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Princeton Drops First Match Since Feb. 23, Returns Home For Pair Next Week

Princeton Drops First Match Since Feb. 23, Returns Home For Pair Next Week

Story Courtesy of Princeton

LEBANON, Ill. - When Princeton dropped a match Feb. 23 to Harvard, the Tigers knew they needed to produce something special to save their season.

Seven straight victories later, including five in EIVA play, Princeton did exactly that.

The Tigers saw their seven-match win streak end Friday night in the second match of a back-to-back at McKendree, though the visitors showed late fight in this one as well. After trailing 2-0, Princeton battled back for a 25-23 win in the third, and then it fought off an incredible six match balls in the fourth set — a performance reminiscent of their amazing eight-match-balls-saved in the comeback thriller over Penn State — before ultimately dropping a 3-1 decision.

Sophomore opposite George Huhmann led Princeton with 18 kills and four blocks, while classmate Greg Luck added 10 kills. Parker Dixon recorded nine kills, while Junior Oboh added five and served Princeton back into the match during the fourth set. Trailing 24-18, Princeton got a sideout and went on a 5-0 run on the Oboh serve to draw even at 24-24. McKendree bounced back with the next two points to claim the win, but the finish was another sign of resilience that the Tigers have shown over the last month.

Freshman Joe Kelly led Princeton with 39 assists, while classmate Cade Keegan had a team-best nine digs. Huhmann, Luck, and Kelly added eight digs apiece, while Mike Fuerst matched Huhmann with four blocks.

Princeton will return to Dillon Gym next week for a pair of matches, including a huge showdown Saturday night. The Tigers start their week Tuesday at 7 pm against Erskine College, and then they will host EIVA frontrunner George Mason Saturday at 7 pm. Both matches will be streamed live on the Ivy League Network.