Volleyball Opens Ivy League Schedule Saturday At The Palestra
The Princeton women's volleyball team has suffered its fair share of heartbreaking five-set losses already this season. Nothing would turn those feelings around like an Ivy-opening victory at the home of one your top rivals.
Princeton (3-7) will head to the Palestra Saturday at 5 pm to take on the Penn Quakers (5-5). The Tigers swept the season series last year, though the matches between the two local rivals have been historically close. In the last two years, three of the four matches have gone to the fifth set.
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The fifth set has been anything but kind to Princeton this season; four of the Tigers seven losses have come in five-set matches, and three of those have been decided by the minimum two points. Tuesday night, a shorthanded Princeton squad — which played without three starters — nearly rallied past Lehigh before falling 16-14 in the fifth.
Head coach Sabrina King isn't sure who of that could be available yet for Saturday night, but each of the three (sophomores Nicole Kincade and Ginny Willis, as well as freshman Kendall Peterkin) have had impressive starts to their 2012 seasons. In fact, each of the three rank among the top two in at least one Ivy League category. Willis currently leads the league with 9.63 assists per set, while Peterkin ranks second in kills (3.03). Kincade currently ranks second with 1.26 blocks per set.
Princeton's top hitter will play her final match at the Palestra, and two-time first-team All-Ivy League honoree Lydia Rudnick is off to another strong start. She leads the league with 3.92 kills per set, and she had an 18-kill, 10-dig effort against Lehigh.
Junior middle Leah Jordan is also playing some of her best volleyball right now, and she ranks fourth in the Ivies with a .369 attack percentage. In her last four matches, Jordan has 26 kills and only three errors.
Princeton will have to be extremely efficient against a Penn squad that has been the class of the league defensively. The Quakers easily lead the league with more than 23 digs per set, and both Dani Shepherd and Emma White rank 1-2 in the league individually. Shepherd set a school record Wednesday night with 46 digs in a 3-2 comeback win over Delaware.