Ithaca, N.Y. -- The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team captures its first Ivy League win against Cornell tonight, 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-13). Tonight's match was the Quaker's fifth five-set thriller victory in the 2013 season. The Red and Blue are now 7-7 overall, 1-2 Ivy League.
The first set, where the lead changed five times, was the exact definition of a back-and-forth battle. Penn and Cornell tied the score nine times and the largest point difference was three.
It wasn’t until a kill by junior Trina Ohms, halfway through the first set, when the first three-point difference was reached in Penn’s favor, 16-13. The Quakers advanced the score by the three-point difference three more times: 17-14, 20-17, and the set win, 25-22.
Unlike the first set, sets two and three had a lead change twice, while sets four and five had a lead change only once.
After scoring first in the second set, the Big Red had the advantage until the Red and Blue gained the lead, 6-4. However, Penn could only hold onto the two-point lead at 7-5 and would not lead again. Cornell solidified its lead at 12-8, after a four-point run and three-point run. The home team then only allowed the Quakers to come as close as two points, 19-17, until the it’s win, 25-21.
Even at one a piece, the home team carried the momentum from the second set win into the third. Cornell led for all but one time, which was early when Penn led 3-2. Set three was marked in the books as another win for the Big Red, 25-20.
Cornell started strong in the fourth set and led, 6-2, but the Red and Blue found a rhythm after a kill by sophomore Alex Caldwell. The kill was the first of six-points the Quakers went on to gain, giving them the advantage at 8-6. Penn then added five-points in a row to extend its lead, 16-10. The Big Red attempted to play catch up but couldn’t withstand the Red and Blue’s energy, which tallied a set total of 19 kills and a .341 attack percentage.
The Quakers’ set-four victory, 25-17, meant one thing – a fifth set.
Cornell took the first point, due to an attack error by Penn. A kill by sophomore Alexis Genske was followed by a Penn service error. The Big Red went up 2-1, which was the last time they would lead. The Red and Blue reached eight first, after a kill from Caldwell (8-4). Cornell tried to keep up with the Quakers but was given its last point due to an attack error by Penn, tying the score at 13. Caldwell finished off the night with two kills in a row to end the set (15-13) and match with a victory.
Penn has now won five out of the eight five-set matches played this season.
Offensively, Caldwell (15 pts) had 34 assists, 13 kills, and a .321 attack percentage; and defensively had 10 digs and two block assists.
Freshman Arielle Winfield (14.5 pts) co-led with Caldwell in kills (13), finished the night with a .346 attack percentage, and was credited with one solo block and one block assist.