The resolve of the men's volleyball team will be tested again this weekend, as Princeton dropped a 3-2 thriller in its home opener to IPFW Friday night. The Tigers will get an immediate chance to bounce back, as they will host the 14th-ranked Ball State Cardinals Saturday night at 7 pm.
Princeton (0-3) has lost back-to-back five-set matches, and this one was as close as it could get. Two of the first four sets were decided by 26-24 scores, and the Mastadons (4-2) clinched the win 15-13 in the fifth. Princeton had led 10-8 in the set, but IPFW won five of the next six points and then was able to side out enough for the win.
Senior Pat Schwagler led the offense with 19 kills, while sophomore Devin Stearns continued his hot start to the season with 13 kills and 14 digs. Junior Cody Kessel had 13 kills and five blocks, while classmate Will Siroky had 10 kills and hit .389 for the match.
Princeton won the opening set 25-21 after a block and a kill from Stearns, but it was the second set that will leave the Tigers frustrated. A kill by Siroky gave the Tigers a pair of set balls, but IPFM won the next four points to even the match at 1-1.
The third set was even at 24-24 when Stearns and Schwagler recorded back-to-back kills to clinch a 26-24 win, but IPFW was in full control in the fourth for a 25-19 victory. Neither team led by more than two points in the fifth set, but IPFM earned the win off a kill by Andrew Sellan.