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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 emerged from two devastating losses on Mar. 31 and Apr.1 with a renewed purpose as its postseason dreams were on the line this Saturday, Apr.8. The Tigers responded with a convincing 3-1 victory over reigning EIVA champions George Mason. The win boosted the Orange and Black into third in their conference.

With two matches remaining in conference play, the Tigers will need to win both games to secure a playoff position. Indeed, there is a four-way tie for fourth place only a game behind the Tigers. Princeton will host Harvard and Sacred Heart in Dillon Gym this coming Friday and Saturday, Apr. 14 and 15.

The Tigers came together to give one of their best team performances this season, getting stellar performances from all class years. Freshman outside hitter Parker Dixon spearheaded the offense with 15 kills. The middle duo of George Hughmann and Junior Oboh combined for an impressive 20 kills, 13 blocks, and three service aces.

The Princeton team opened the game by grabbing the first set, narrowly edging out the Patriots, 25-23. George Mason would respond to win the second set and would push the Tigers on in the third. However, the Princeton team would once again show their composure to hold off the Patriots in the third set, 25-23, again. The Tigers were never troubled in the fourth, cruising to a 25-16 victory.

While this was a much-needed win, the Tigers will not have much time to celebrate as they have a packed doubleheader against Harvard and Sacred Heart. The Tigers narrowly beat the Crimson the last time the two sides met. Sacred Heart managed to defeat Princeton 1-3 earlier in the season — a result the Tigers will surely try to change the second time around.

The Princeton team will need to grab both wins to secure a playoff position. However, one loss would send the Tigers into a wild array of tie-breakers.

The Tigers will host Harvard Friday Apr.14 at 7:00 p.m. and Sacred Heart Saturday Apr. 15 at 4:00 p.m.

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