May 30, 2018

BACK ON TOP: Members of the Princeton Day School boys’ tennis team show off the trophies and medals they earned for winning the state Prep B title last week. PDS totaled 10 points in the competition to edge runner-up Rutgers Prep by one point in the team standings. It was the fifth Prep B crown for the Panthers in the last six years.

By Bill Alden

In the first day of the state Prep B boys’ tennis tournament last week, things went smoothly for Princeton Day School as it won nine of 10 matches and advanced players to the finals in four of the five flights of the competition.

But in the final round, PDS struggled as it won only one match but that victory by freshman Aaron Phogat at third singles was enough to give the Panthers the outright title, its fifth Prep B crown in the last six years. PDS totaled 10 points in the competition to edge runner-up Rutgers Prep by one point. more

May 24, 2018

RINK MASTER: Harry Rulon-Miller holding court in McGraw Rink at Princeton Day School. The legendary Rulon-Miller, who coached the PDS boys’ hockey team from 1968-81, was inducted into the New Jersey High School Hockey Hall of Fame last month. (Photo Courtesy of PDS)

By Bill Alden

When Harry Rulon-Miller took up hockey in the 1940s as a grade schooler skating in nearby Baker Rink on the campus of Princeton University, he couldn’t develop his skills in recreation leagues or travel hockey programs.

“It was a passion,” recalled Rulon-Miller. “There was nothing really organized.” more

May 23, 2018

SWINGING AWAY: Hun School softball player Mary Catherine ‘MC’ Shea makes contact in a game earlier this season. Last week, junior Shea went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI to help second-seeded Hun defeat third-seeded Lawrenceville 4-2 in the state Prep A semis. On Sunday, Shea and the Raiders fell just short of the title, falling 4-3 at top-seeded Blair in the Prep A championship game. The defeat left the Raiders with a final record of 10-7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mary Catherine ‘MC’ Shea was hitting at the bottom of the order for the Hun School softball team as it hosted Lawrenceville in the state Prep A semis last week but she ended up being the top producer.

Junior right fielder Shea blasted a run-scoring double off the fence in the bottom of the second inning and then added a single in the fifth that led to another run as the second-seeded Raiders rallied for a 4-2 win in the May 15 contest. more

By Bill Alden

Jack Erbeck pitched the Hun School baseball team into the Mercer County Tournament semifinals with a brilliant performance against Steinert on May 9.

The junior righty struck out 10 and walked just one as fourth-seeded Hun defeated the fourth-seeded Spartans 5-2. more

ON FIRE: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Eva Petrone unloads the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, sophomore star Petrone tallied three goals and two assists to help first-seeded PHS defeat fourth-seeded Monroe 17-8 in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals. The Little Tigers, now 12-10, will host second-seeded Rancocas Valley in the sectional title game on May 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having lost 16-15 to Monroe in late April, the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team didn’t waste any time turning the tables on the Falcons when the foes met in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals last Monday.

PHS jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never looked back on the way to a 17-8 triumph.

“We really came together as a team,” said sophomore attacker Eva Petrone, who tallied two goals and two assists in the first half as the Little Tigers built an 8-2 lead by intermission. “We worked together the whole time; our defense had a really good fight.” more

PULLING THROUGH: Princeton University women’s rowing star Claire Collins displays her form in a race this spring. Junior standout Collins rowed in the fourth seat to help the open varsity 8 win the Ivy championship regatta earlier this month, earning first-team All-Ivy honors in the process. Collins and the Tigers will be going after another title as the compete in the NCAA Championships from May 25-27 at Sarasota, Fla. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

It didn’t take long for Claire Collins to make an impact in the sport of rowing.

Taking up the sport in the spring of her freshman year at Deerfield Academy (Mass.), Collins was competing for the U.S. National Junior team by that summer.

“It accelerated pretty quickly,” said Collins, a native of McLean, Va. who also starred at volleyball and swimming at Deerfield.  more

SERIOUSLY GOOD: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Kyla Sears heads to goal in a game this season. Freshman attacker Sears produced a sensational debut campaign for the Tigers, scoring 83 points on 64 goals and 19 assists to set the Princeton and Ivy League record for most goals and points by a freshman. The play of Sears helped Princeton go 9-2 in its last 11 games on the way to going 13-6, winning the Ivy tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tourney. With Sears returning along with four of the team’s other five top scorers this spring and the whole defense, the future looks bright for the Tigers. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In late March, the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team dug an early hole against visiting Syracuse and ended up losing 17-16 to the Orange as a late rally fell short.

