Thanks to a three-game sweep last week that included stellar play from Palo Alto High grad Tim Wenzlau and Sacred Heart Prep grad Ben Dearborn, the Princeton men's water polo team enters this week sitting atop the CWPA Southern Division standings with a 5-2 record.
Wenzlau also had four steals and Dearborn came up with back-to-back saves at the buzzer to help preserve the big victory, which capped off a big week that saw Wenzlau tally 10 goals in the three wins.
On Saturday night at DeNunzio Pool, host Princeton registered a 14-7 victory over Johns Hopkins. Wenzlau scored three times and added three assists. On Friday in Lewisburg, Pa., Wenzlau scored a season-high four goals to pace the Tigers to a 9-8 overtime victory over No. 15-ranked Bucknell.
Wenzlau's final goal came in the second of two mandatory overtime overtimes, with just 63 seconds left to play, and moved the Tigers into a temporary tie for first place. Dearborn finished with 14 saves.
In other college men's water polo action, Menlo-Atherton High grad Alexandre Popp had seven saves in goal to help Harvard defeat Mercyhurst, 10-9, on Sunday in CWPA Northern Division action in Cambridge, Mass.
A day earlier, Harvard dropped a 13-5 decision to St. Francis (N.Y.) but beat Connecticut College, 16-7. Popp made 10 saves against Connecticut while freshman John Holland-McCowan from Menlo School tallied two goals.
Harvard will be on the West Coast this week to face Cal Baptist, UC Davis, Stanford, Peppedine and Santa Clara over a three-day period.
Freshman Brenna Nelsen from Castilleja finished eighth overall while helping Harvard tie for second at its own Harvard Invitational on the weekend at the Boston Golf Club in Hingham, Mass.
Rain softened the course leading up to the start and winds reaching 20-30 mph hampered play on Saturday. Nelsen had a tough stretch in the middle of her second round while shooting 77-83 for a 16-over-par 160 for the 36 holes. She was Harvard's No. 3 finisher. The Crimson shot 642 and tied with Columbia, five shots behind team champion Penn.
Senior Hillary Ford from Palo Alto High helped Princeton moved into a tie for first place in the Ivy League with a pair of victories at home last weekend.
Ford, a libero, had 10 digs during a 26-24, 25-23, 25-19 win over Brown on Saturday as the Tigers improved to 5-1 in league (12-6 overall) to share first place with Yale. On Friday, Ford produced a match-high 21 digs as Princeton upset previously unbeatean Yale, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20.
Harvard also had success against a first-place team as the Crimson upended Columbia, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 on Saturday as Castilleja grad Taylor Docter serving a career-high five aces.
Docter sparked a 7-0 run late in the second set with four aces as Harvard improved to 3-4 in league (10-7 overall). Docter and Gunn High grad Teresa Skelly each had eight kills.
A night earlier, Harvard suffered a 3-1 loss to Cornell despite a match-high 14 kills from Docter.
In the Big West Conference, Palo Alto High grad Allison Whitson and her UC Davis teammates suffered sweeps on the road to Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton during the weekend. Whitson had nine kills in each match to put her career total at 1,052. That ties her for fifth all-time on the school's career kill list.
Whitson, a junior, is 157 kills from tying for fourth all-time. She'll be back in action Friday at UC Irvine.
Back on the East Coast, Menlo School grad and senior co-captain Aly McKinnon of Williams College had five digs in a sweep of Western New England on the second day of the MIT quad match in Cambridge, Mass.
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