Keegan Wins Brother Battle in Sweep of Princeton

Sports

Behind Michael Keegan’s 37 assists, Purdue Fort Wayne took a 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-18) win over Princeton on Arnie Ball Court on Saturday (Jan. 5). The Mastodons are 2-0 against Princeton in the last two seasons, with both wins coming when Keegan’s brother, Cade, is on the roster.

Keegan paced the Mastodon offense on Saturday night, allowing the ‘Dons to hit .369 for the night and moving the average through two games to .348. Keegan totaled 77 on the weekend, averaging to 12.83 per set. Pelegrin Vargas was the primary recipient of Keegan’s setting on Saturday and was able to convert 14 kills on 29 swings for a .379 clip. Tomas Gago tallied eight kills on nine swings for an .889 percentage.

In the opening set, the Mastodons were able to hit .500 on 14-2-24. Despite falling behind 8-5 early on, the Mastodons fought back. They went on a 5-1 run to take an 18-16 lead and force a timeout. Vargas had a kill and two straight aces to end the run. Gago earned the final kill of the set to cap off the 3-1 run that ended the frame.

The Mastodons did not lead in the second set until 25-24. Their first lead was behind a 10-4 run that ended when the set did, which was ended by a joust at the net between Princeton’s 6-11 opposite George Huhmann and Tony Price. Price was able to push the ball back onto the Tigers’ side of the net to take set two.

The third set started slow for the ‘Dons yet again, as they trailed at the 5-1 mark. A balanced attack took the ‘Dons down the stretch, pushing a 12-2 run that put them up 20-13. Gago finished off the match with his eighth kill of the night.

The service pressure was effective for the ‘Dons, as they managed eight aces and only 10 errors. Price, Vargas, Colton Stone and Richie Diedrich all had two aces each.

Kolbie Knorr and Vargas led the team in digs with six each. Knorr averaged 2.67 digs per set in the first two matches of his senior season with no reception errors.

Keegan is three assists away from passing Colin Lundeen to move into sixth in program history in career assists. He currently has 2687 in his career.

The Mastodons improve to 2-0 on the year, while Princeton falls to 0-4. Purdue Fort Wayne is on the road next, as the ‘Dons head to Lees-McRae and Queens on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 11-12).

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