Just over six weeks later, the foes met for a rematch in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and this time, Princeton jumped out to an early lead and then produced a late comeback to pull out a 12-11 double overtime triumph over the Orange. more

THIRD PARTY: Princeton High boys’ tennis player Kevin Yang fires a serve in a match this spring. Last Monday, senior star Yang won at third singles to help second-seed PHS defeat fourth-seed Summit 3-2 in the North Jersey 2, Group 3 sectional finals. The Little Tigers, now 18-2, will face South Group 3 champions Moorestown in the Group 3 state semis on the morning May 23 at Mercer County Park with the victor advancing to play the winner of the Montville-WW/P-South semi in the afternoon. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kevin Yang was thrust into the first singles position for the Princeton High boys’ tennis in 2017 during his junior season and benefitted from the challenge.

“Being first singles, I got a lot more good matches and a lot of experience,” said Yang, who played third singles as a sophomore but moved up the pecking order in 2017 when first singles star Noah Lilienthal and second singles standout Jerry Gu decided not to play for PHS due to other commitment. more

SAFE AND SOUND: Hun School baseball Chris Pontrella slides home to score a run in recent action. Last Sunday, senior outfielder Pontrella chipped in three RBIs to help top-seeded Hun edge second-seeded Blair 5-4 in the state Prep A championship game. It was the third straight Prep A crown for the Raiders, who ended the spring with a 15-6 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Chris Pontrella didn’t have a hit as the Hun School baseball team played the Blair Academy in the state Prep A championship game last Sunday.

But senior right fielder Pontrella turned out to be Hun’s key batter in the contest, knocking in three runs with two sacrifice flies and a squeeze play as the top-seeded Raiders pulled out a 5-4 win over second-seeded Blair, earning its third straight Prep A title in the process and ending the spring at 15-6. more

REACHING NEW HEIGHTS: Stuart Country Day School star high jumper Allison Walsh clears the bar in an an indoor meet. Earlier this month, senior standout Walsh placed first in the high jump at the the state Prep B outdoor championship meet. While Stuart had initially finished second to Villa Walsh by one point at the May 7 competition, it was declared as co-champions of the meet last week after an appeal. With the Tartans having won the Prep B indoor title this past winter, it marks the first time the program has both track titles in the same school year.

By Bill Alden

Competing in the state Prep B outdoor championships, the Stuart Country Day School track team believed it had done enough to win the meet.

Stuart piled up 115.50 points at the competition held on May 7 at Newark Academy, highlighted by senior star Michelle Kwafo winning the 100 meter dash, the 200, and the 100 hurdles with classmate Allison Walsh taking first in the high jump and the 4×400 relay ending the meet with a win and a school record. more

May 16, 2018

JACK OF ALL TRADES: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Jack Konopka controls the ball against Hightstown in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday. Senior star Konopka contributed an assist and good work on face-offs to help the Panthers prevail 9-3 and win their third straight county crown. Earlier in the week, Konopka tallied three goals and two assists to help PDS pull away to a 14-4 win over Robbinsville in the MCT semifinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last spring, Nick Day starred as a face-off man extraordinaire for the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team.

With Day having graduated and now playing at Bowdoin, senior Jack Konopka stepped into the face-off role this year.

“For me, most of the year, I have been a scrappy guy who tries to create a 50/50 ground ball for our wings to win it,” said Konopka. more

OPEN ARMS: Members of the Princeton University women’s open varsity eight celebrate after winning the grand final at the Ivy League championship regatta on Cooper River in Pennsauken, N.J. last Sunday. It was the third straight Ivy crown for the open top boat and its fourth in the last five years. Princeton is next in action when it competes at the NCAA championship regatta from May 25-27 in Sarasota, Fla. (Photo Courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Bill Alden

Lori Dauphiny had a good feeling about her Princeton University women’s open varsity eight as it headed into the Ivy League championship regatta last weekend.

“This last week of training prior to the championships, they made some really nice strides,” said Princeton head coach Dauphiny. “I started to notice that the boat was picking up speed.” more

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Members of the Princeton High boys’ track and field team celebrate last Saturday after they dominated the competition on the way to winning the Mercer County Championships. PHS won 10 of 18 events in the meet held at Steinert High and piled up 136.50 points with runner-up Trenton far behind with 57. In so doing, the Little Tigers achieved the “triple crown” of county titles as they have won the boys’ cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track crowns this school year. PHS will go after another title when it competes in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet on May 25-26.

