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By: Charlotte Brackett

HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth volleyball team got stronger as the sets went on, but could not solve Princeton, falling by a score of 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-22) at Leede Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Makenzie Arent had 19 assists and seven digs, while sophomore Francesca Meldrum led with 8.5 points, seven kills and two total blocks. 

“Obviously, this was a tough weekend,” head coach Gilad Doron said. “We can continue to grow and learn from here. I thought we played better offensively today than we did yesterday, but we need to improve our defensive game in blocking and serving in order to slow down the runs of the other team. We have a week to work before we start the second round. Hopefully we can get a little healthier, get back in rhythm, and compete at a higher level.”

After dropping the first set, 25-14, Dartmouth came back stronger in set two, taking a 4-1 lead off kills by Meldrum and senior Carly Tower.  Princeton had a good run of its own until it was ahead by a score of 9-5, but a big kill by junior Elise Petit ended the rally. Trailing by five, three straight Big Green points following a kill and ace by Arent got the home team within two points (12-10) before the Tigers took off again (18-11). Petit, sophomore Jael Campbell and junior Tola Akinwumi added kills before Princeton won (25-17). 

The visitors had control at the start of the third and soon had a 3-1 advantage, but Dartmouth capitalized on some errors and a kill by Petit to get back in the game (4-3). The Green kept it close, tying the score three times before the Tigers pulled ahead (16-12).  Some Princeton errors and a big kill by Campbell allowed Dartmouth to catch up (18-17), but a 5-1 Tiger run almost ended the set (23-18). The Green came alive after that thanks to kills by sophomore Nicole Liddle, Meldrum and freshman Grace Wiczek to make it a two-point set, but a Princeton kill ended it (25-22).

The Big Green will host Harvard on Friday, Oct. 25 and will play a non-conference match against UNH the following day.

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