Providence, R.I. -- Tonight marked the first Ivy League sweep for the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team. The Quakers ended their month long road trip with a win at Brown, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-21). The Red and Blue are now 8-8 overall, 2-3 Ivy League, while the Bears are now 7-9 overall, 3-2 Ivy League.
The first set began as a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, until Penn pulled away to a five-point advantage, 13-8, due to an attack error by Bear Alexandra Rieckhoff. Brown was relentless and tied the set at 15, but a service error by Bear Kathryn Conner gave the Quakers the edge, 16-15. The error was followed by two service aces from junior Meghan Connolly, a block assist and a kill each by senior captain Susan Stuecheli and sophomore Alex Caldwell, and a ball handling error by Bear Sarah Lucenti, to make the score 22-15. The deficit was too much and Stuecheli ended set-one with a kill, 25-19.
Penn began set-two behind, 3-1, but quickly responded with five-points in a row. The Bears called a timeout, but the Quakers never gave up the lead and scored three-points in a row to make the score 9-4. Shortly after, the Red and Blue would go on another five-point run, with kills from four different attackers: sophomore Michellie McDonald-O’Brien, senior captain Kristen Etterbeek, Stuecheli, and Caldwell. The last point for Penn was from an attack error by Bear Amanda Nickel. Brown was once again trapped by the Quakers, who took set-two with a kill from sophomore Alexis Genske, 25-19.
With the momentum in Penn’s favor, Genske was first to attack in set-three and put the Red and Blue on the board. Brown kept the game close and gained a slight advantage, 8-7. An attack error by Brown evened the score out and the Quakers then scored two more points, 10-8. Determined to gain the lead again, the Bears called a timeout and scored another point but another attack error would return the ball back to Penn. The Quakers capitalized on the opportunity and won five consecutive points, 15-9. Points were awarded back-and-forth, until Stuecheli ended the set, 25-21, with a kill. The Red and Blue claimed their first Ivy sweep of the season.
Penn ended the night with 41 kills and an attack percentage of .220. Stuecheli hit for .636 and led the Quakers with 15 kills, her highest this season. Stuecheli also contributed a solo block and five block assists.
The Red and Blue will return home this Friday to take on Harvard, after a month on the road.