By Bill Alden

Last May, the Princeton High boys’ track and field team was bitterly disappointed when it fell one point short of winning the Mercer County Championships.

“The moment we lost that meet by one point, the guys looked at each and said we are not letting this happen again,” said Ben Samara, the associate head coach of the PHS boys’ and girls’ teams. more

COMING THROUGH: Princeton High baseball player Tommy Reid takes a swing in recent action. Junior star Reid came through with some clutch hitting to help seventh-seeded PHS advance to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2005. The Little Tigers fell 4-2 to third-seeded Nottingham last Monday in the semis to move to 13-8. PHS will look to produce another deep run as it competes in the upcoming state tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton High baseball team, getting to open the Mercer County Tournament with a home game proved to the catalyst for a memorable run.

Hosting 10th-seeded Hightstown in the first-round matchup on May 7, seventh-seeded PHS came through with a 4-0 win.  more

THIRD DEGREE: Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse player Brooks Johnson marks a Hightstown attacker in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday. Senior star and Gettysburg College-bound defender Johnson helped key a stifling performance as second-seeded PDS defeated top-seeded Hightstown 9-3 to earn its third straight county crown and end the spring with 10-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brooks Johnson and his teammates on the Princeton Day School boys’ lacrosse team know how to handle the high-stakes atmosphere of the Mercer County Tournament championship game.

Having won county crowns in 2016 and 2017 and advancing to the final in 2015, the second-seeded Panthers brought a sense of calm to the field when they faced top-seeded Highstown in this year’s title game last Thursday at WW/P-North. more

FIGHTING TO THE END: Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse player Kate Bennett, center, draws a crowd as she goes to goal against Morristown-Beard in the state Prep B title game last Monday. PDS senior star and Dartmouth-bound Bennett tallied three goals and an assist, but it wasn’t enough as the third-seeded Panthers fell 10-9 to the fifth-seeded Crimson on a last second goal. PDS, which was seeking a fourth-straight Prep B crown, ended the spring with an 8-9 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last Monday was a date that had been circled on the calendar all spring for the Princeton Day School girls’ lacrosse team.

It was the state Prep B championship game and, having won three straight crowns, the program was shooting from day one of the season to achieve a four-peat. more

GOOD RUN: Hun School baseball Adam Wijaya runs to first base in recent action. Senior third baseman Wijaya starred as Hun advanced to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals for the first time in 11 years. The fifth-seeded Raiders topped 12th-seeded Pennington 8-5 in a first-round contest on May 7 and then upended fourth-seeded Steinert 5-2 last Wednesday. Hun’s county run ended when it fell 9-0 to top-seeded Hopewell Valley in the semis last Monday evening. The Raiders, now 13-6, will be going after a third consecutive state Prep A title this week. Top-seeded Hun will host fourth-seeded Peddie School in a first round game on May 16 with the double elimination tournament to wrap up this weekend at Peddie from May 19-20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having experienced a number of early exits in the Mercer County Tournament in recent years, the Hun School baseball team was determined to make a deep run in the tourney this spring.

Hosting 12th-seeded Pennington in the opening round last week, fifth-seeded Hun didn’t waste any time showing that it meant business, scoring a run in the first inning and five in the second on the way to an 8-5 victory. more

May 9, 2018

SAVING GRACE: Hun School girls’ lacrosse goalie Lauren Cunniff makes a save in recent action. Last Thursday, senior star Cunniff made 11 saves in a losing cause as 10th-seeded Hun fell 6-1 at seventh-seeded Hightstown in the second round of the Mercer County Tournament. The Raiders, now 6-9, will wrap up their season by hosting WW/P-North on May 10 and playing at Morristown on May 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing at seventh-seeded Hightstown last Thursday afternoon in the second round of the Mercer County Tournament, the 10th-seeded Hun School girls’ lacrosse team was on track for an upset in the early going.

The teams were tied 1-1 at halftime and Hun head coach Liz Cook was encouraged by how her team started. “I felt we played them really well in the first half,” said Cook, who got a goal from Lauren John at the 6:26 mark of the contest and saw her defense hold the Rams scoreless until 47 seconds before intermission. more

ASSISTING HAND: Princeton High girls’ lacrosse player Shaylah Marciano gathers in the ball during a recent game. Last Saturday, sophomore star Marciano tallied nine points on four goals and five assists as fourth-seeded PHS defeated fifth-seeded Princeton Day School 21-11 in the quarterfinals of the Mercer County Tournament. Marciano, who leads the state in assists with 60, passed the 100-assist mark in her career in the win over the Panthers. The Little Tigers, now 8-8, were slated to face top-seeded Lawrenceville in the MCT semis on May 8 with the victor advancing to the title game on May 10. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Shaylah Marciano, playing goalie in soccer and point guard in basketball has given her a better perspective on the field for the Princeton High girls’ lacrosse team.

