The Princeton volleyball team has already had a bout with COVID-19 this year. To start the season, the Tigers had to quarantine two weeks to begin their schedule, missing their first two games.
Now, COVID-19 is causing the early end to Princeton’s year after Gov. Walz’s announcement to pause high school sports for four weeks, starting Nov. 20.
Despite having the season affected by COVID-19, Princeton was able to go out on a high note, defeating St. Francis 3-0 on Nov. 20 in the Tigers’ gym.
The win capped a busy week for the Tigers as they fell to Becker 3-1 on Nov. 17 followed by a 3-1 loss against Big Lake.
Going into the season finale, Head Coach Sarah Rittenhouse was looking for a strong performance to end the year. Rittenhouse got just that sweeping the Saints in three sets. “The match on Friday was great. We beat St. Francis in three and held them to single digits the last game. Overall we played very very well. I was very happy and proud with how the girls finished,” she said.
The Tigers finish their season with a 4-9 record. After starting the season 0-6, Princeton was able to rebound to win four of its next seven games to end the year.
Being able to close the season with a win on their home court was huge for the seniors, according to Rittenhouse. “They were excited; you rarely get the chance to play your last match at home especially for the seniors. The girls took full advantage of that opportunity,” she said, adding that all the seniors were able to take the court at once for the last two points that sealed the victory.
Heading into the offseason for the Tigers, they will look to fill the positions left by the senior class, which includes starters Taylor Mollet and Gabbi Molitor. Rittenhouse believes the players returning will be able to step into the roles left by those departing to graduation. “The underclassmen have some big shoes to fill especially in some key positions but I know they will be up to the challenge,” Rittenhouse said.
Moving forward for Princeton, the team hopes to return to its regular offseason programing assuming COVID-19 and its regulations allow such a move, Rittenhouse said.