As much as everybody loves final-night drama, the Princeton men’s volleyball team was happy to leave that for somebody else.
Guided by one of the team’s most efficient offensive performances of the season, Princeton clinched a berth in the EIVA postseason for the fifth time in the last six years with a 3-0 home sweep of Harvard Friday night in Dillon Gym. That victory, combined with Saint Francis’ 3-0 home win over George Mason, clinched the Tigers’ spot in the playoffs. If Princeton wins Saturday over Sacred Heart in the regular season finale, it will be the third seed and face Saint Francis in one EIVA semifinal.
Of course, Sacred Heart will have something to say about that. The Pioneers, a 3-1 winner over NJIT Friday night, will come to Dillon Gym Saturday (4 pm, ILDN) knowing that a win over the Tigers would not only assure their playoff spot, but they would also move past Princeton and into the third seed based on tiebreakers.
Regardless, the biggest goal of the weekend has been assured, thanks to a clutch performance over the Crimson Friday night. The Tigers had 41 kills and only five errors for a .468 hitting percentage, matching a 2014 win over Saint Francis as the team’s best total during Sam Shweisky‘s eight-year tenure as head coach. Junior Kendall Ratter led the Tigers with 11 kills and hit .529, while freshman Parker Dixon added 10 kills (.471). Freshman George Huhmann, the reigning EIVA Defensive Player of the Week, had eight kills (.533) and four blocks, while fellow middle Junior Oboh had six kills (.500) and four blocks.
Freshman Greg Luck, who clinched the win with his sixth kill of the night, didn’t have an error on 18 swings. Senior Jonah May, who will join classmate Kurt Thiemann in playing his final home match Saturday, paced the offense with 36 assists, while Dixon had a team-best eight digs.