A big week in EIVA men’s volleyball saw the four postseason contenders determined, and a new team rise to No. 2 in the standings.
Princeton remains almost untouchable at the top of the table, but the last week of regular season competition features some tough matchups with big implications for the Tigers.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about what happened in EIVA men’s volleyball over the last seven days.
Playoffs Picture Comes Into Focus
Princeton, Saint Francis, Penn State, and George Mason clinched their berths in the EIVA playoffs last week.
Conference leader Princeton, which has lost just one league match all year, needs one more victory to secure home-court advantage for the playoffs. With a tough final weekend of regular season competition, however, that is not at all guaranteed. This weekend, Princeton takes on conference No. 2 Saint Francis and No. 3 Penn State.
Match of the Week
Saint Francis def. George Mason 3-0 (31-29, 25-23, 25-19)
This victory marked the third in a row for Saint Francis, which moved up to No. 2 in the conference standings last week.
Solid defense from Saint Francis held George Mason’s best hitter, Hayden Wagner, to a .000 hitting percentage with seven kills and seven errors.
Patrick Bryan led the Red Flash offense with 16 kills, hitting .387.
As a team, Saint Francis out hit George Mason .306 to .271. GMU also committed 22 service errors to Saint Francis’ 17. The loss was just the Patriots’ second straight set defeat all season.
"We have lost our killer instincts as of late," GMU head coach Jay Hosack said. "Playing well for spurts is not good enough to beat teams that are fighting to host the playoffs. We will have to find that will to win again if we are to be successful."
Mason Bounces Back With Sweep of Penn State
George Mason didn’t stay down for long. Just 24 hours after the 0-3 loss to Saint Francis, the Patriots turned around and blanked Penn State.
With a season-high .514 hitting percentage, George Mason swept Penn State for just the third time in the all-time series between the rival programs.
Wagner was able to get his groove back individually, hitting .550 with 13 kills and just two errors. Middle blocker Langston Payne had six kills and no errors on six attempts to hit 1.000.
Strong serving helped put the Nittany Lions in difficult situations. By the end of the match, GMU had collected eight aces to Penn State’s two.
Player of the Week
Alvaro Gimeno, NJIT
NJIT won both of its matches last week 3-0, and you can’t overemphasize the importance of outside hitter Alvaro Gimeno’s offensive contributions in those wins.
The sophomore from Salou, Spain, had 17 kills, hitting .429 against Sacred Heart on Friday and 14 kills hitting .565 on Saturday versus Harvard. In Friday’s match, he added six digs and three aces, while Saturday saw him tally four aces.
Complete EIVA Results
Charleston def. Juniata 3-1
NJIT def. Sacred Heart 3-0
Saint Francis def. George Mason 3-0
Penn State def. Charleston 3-0
Princeton def. Harvard 3-2
Saint Francis def. Charleston 3-1
Princeton def. Sacred Heart 3-0
NJIT def. Harvard 3-0
George Mason def. Penn State 3-0