PRINCETON — Andy Puck had thought playing LaSalle-Peru in the season opener would be a good thing for his young Princeton volleyball team with both teams getting their feet wet in their first games of the new season. Then he changed his mind.
The Lady Cavs showed while they may be missing two key ingredients from their 2013 Class 3A State runner-up team they still have plenty of firepower. L-P scored the first 11 points of the night and went on to post a 25-10, 25-8 over the host Tigresses at Prouty Gym Tuesday night.
“They’re loaded, just absolutely loaded,” Puck said of a L-P coming off a season in which they placed second in Class 3A.
Puck said the Tigresses are going into the new season with a blank slate.
“I have some kids that everything’s new to them. There’s hardly any varsity experience, and then we open with what I feel is a top 10 team in the state of Illinois all four classes,” he said. “We battled and we gave up some easy points, and we battled. Welcome to youth and inexperience. This will be a completely different team a month from now and two months from now.”
While they’ve been strong in practice, Puck said the Tigresses were deficient in passing the ball and serve receive Tuesday.
“They gave us some different looks, and we couldn’t get comfortable,” he said.
One shining point for the night was freshman Anna Murray, who made her prep debut with a team-high three kills. Also a promising basketball talent, the young Tigress knocked a spike off the L-P back row, ricocheting off the basketball backboard and into the net.
“I asked her if she had fun and she said, ‘Yeah,’ and that’s everything,” Puck said. “Sky’s the limit for her. Starting against a team I feel is top 10 in the state and throwing a freshman out there ... the kids will rally around her and give her swings. She’s going to be with me for four years.”
Senior libero Keyenna Altizer had five digs with two points. Brianna Barajas and Sarah Murray each had three assists and Hailey Schultz had two kills.
Tiger tales: The sophomores had an exciting first set with L-P taking a 25-23 winner. The second set wasn’t as close with L-P pulling away 25-11. L-P also took the freshman match 25-7, 25-17. ... PHS travels to Wethersfield Thursday night and will be idle until returning home Sept. 4 vs. Erie.
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