It is fitting in a variety of ways that Friday night will serve as the opening "EIVA Rallies" match of the Princeton men's volleyball season. After all, it was one season ago when Princeton completed a dramatic rally of its own in Fairfax, Va.
The Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) has announced the formation of the “EIVA Rallies” campaign to benefit the Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research Center. In all EIVA travel partner matches, coaches will wear fedoras or other business casual hats to bring awareness this season. The campaign will begin on Friday, as George Mason hosts Princeton and Penn State hosts Saint Francis.
“The EIVA partnership with Sloan Kettering and cancer research touches every one of us,” said former EIVA Head Coach of the Year Sam Shweisky. “We all know someone who has been touched by cancer. I think the EIVA, and all the coaches and players, understand how meaningful it is to support cancer research and the efforts Sloan Kettering.”
The Friday showdown at George Mason will be Princeton's first match since its 1-1 trip to California last week. The Tigers split a pair against ranked opponents, including a 3-1 win over then-No. 12 UC Santa Barbara. Junior Pat Schwagler had 19 kills and hit .500 in the match, an effort that would help him earn EIVA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The last time these teams met was in the 2012 regular season finale, when the Tigers capped a final-week rally to capture the final spot in the league playoffs. Princeton trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in the match before taking the final two sets for a dramatic 3-2 win. Current sophomores Will Siroky and Tony Ensbury took home EIVA Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively, after the win.
George Mason bounced back nicely and reached the championship match one week later, and both Mason and Princeton were picked to finish in the top three in the EIVA preseason poll. The Patriots are currently 2-5 on the season, though all five of their losses are against teams currently in, or just outside, the AVCA Coaches Top 15 poll.
With its impressive showing in California, Princeton moved into the "Others Receiving Votes" category; both the Tigers and Loyola received five points from the coaches to share the second spot in the category.
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The EIVA recognizes the utmost importance of fully engaging in the fight against cancer. The Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research Center conducts one of the largest programs of clinical research in the world. Clinical research at the center combines the efforts of laboratory and clinical investigators in various disciplines and departments to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Please join the EIVA efforts by supporting the mission of the Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research Center and the EIVA. For more information about the Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research Center please visit www.mskcc.org/giving.