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Outside Hitters Power Big Green to Five-Set Win Over Princeton

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By John and Matt Risley

PRINCETON, N.J. – It was a night of firsts for the Dartmouth women’s volleyball team on Friday night, as it knocked off Princeton, 3-2, inside Dillon Gym for the first time in program history, dating back to 1989.

The Big Green (9-9, 2-4 Ivy) were winless in their previous 18 trips to the Garden State against the Tigers.

The victory also served as the Green and White’s first true road win of the year, as they were 0-5 away from Hanover heading into the tilt while the Tigers (6-10, 2-4 Ivy) dropped their third straight league matchup.

The back and forth match saw Dartmouth take the first two sets before Princeton rallied to capture the next two and force a decisive fifth game. The two Ancient Eight rivals saw nearly identical team stat lines as each team registered 64 kills while the Tigers had 70 digs to the Big Green’s 67 and seven blocks to Dartmouth’s six.

For the second time in as many weeks, Dartmouth had a quartet of hitters produce double digit kill totals. The trio of Paige Caridi, Emily Astarita and senior co-captain Elisa Scudder had 15 kills apiece, while reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week Molly Kornfeind had 12. Freshman Stacey Benton continues to improve as she becomes more familiar with the team’s offensive system, dishing our 56 assists.

Defensively, Kornfeind, Caridi and Kaira Lujan all had three block assists while Scudder added a pair. Kornfeind and Caridi had double-doubles for Dartmouth as each had 14 digs. Danielle Glinka added 13 and freshmen Julia Lau had a season-high 12.

“It was a great match for us as we grew closer as a unit and gained valuable experience in conference play,” Dartmouth head coach Erin Lindsey said. “It took us a little bit longer than I would have like, but I’m really pleased with how we came out in the fifth game.”

In the fifth set, the Big Green jumped out to 6-2 lead thanks to three consecutive serving aces by Scudder. From there, Dartmouth turned it on as Princeton never came within five points for the remainder of the match.

Elisa Scudder was huge for us game five,” Lindsey added. “She hit .700 for the match in 20 attempts and she attacked Princeton’s outside hitters from the service line. Once again, it was a great team effort as we are becoming more comfortable in the system. A lot of players stepped up tonight and it was good to see Julia Lau create energy for us and be an excellent communicator on the court.”

The victory also snapped a three-match losing to streak to Princeton for the Green and White.

The Big Green wrap up their Ivy road weekend tomorrow, Oct. 20, traveling to Philadelphia to square off with Penn at 5 p.m. inside the Palestra. Dartmouth is looking to avenge a pair of 3-0 defeats to the Quakers last season.