Penn State backed up its top national ranking with its play on the court.
No. 2/1 Penn State in its first match since jumping to No. 1 in the Off the Block National Media Poll for the first time in program history defeated Princeton 25-16, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21 on Friday in Princeton, New Jersey.
The Nittany Lions out-hit the Tigers .347 to .239, including having a .400 attack percentage in the final game to secure their 12th consecutive win and remain undefeated in the EIVA.
Opposite Cal Fisher despite not recording a kill in the opening game finished with a match-high 18 kills on a .375 attack percentage. This was the fifth time this season that Fisher had at least 15 kills and hit .300.
Both of Penn State’s middle attackers also had at least a .500 attack percentage. Toby Ezeonu had eight kills and led Penn State (16-3, 9-0 EIVA) with a .583 attack percentage, while Sam Marsh contributed seven kills and hit .500.
Along with the offensive performance, Marsh had a match-high three aces against Princeton (5-12, 4-6 EIVA).
Outside attacker Ben Harrington in the loss led Princeton 17 kills and hit .333. In addition, outside attacker James Hartley had 11 kills, and middle attacker Gavin Leising ended with nine kills and a team-best .571 attack percentage.
The Tigers with their two-point win in the third game became the second EIVA team to take a game against the defending conference champion Nittany Lions. Penn State has lost three games in conference play so far this season and four games throughout its entire nation-best winning streak.
Penn State extended its first-place lead in the EIVA to three matches and now has seven remaining conference regular season matches. Princeton with this loss remains in fifth place.
The top six teams in the EIVA at the end of the regular season qualify for the conference tournament.