The men’s volleyball team wrapped up the regular season by splitting their games against Grand Canyon University this past Thursday and Friday. The Tigers (10-10) held off a surge from the Antelopes in their first meet-up to grab a narrow 3-2 win over Grand Canyon (15-9). However, the Antelopes would rebound in their second match to earn a 3-1 victory.
After facing stiff competition from BYU earlier in the week, the Princeton team traveled to Phoenix to face a strong GCU team that nearly broke into the top 15 for the first time in program history. However, the strong competition did not faze the Tigers as they kept their composure throughout the game.
While the Antelopes took an early lead to grab the first set, the Tigers responded with a balanced offense to take the next two. The Princeton team would then fend off a surge in the crucial moments of the fifth set to earn their tenth win of the season.
GCU would return the favor the next day, however. The Antelopes started off strong, cruising past the Tigers in the first two sets. The Princeton squad would respond to edge out a third set victory, but would be unable to complete the comeback.
With the loss, the Tigers fall to 10-10 overall, showing their improvement from last season. While they have struggled on the road at times, they have made up for it with an impressive 7-1 home record.
With their final non-league match behind them the Tigers can now focus on the EIVA conference. Although the Tigers share second place in the EIVA, the competition remains close with the five teams behind Penn State separated by only one loss. Therefore, each game will be crucial for Princeton’s playoff hopes as they enter the last five games before the EIVA championships.
The Tigers will kick-off conference play after spring break with a tough weekend doubleheader against Penn State and Saint Francis University. The Tigers beat St. Francis earlier in the season and narrowly lost to Penn State in a grueling five-set match-up. Undoubtedly, the Princeton squad will be similarly challenged as they face-off against these long-time conference opponents.
These games will be important as the Tigers look to secure a top four finish and a ticket to the postseason.