One year ago, Princeton lost a heartbreaker to a Top 10 team and couldn't recover the next night. A new year has brought a new maturity to the Tiger men's volleyball team, which took care of EIVA business in impressive fashion Saturday night with a 3-0 home sweep of NJIT.
The victory moves Princeton to 8-4 overall, 6-2 in league play. The Tigers stand one half match behind George Mason for second place, though both teams are even in the loss column.
Princeton was led by freshman Devin Stearns, who recorded 12 kills and two digs in the 25-15, 25-20, 25-22 victory over the Highlanders. Junior Pat Schwagler added 10 kills and eight digs, while Will Siroky had five kills in 10 swings. Princeton hit .216 as a team, including .269 in the final set, when the Tigers thwarted a resilient push from NJIT.
"After missing 26 serves at their place, we came back with a strong serving performance tonight," said head coach Sam Shweisky, referring to Princeton's 3-2 win at NJIT earlier this season. "We only missed seven serves, and we put a lot of pressure on them with six aces and strong serving throughout the match. I was really pleased with our overall effort tonight."
Junior setter Davis Waddell recorded 40 assists to go along with his four digs and two blocks. Sophomore libero Tony Ensbury led all players with 10 digs, while Schwagler and Siroky combined for five of Princeton's six aces.
Princeton will be off next weekend, and will make a rare trip to the Midwest for a pair of matches against MIVA opponents on March 18-19. The Tigers will take on Loyola-Chicago on that Monday night, and will complete a home-and-home series with eighth-ranked Lewis University the following night. Lewis defeated Princeton 3-0 Friday night in the first meeting between the two teams.