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Women’s volleyball sweeps Penn in home opener

<h6>Olivia Schewe ‘23 and Lindsey Kelly’23 celebrate.</h6>
<h6>GoPrincetonTigers.com</h6>
Olivia Schewe ‘23 and Lindsey Kelly’23 celebrate.
GoPrincetonTigers.com

On Friday, Sept. 24, the Princeton University women’s volleyball team won 3–0 (25–18, 25–16, 25–8) against Penn in their home opener. The match, which was the first Ivy League game and win for the Tigers, sets them on a six-game winning streak.

In the first set, a kill from junior right side hitter Avery Luoma began a four-point run, giving the Tigers an 11–6 lead. Junior libero Cameron Dames served an ace to reach game point at 24–16. The Tigers were able to finish the set with a final score of 25–18 from a kill by Luoma. 

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In the second set, Penn pushed close behind, down 12–10 to Princeton. But junior outside hitter Elena Montgomery took a six-point service run, putting the Tigers ahead at 18–10. Two kills from junior outside hitter Melina Mahood produced a 21–13 lead, and a kill from junior middle blocker Olivia Schewe assisted a four-point run to a 25–16 win. 

In the third set, the Tigers built a strong 9–0 lead, as a result of a service run by junior setter Lindsey Kelly, including an ace. Following a timeout from Penn, the two teams went back and forth leaving Princeton up 17–8. A kill from Mahood sparked an eight-point run by Dames, who finished the set on an ace, ending the game with an impressive 25–8 win. Despite Penn’s best efforts, Princeton secured a 3–0 match sweep.

Luoma and Montgomery led the match with 11 kills each. “I was really happy with how consistent we were this weekend,” Montgomery told the ‘Prince.’ “Even with the pressure of it being our first Ivy game, we stayed calm and collected the whole time. We’ve been putting in a lot of work during our pre-season, so I’m so excited to see what we can accomplish.”

Schewe and senior middle blocker Julia Schner had seven kills each. Schner also made a career record number of seven blocks, and Kelly had a match-high of 34 assists and 11 digs. Dames made nine digs and tied with Luoma for a match-high of two aces each.

“We’re really excited to be back on the court after a year off,” Mahood said. “Competition is always tight in the Ivy League, so we’re taking it game by game and trying not to get too ahead of ourselves. I think we’re trending upward so far but we’re just glad to be playing again.”

The women’s volleyball team will play Dartmouth at home on Friday, October 1 at 7 p.m.

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Lizzie Evanko is a contributor to the sports section. She can be reached at eevanko@princeton.edu.

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