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Princeton University men's volleyball vs. Penn State, Princeton, NJ, February 11, 2017.

By Beverly Schaefer

The men’s volleyball team split the weekend this Friday and Saturday. The Tigers (6-3 EIVA, 9-8 overall) lost a hard-fought match against conference rivals NJIT (4-3, 9-7) on Friday, but quickly responded the following day to sweep Coker College, 3-0.

The EIVA conference loss to NJIT proved to be a major setback for the Princeton team. Tied last week for the top spot in the league, the Tigers have fallen to third as rivals Penn State and Sacred Heart managed to capitalize on the Princeton defeat. However, the Tigers are still in a comfortable position to secure a playoff spot.

Despite strong performances from Princeton’s freshmen, including nine kills and four blocks from middle blocker George Huhmann, the Tigers were unable to fend off a surge from the Highlanders. NJIT started the match strong, securing the first set comfortably 25-16. While Princeton quickly rebounded in the second set, the team was unable to hold on as a late surge by the Highlanders allowed them to grab a thrilling 29-27 victory in the second set.

Led by Jabarry Goodridge’s 20 kills, NJIT would go on to win the third set and sweep the Tigers 3-0.

Coming off a disappointing performance, the Tigers hosted Coker at home. If Friday’s match bothered them, the Princeton squad did not let it show on the court. The Orange and Black swept Coker in three sets, showing signs of their earlier brilliant performances.

This was a crucial win for the Tigers, as they will no doubt carry this momentum into a six-match road trip. These games include three crucial EIVA conference games against Penn State, Saint Francis, and George Mason. The Tigers will need to show their resilience and resolve as they head into hostile territory against these tough opponents.

With the playoffs hanging in the balance, fans of Princeton volleyball will have plenty to look forward to after spring break.

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