Princeton saved three match balls and turned what seemed like a comfortable home win for Brown into a five-set thriller. The host eventually prevailed 16-14 in the fifth to remain in second place, while Princeton now faces the challenge of completing its four-game road trip at reigning Ivy champion Yale.
Brown led two sets to one and 23-19 in the fourth, but Princeton put together a surge to force the fifth set. A pair of kills from Kendall Peterkin and a pair of blocks, both of which included Nicole Kincade, helped even the set at 24-24. A Brown error gave the Tigers an unlikely set ball, and reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week Cara Mattaliano put it away for the 26-24 win.
The Tigers actually carried that momentum into the fifth set and grabbed a small lead, though Brown battled back with a kill and a service ace to get within 11-10. Brown eventually evened it at 12-12 and earned its third match ball at 14-13, but another Mattaliano kill kept Princeton in the mix. Brown took the final two, though, to finish the 3-2 win.
Mattaliano put in an early claim on a second straight Rookie of the Week honor, recording a match-high 19 kills to go along with 11 digs and a .291 hitting percentage. Peterkin added 16 kills, 19 digs and three blocks, while Tiana Woolridge had 11 kills and two blocks.
Brown defended well, recording 80 digs and 11 blocks, while also limiting Princeton's middle duo of Woolridge and Nicole Kincade as well as any Ivy League opponent has done this season.
The Tigers will head to Yale, a 3-1 winner over Penn Friday night, for a 5 pm showdown Saturday at Payne Whitney Gym. The Bulldogs have won 18 straight Ivy contests and are the only unbeaten team in Ivy play this season. For information on following that match either on the Ivy League Digital Network or on Live Stats, click here.