The Princeton men's volleyball team continues its eight-match, season-opening road trip Friday night when it takes on league rival Rutgers-Newark at 7 p.m.
Princeton is 2-3 overall, 1-1 in EIVA play, and stands in a three-way tie for third with both Harvard and George Mason. The Tigers split their league-opening weekend, winning 3-0 at Sacred Heart before falling to the Crimson in three tight games. To show the parity within the league, Tiger travel partner George Mason recorded a road win at Harvard before falling in five at Sacred Heart.
Rutgers-Newark is currently 1-2 in league play, though it will host NJIT Wednesday night. The Scarlet Raiders swept Princeton last season as part of a fourth-place divisional finish. Fourth is the magic number in the EIVA this season, as only the top four from the new eight-team division will qualify for the postseason.
Every road victory in league play is paramount in that chase, and Princeton will look for a winning road record when it heads to its in-state rival this weekend. Stellar play from its freshman class helped the Tigers to a split last weekend; Cody Kessel, in his EIVA debut, recorded 13 kills with only one error for a .462 hitting percentage in the 3-0 win over Sacred Heart, while middle Will Siroky had 10 kills and hit .571 Saturday against Harvard.
Kessel leads the team with 3.7 kills per set, while junior middle Michael Dye is averaging 2.2 kills. Siroky, who leads the team with 1.1 blocks per set, is averaging 2.6 points per set, while senior setter Scott Liljestrom is pacing the offense with 9.5 assists per set.
Following Friday's match, Princeton will conclude its road odyssey with a trip to EIVA co-leaders Penn State and Saint Francis during the final weekend of February. The Tigers will play their home opener Feb. 28 against Rutgers-Newark.