Volleyball coach Sabrina King wanted to measure both the resolve and progress of her squad during the second half of its Ivy League season. Saturday night was a very good indication about both, as Princeton went on the road and handed Dartmouth a 15-13 loss in the fifth set of a 3-2 Princeton win.
After dropping the fourth set to go into a second-straight fifth-set match with Dartmouth (the Big Green won 3-2 in Princeton), the Tigers raced out to a 5-2 lead off a block by Nicole Kincade. Dartmouth battled back, eventually went up 12-10 and seemed in position to leave Princeton with another crushing five-set loss.
And then the resolve showed. A kill from two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week Cara Mattaliano got Princeton to within one, and an error evened the score. Ivy League points leader Kendall Peterkin gave the Tigers a 13-12 lead, and an error gave Princeton a match ball at 14-13. Kincade, one of the league's most efficient hitters, put away her 15th kill to clinch the win.
Mattaliano made a good case for a third Rookie of the Week honor with 21 kills and 18 digs in the victory, while Kincade had 15 kills, four blocks and hit .444. Fellow middle Tiana Woolridge had 10 kills with only one error and added two blocks, while freshman setter Lauren Miller had a terrific all-around match with 59 assists, five digs, four kills and an .800 hitting percentage.
Princeton will conclude its 2013 season next weekend when it hosts Brown and Yale at Dillon Gym.