Princeton’s women’s volleyball (2–4) traveled to College Park, Maryland to participate in the Maryland Invitational this past weekend. Princeton was one of four teams with George Mason (3–6), Arkansas (5–5), and Maryland (6–3) making up the rest.
With four of their five All-Ivy selections returning, including seniors Maggie O’Connell and Devon Peterkin, the Tigers were named the No. 1 team in the Ivy League preseason poll in front of the reigning Ivy League Champions, Yale.
Princeton stumbled out of the gate to open the 2019 season, starting 0–3 at the Rutgers Tournament on September 6–7 where they faced Rutgers (6–3), Towson (7–2), and Virginia (5–5).
Princeton finished the Maryland tournament 2–1 after beating both George Mason (25–22, 25–14, 25–16) and Arkansas (25–18, 25–21, 25–19) in quick 3–0 battles but ended their run with a 3–2 loss to Maryland (24–26, 25–23, 25–22, 20–25, 9–15).
George Mason managed to keep the Tigers fighting for the win in the first set, but the turning point of the second came after a 8–1 run by the Tigers, allowing them to jump ahead significantly. Another 8–2 run came in the third set to give the Tigers the final push that they needed to close out the match. Sophomore outside hitter Elena Montgomery and Peterkin combined for a total of 21 kills while senior setter Jessie Harris paced the Tigers with 37 assists and seven digs. Sophomore libero Cameron Dames led the squad in total digs, contributing 9 to the win.
While day two of the tournament was a split, Princeton came out strong against Arkansas to start their day. Arkansas only saw one lead at 5–4 in the third set but Princeton came back quick on a 5–1 run to jump ahead. Montgomery recorded a double-double during the match with a team-best 13 kills and 15 digs. Dames contributed 17 digs, and Peterkin added 11 kills to the win.
Up two sets to one, Maryland rallied out the 3–2 win against the Tigers in the third match of the weekend. The largest separation during the close victory of the first set for Maryland was only four points. A Maryland kill and Princeton attack error gave Maryland the first set victory.
After going back and forth and having many close-scores in the following sets, including multiple stand-still ties, Maryland walked away with the victory in five sets.
Montgomery carried the team in kills again with 23 while Peterkin followed behind with 17. Harris contributed 53 assists and 11 digs to the Tigers while Dames added 24 digs during the loss.
Dames and Montgomery were both named to the All-Tournament team.
The Tigers will host their home opener against No. 10 University of Oregon (2–3) on Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m. The Ducks are No. 10 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, and all three of their losses have come from Top 10 teams.
The match will take place in Dillon Gymnasium in Princeton but can also be streamed on ESPN+.