night in April feels a lot worse than a 35-degree night in February. 

Then, after all that, along came yesterday, when it was in the 60s. That would make yesterday spring, TigerBlog supposes. 

Actually, if you look at the 10-day forecast, it'll be mostly in the 50s and possibly around 60 next week, with one day where the high will be 46.

Ah, but today and tomorrow? Instant summer, if not endless summer.

The high today and tomorrow in Princeton will be 80. Where in the world did that come from?

Either way, it's just in time for another busy weekend at Princeton.

The forecast calls for rain Sunday, so some games have been shuffled around. The softball and baseball teams had their weekend games moved up a day, which means the softball team will play a single game at Yale today and then a doubleheader tomorrow.

The same schedule applies to the baseball team,  who will be home against Penn today at 3:30 and then for a doubleheader tomorrow, with Game 1 at 11:30.

The Ivy League baseball standings show that four teams have played six games and four teams that have played nine games. Princeton is one of the six-game teams, with a league record of 4-2 now.

Remember, this is the first year of the new format, where the top two teams in the standings will meet in the Ivy League championship series. Each team is now playing three games against each of the other seven teams, for a total of 21.

Right now, Yale is 7-2, followed by 4-2 Princeton and 3-2-1 Dartmouth. Princeton is about to enter the busiest stretch of the year, with the three against Penn this weekend followed by three more in the middle of the week at home against Harvard - those are makeups due to the great weather this spring - and then three more at Columbia next week.

That's nine league games in eight days. That requires a lot of arms.

Princeton has home events this weekend in baseball, men's tennis, women's open rowing, men's lightweight rowing, both lacrosses and women's water polo.

Of particular interest on that list is the matchup between third-ranked Princeton and top-ranked, and defending national champion, Cornell in men's lightweight rowing for the Platt Cup.

And, weather notwithstanding, it's a big weekend of women's water polo, including an ESPNU match against Harvard Sunday at 10:30.

HERE is the complete weekend schedule, by the way.

As for the lacrosse doubleheader, the men are home against Dartmouth at noon tomorrow and the women are home against Yale at 3. It's Military Appreciate Day for the men's team, with military members admitted free and with a halftime ceremony to honor Princeton's lacrosse alums in the military.

The games are both huge.

The men are currently 0-3 in the league, as is Dartmouth. Princeton does lead the all-time series with the Big Green 56-9, including 31-1 all-time in Princeton.

The last two years in this series have been relatively strange, as Dartmouth has outscored Princeton 8-3 in the two first halves, only to have Princeton outscore the Green 20-1 in the two second halves.

Princeton finishes the regular season with games against Harvard and Cornell. The Tigers desperately need to get back to 3-3 in the league to get into the Ivy tournament.

As for the women, Penn is the lone Ivy unbeaten at 3-0, followed by one-loss Dartmouth (13-11 to Penn) and one-loss Princeton (15-12 to Dartmouth). Then there are three other teams - Yale, Columbia and Cornell - with two losses.

The top four reach the Ivy tournament.

Princeton is thinking of league championship, as well as tournament bid. The game tomorrow directly impacts that.

Clearly there are huge events on campus this weekend, ones that will impact the directions that seasons will take. That makes them worth seeing.

So will the weather.

It's summer. For two days, anyway.

Maybe the last of the snow will disappear?

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