No. 16 Princeton finally was able to avenge all its NCAA Tournament losses.
Setter Henry Wedbush guided the offense to a season-high .435 attack percentage as Princeton upset No. 10/10 Pepperdine 25-19, 25-23, 25-23 on Friday in Princeton, New Jersey.
The Tigers entered this match winless all-time in program history against the Waves, including losses in Princeton’s only two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Princeton did not commit more than four attack errors in any of the three games against Pepperdine. The Tigers also hit more than .350 in all three games, including a match-best .483 attack percentage in the second game.
Pin-hitter Nyherowo Omene finished with match-high 15 kills on a .500 attack percentage. Omene led all players with nine kills in the second game and then in the third game completed the sweep with the match-winning kill.
Omene was one of four Princeton players to hit at least .300 and have more than five kills.
Middle attacker Ryan Vena had seven kills and zero errors on a match-best .778 attack, including the game-winning kill in the second game to prevent an overtime. Outside attacker Ben Harrington added nine kills and hit .333, while Jameson Vaccardo contributed seven kills on a .313 attack percentage.
Vena and Vaccardo each also had a match-high four blocks and led Princeton to out-block Pepperdine 9.5 to 3.5.
Despite the loss, Pepperdine hit .325 in the opener of its East Coast road trip. This was the fourth time in the last five matches the Waves have finished with more than a .300 attack percentage.
Opposite Cole Ketrzynski had a team-high 12 kills on a .400 attack percentage, but was the only Wave to have double-digit kills.
This loss was the third time during the 25-point rally scoring era that Pepperdine lost to an EIVA team.
The Tigers now have back-to-back wins against top 15 ranked teams. Princeton sweep No. 12 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday to open its six-match homestand.