The men’s volleyball team split the weekend, winning their game against Harvard but falling to Sacred Heart. The Tigers, now 4-2 in the EIVA, are tied for second with Sacred Heart, while Penn State currently sits at the top of the table with a 6-2 record.
Princeton started their road trip on Feb. 24 at Cambridge, where they faced off against Ivy League rival Harvard. The Princeton squad, which has not won in Boston since 2010, knew they would be facing tough opposition, and that is exactly what they got.
The Orange and Black opened the game strong, securing the first two sets easily. However, the Crimson quickly responded and returned the favor by grabbing two sets for themselves. The Tigers soon found themselves playing in a crucial fifth set. Showing their resilience, the Princeton squad managed to fend off a strong Harvard rally to win the set 15-10. With this crucial win, the Tigers moved to 4-1 in conference play.
The freshman class, who have been crucial to Princeton’s success, had a big showing in the Tigers matchup against the Crimson. Outside hitter Parker Dixon led the offense with 18 kills, and his classmate middle blocker George Huhmann spearheaded the defense with his tally of seven blocks. Freshman outside hitter Greg Luck also made a huge splash, recording 10 kills and six digs.
The Tigers left Boston with their first win since 2010 and continued their road trip with a match against Sacred Heart. While the Princeton squad had the better record coming into the game, the Pioneers had shown they were a dangerous opponent, beating a formidable Penn State squad 3-1.
Princeton jumped off to a fantastic start, grabbing the first set easily with a 25-18 victory. However, Sacred Heart would quickly rebound. The pioneers hit a remarkable .500 in two of the final three sets. Sacred Heart would clinch the next three sets to hand the Tigers a 1-3 loss. Notable efforts came from Dixon and junior Kendall Ratter who, combined, had 26 kills. Senior setter Jonah May would pace the offense with 39 assists in a tight match against an efficient Sacred Heart squad.
The loss drops the Tigers to second place in the EIVA standings with a 4-2 record. Despite ending the month of February on a sour note, the Tigers have plenty to be proud of looking back. Indeed, the young Princeton squad seem to have already found their rhythm early in conference play and have shown that they are competitive against the toughest teams in the league.
The Tigers will continue conference play Mar. 3 and 4, with back-to-back games against Charleston. With a potential top spot on the line, these next two matchups will certainly not be ones to miss.