Despite rallying from a 2-1 deficit and fighting off one match ball, the Princeton men's volleyball team found itself on the wrong end of an EIVA thriller Friday night in the Malkin Athletic Center in Boston. Harvard remained perfect at home in league play with a 3-2 win over the Tigers, which included a 15-13 victory in the fifth set.
Princeton took the opening set 25-23, then had to overcome two lost sets by winning the fourth comfortably 25-18. Outside of an early 2-1 lead, the Tigers spent most of the fifth set playing uphill, but they fought off one match ball at 14-12 before finally falling 15-13.
The loss drops Princeton to 10-8 overall, 8-4 in EIVA play, while Harvard improved to 14-7, 7-3. Though Princeton has already clinched one of the league's four postseason spots, it will likely need to win the last two league matches (Saturday night at Sacred Heart, April 20 vs. George Mason) to stay away from a semifinal match against Penn State.
Junior Pat Schwagler led Princeton with 18 kills, while sophomore Cody Kessel recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 12 digs. Senior captain Michael Dye had eight kills and three blocks, while junior setter Davis Waddell had 47 assists and six kills. He added to Princeton's .286 team attack percentage with a .556 mark of his own.
Princeton will take on Sacred Heart Saturday at 4 pm. The Pioneers showed they are doing far more than playing out the string Friday night, as they pushed George Mason to five sets before falling 15-12 in the fifth. Princeton defeated Sacred Heart 3-1 at Dillon Gym earlier this season.