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Volleyball Looks To Move Over .500 Mark In League During NJIT Showdown

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 02/14/2013
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Cody Kessel had 22 kills in last season's 3-2 home win over NJIT.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

LIVE STATS l LIVE VIDEO l EIVA STANDINGS

Coming off a dominant effort in a 3-0 home win over Rutgers-Newark, the Princeton men's volleyball opens a four-match road trip Friday night with an EIVA matchup against NJIT.

Princeton, which also plays a nonleague road match at NYU Saturday night, is 2-2 overall, 1-1 in league play. Following a 3-1 loss at George Mason in the opener last weekend, Princeton was in total control of Tuesday's home opener over Rutgers-Newark.

Sophomore Cody Kessel, the reigning EIVA Newcomer of the Year, led Princeton with 10 kills in a 25-18, 25-9, 25-16 victory. Princeton trailed only one time in one individual set, and that would be a set the Tigers would ultimately win 25-9 thanks in part to runs of 6-0 and 7-1.

While Kessel led the Tigers in kills over the Scarlet Raiders, it has been a balanced offensive attack that has guided Princeton through the early part of the season. Princeton leads the EIVA in team kills per set (12.4), with junior Pat Schwagler leading the way with 3.7 kills per set.

NJIT is making its EIVA debut Friday night. The Highlanders are 2-7 this season, though they have played a challenging schedule that has included matches against Lewis, Loyola and Ohio State. In a recent win over Stevens Tech, Kajetan Borecki led NJIT with 17 kills and 10 digs.

Princeton split its season series against NJIT last season, though the latter match ignited a season-ending rally that sent the Tigers to the EIVA postseason. Trailing the Highlanders 2-0 at home, a 22-kill, seven-block effort by Kessel helped Princeton to a wild 3-2 comeback win. Princeton followed with another 3-2 comeback win at George Mason to earn the final spot in the EIVA playoffs.

NJIT did win its midseason home match 3-1 against Princeton last season. The winner Friday night will be assured of spending at least the following week in the top half of the league standings.

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