The Princeton men's volleyball team will open its home schedule this weekend when it takes on both the IPFW Mastodons and the 15th-ranked Ball State Cardinals in a pair of night matches.
Princeton started off its season with it annual California trip, and it dropped matches to both Cal-Baptist (3-0) and NAIA champion Concordia (3-2). Despite the losses, there were several positives for Princeton, including the play of two underclassmen. Sophomore Devin Stearns looks like he is ready to take a step forward after a strong freshman year, as he averaged 3.3 kills and hit .420 for the weekend.
Freshman Junior Oboh, the lone new starter in the Princeton lineup, led the Tigers in blocks and hit .400 during the two matches. He averaged just under two kills per set as the replacement for All-East middle Michael Dye.
IPFW, which had been nationally ranked earlier this season, is 3-2 on the season, including a win over Cal-Baptist and another against Saint Francis, an EIVA program. Ball State, which is taking a tour of the EIVA early this season, is 3-3 and coming off a 3-2 win over IPFW. Two of Ball State's losses this season are to EIVA squads Saint Francis and Penn State, and the Cardinals will begin their weekend taking on George Mason Friday night.
Following this weekend, Princeton will open EIVA play with road matches at both Harvard and Sacred Heart.