“As a point guard in basketball, it is kind of my job to be able to see everybody and where everyone is going,” said sophomore midfielder Marciano. “In soccer, being able to see the whole field really opens up things.” more

CATCH OF THE DAY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse goalie Sam Fish makes a save last Friday night to help the Tigers defeat Columbia in the Ivy League Tournament semis. Two days later, Fish recorded 11 saves to help Princeton defeat Penn 13-10 in the Ivy Championship game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sam Fish struggled when the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team played at Columbia in its regular season finale in late April.

Even though Princeton prevailed, freshman goalie Fish wasn’t sharp in the 22-16 win. more

TESS TIME: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Tess D’Orsi heads to goal in action last weekend at the Ivy League Tournament held at Class of 1952 Stadium. Sophomore attacker D’Orsi tallied four goals  and an assist as top-seeded Princeton defeated second-seeded Penn 13-10 in the championship game last Sunday. The Tigers, now 12-5, will face Syracuse (9-9) in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Boston College on May 11. The victor will face fourth seeded BC (19-1) is a second round contest on May 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With top-seeded Princeton University women’s lacrosse team locked in a 9-9 stalemate against second-seeded Penn in the second half of the Ivy League Tournament Championship game last Sunday, it became Tess D’Orsi time for the Tigers.

Princeton sophomore attacker D’Orsi scored a goal to put the Tigers ahead 10-9 and then after the visiting Quakers answered to make it 10-10, she tallied two unanswered goals to make the difference on the way to a 13-10 win. more

DOCKSIDER: Princeton University softball player Danielle Dockx makes a play in recent action. Senior infielder Dockx ended her career last weekend as the Tigers wrapped up the season by going 1-2 in a three-game set against visiting Cornell. Princeton finished the spring at 10-29 overall and 8-13 Ivy League. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University softball team having been eliminated from the Ivy League title race, there was pride on the line last weekend when the Tigers hosted Cornell in a season-ending three-game set.

Sparked by its trio of seniors Kylee Pierce, Danielle Dockx, and Ashley LaGuardia setting the tone, Princeton was determined to end the season by fighting to the last out. more

COOKING UP A WINNER: Princeton High baseball player Paul Cooke takes a swing in a game earlier this season. PHS senior star Cooke had a double and an RBI as seventh-seeded PHS defeated 10th-seeded Hightstown 4-0 in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament. The Little Tigers, now 11-7, play at second-seeded Allentown in the MCT quarters on May 9 with the victor advancing to the semis on May 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Paul Cooke’s uniform was caked with dirt, reflecting his role in the middle of the action as the Princeton High baseball team celebrated its Senior Day with a walk-off win over visiting Lawrence last Wednesday.

Senior outfielder Cooke slammed an RBI single to help ignite a two-run rally in the bottom of the first inning and legged out an infield single in the bottom of the fifth. He ended the day by lofting a sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Little Tigers a 4-3 triumph. more

ON TARGET: Hun School boys’ lacrosse player Devon Cowan celebrates after a goal last Monday as top-seeded Hun hosted third-seeded Lawrenceville in the state Prep A title game. Junior attackman Cowan scored three goals to help the Raiders prevail 9-6. Hun, now 9-2, will next be in action when it competes in the National Prep Championships from May 16-18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Devon Cowan’s left hand was partially covered by a cast, but that wasn’t about to slow him down as top-seeded Hun hosted third-seeded Lawrenceville in the state Prep A title game last Monday.

“I broke my hand a couple of games ago,” said junior attackman and co-captain Cowan, who had scored four goals when Hun fell 10-9 to Lawrenceville in a regular season meeting on April 7. more

GROWING THE GAME: Lefika Ragonste, right, coaches a junior player. Ragonste, a former Trinity College standout, recently started the New Jersey Squash Club in Lawrenceville, offering a number of playing options, both on a daily pay-to-play basis and for membership.

By Bill Alden

Lefika Ragonste has been into expanding the reach of squash since he was a grade schooler.

As a 10-year-old, he started playing squash in his native Botswana. By the time he was a teenager, he had won junior titles in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

After high school, he played in Canada and England. In 1998, he came to the U.S. to attend Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. and join its powerhouse squash program. more