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The Princeton men's volleyball team will begin a five-match EIVA stretch Saturday afternoon at 2 pm when it travels to Rutgers-Newark to take on the Scarlet Raiders.

Princeton is currently 8-6 on the season and is coming off a two-match Midwestern trip, where the Tigers lost two hard-fought matches against Top 15 competition. On Monday, the Tigers fell 3-2 at No. 14 Loyola, and seventh-ranked Lewis followed the match up with a 3-1 victory Tuesday.

The trip did produce its highlights, including a 20-kill effort by Pat Schwagler at Loyola and an eight-kill, two-block showing by Michael Dye at Lewis.

Head coach Sam Shweisky is hopeful that both the top-rate competition and the additional time for bonding helps Princeton during this crucial league stretch. Princeton can move into a second-place tie with George Mason if it can complete the season sweep of Rutgers; the Tigers swept the Scarlet Raiders 3-0 earlier this season, with sophomore Cody Kessel leading the way with 10 kills.

Princeton has been without the injured Kessel recently, but it still fought off Harvard at home to keep itself with only two road losses in league play. One of those losses was at No. 13 Penn State, and the Nittany Lions will come to Dillon Gym next weekend for a Friday night showdown. That match follows a Thursday match with Saint Francis; the Red Flash is only one match out of a playoff spot currently.


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