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PRINCETON — Princeton volleyball coach Andy Puck knew entering Tuesday’s Three Rivers Conference South Division match against Hall that his Tigresses would face some strong serves.
“Hall serves tough, they really do,” Puck said. “They rip. (Hall coach Megan Nation) probably spends the majority of her practices serving balls, honestly.”
The Tigresses handled the Lady Red Devils serves throughout the match as they rolled to a 25-9, 25-14 victory in Prouty Gymnasium.
“It’s a serve-receive battle, that’s all there is to it,” Puck said. “We’re better at the net, but it doesn’t do a whole lot of good if you can’t pass a ball. We were able to get balls in system and (setter) Michelle (Kelly) did a really good job of keeping balls in play and we were able to terminate balls, so I was proud of our performance.”
It was the Tigresses who had strong serving Tuesday.
After Hall took the early lead in the first set with an ace and a kill by Brooke Keegan, Princeton quickly rallied to take the lead for good at 3-2.
Kelly rattled off a 12-0 service run to end the first set and carried it into the second set by serving the first two points to help PHS lead throughout.
“Matches like this it’s just keep balls in play and keep a lot of energy,” Puck said. “You don’t want them stealing any energy from you. (You want to) keep balls and play and give your team chances.”
Seven different players recorded kills for Princeton (15-3, 5-0 TRC South) with Ashley Farraher and Becca Hult leading the way with six each.
Hailey Schultz put down four kills, Alicia Poss had three, Taylor Clark contributed two and Abby Jaques and Michelle Kelly each added one.
Kelly finished with 17 assists and 17 points, while Mollie Bates added eight digs and six points.
“It was a good team win,” Puck said. “We were able to get everybody involved. I trust everybody on that bench — I really do — to contribute and come in. Tonight was evidence of that.”
Brooke Keegan had seven digs, two kills and two aces for the Lady Red Devils (2-18, 0-5 TRC South).
“We’re struggling this year,” Nation said. “We struggle with confidence, we struggle with just keeping our heads in the game and our mentality is, if we get down, we play down. “Our defense and serve-receive I think have gotten a lot better. We just have to put it on our hitters and our hitters have to do the rest of the work for us. I think we’ll get there. It’s going to take a while, but they continue to work hard.”
Notes: Princeton won the sophomore match 25-8, 26-24, while Hall took the freshman match 19-25, 25-14, 15-12.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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