Philadelphia -- The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team fell short tonight against Harvard, 1-3 (26-28, 17-25, 25-22, 21-25) in its first home Ivy match. After a four-set battle on the Palestra court, the Quakers drop to a record of 8-9 overall, 2-4 Ivy, while the Crimson improve to 9-6 overall, 4-2 Ivy.
Penn began set-one down, 4-8, until the momentum was changed by a kill from senior captain Kristen Etterbeek. The Crimson went on to commit four errors in a row and Etterbeek added two more kills, pushing the Quakers ahead 11-8. After a timeout was called, Harvard won a point from a kill by Corinne Bain, who then handed the ball back to Penn after an attack error. A kill from sophomore Alex Caldwell and another attack error by Bain, gave Penn a five-point advantage, 14-9. Harvard rallied back but committed a ball handling error, tying the score at 20. The Red and Blue added three consecutive points to advance the score, 23-20, but struggled to end the set, ahead 24-21, and lost the back-and-forth battle, 28-26.
Early on in set-two, the Quakers fell behind, 0-4. Penn closed the deficit to one, 4-5, but was unsuccessful in capturing the lead and lost, 25-17.
The Red and Blue trailed the Crimson for a majority of set-three, until a kill from sophomore Jasmine DeSilva changed the momentum, making the score 19-22. Sophomores Michellie McDonald-O’Brien and Alexis Genske followed up with a block and Genske would then put down three kills in a row. Harvard closed out the seven-point run for the Quakers with two more attack errors, giving Penn the set-three win, 25-22.
Harvard wasn’t as generous in the fourth-set and led 4-0. The Red and Blue came within a point, 8-9, but were unable to reach any further. The last attempt from Penn, two three-point rallies, came up short and the Crimson won, 25-21.
Senior captain Dani Shepherd led the Quakers with 26 digs and Etterbeek followed with 17 of her own. Etterbeek also led the Red and Blue in kills (10). Penn will finish this weekend’s homestand against Dartmouth tomorrow at 5 p.m.