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Women’s volleyball dominates Penn in Ivy opener

<h5>The Tigers have now won six straight.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/news/2022/9/23/womens-volleyball-womens-volleyball-opens-ivy-play-with-3-0-triumph-over-penn.aspx" target="_self">GoPrincetonTigers</a>.</h6>
The Tigers have now won six straight.
Courtesy of GoPrincetonTigers.

In an electric Ivy League opener, women’s volleyball (9–2, 1–0 Ivy) increased their winning streak to six games with a 3–0 win against Penn (1–10, 0–1 Ivy). 

The first set was a battle, with back and forth volleys all around. The score was tied at six early, but then Princeton began to pull away. Soon enough, the score was 15–10 Princeton, which led Penn to call a timeout. The Princeton lead didn’t drop below four, with the Tigers claiming the set and taking the lead 1–0.

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The second set started off just as competitive as the first one, but the score soon turned to 14–9 Princeton. With this shift in the score, Penn decided to take a timeout. Unfortunately for Penn, it was too little too late, as the score was soon 24–12 Princeton. Princeton then won on a double block by senior right side hitter Avery Luoma and sophomore blocker and right side hitter Mariah Haislip to win the set 25–12.

The third set started off in the same fashion as the first and second, but the game quickly started to slip away from Penn. The Quakers called a timeout when the score was 13–8 Princeton but could not stop the bleeding, and the Tigers pulled away easily. 

Late in the final set, Penn called a timeout, during which the men’s basketball team brought out a broom to indicate that Princeton was going to “sweep” Penn and win the match 3–0. Soon, the score was 24–12: match point. The game ended on a block by first-year blocker Lucia Scalamandre. 

Senior outside hitter Melina Mahood ended with a match-high 11 kills, while Scalamandre and fellow first-year outside hitter Valerie Nutakor each had nine kills of their own. 

After the game, Nutakor told The Daily Princetonian about her mindset coming into her first Ivy game ever. 

“At first I was nervous because I felt that this game would give us a sense of where we stand in the conference, but once [senior libero and captain] Cameron [Dames] emphasized the fact that this is just like any game that we had preseason, the nerves went away,” she said.

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“I think after the game against Penn, we know what we need to work on and we know what we need from each other in order to achieve success and have fun,” Nukator added.

The women’s volleyball team will face Dartmouth at Leede Arena in Hanover, N.H. on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.

Allison Ha is a writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at ah8897@princeton.edu.

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