[Editor’s note: Off the Block in collaboration with the EIVA is presenting The Top 15 EIVA Non-Conference Matches. This list spotlights the best non-conference matches scheduled for EIVA teams in 2019 and will be the first time several of these matches have been publicly announced. Princeton versus Pepperdine is ranked No. 4 on the list.]
The 2019 college men’s season will open with a match-up between two of the most dynamic offensive players in the nation.
Princeton and All-EIVA opposite George Huhmann will travel to play Pepperdine and All-American outside attacker David Wieczorek in the nation’s season-opener on Dec. 30.
Both players finished last season among the national leaders in multiple offensive categories.
Huhmann playing a hybrid position of opposite and middle attacker led the EIVA and was 15th in the country with a 3.69 kills per game average. He also was one of a few players in the NCAA to have at least 20 kills in five regular season matches, including a match-high 24 kills on a .667 attack percentage in an upset victory against Penn State.
Along with his regular season performance, Huhmann had match-high 19 kills as Princeton lost to Harvard in the EIVA Tournament finals.
Wieczorek, the 2018 MPSF Player of the Year and Karch Kiraly Award finalist, was fourth in the nation averaging 4.00 kills per game and had double-digit kills in but three matches that he played in last season. The All-American had three regular season matches with at least 20 kills and added a match-high 20 kills in a MPSF Tournament quarterfinals loss.
Wieczorek also was a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year as a finished the season third in the nation with a 0.57 aces per game average.
Pepperdine swept Princeton in non-conference play last season to remain undefeated in programs’ five-match series history. That 2018 meeting also was the first time the two teams played each since the 1998 NCAA Tournament semifinals.
This upcoming non-conference match is currently the earliest regular season match scheduled for the 2019 season.
The Tigers traditionally begin their season with a West Coast road trip. Princeton following its season opener will play UCLA on Jan. 2 in the road-trip finale.