New Haven, Conn. - In a battle of the league's top two teams, it was Yale which came out on top, defeating the Quakers in three sets, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22, on Saturday evening in New Haven.
Penn entered the contest in first place, but couldn't find a rhythm as the Bulldogs snapped the Red and Blue's seven-match winning streak. The loss drops the Quakers to 7-2 in league play while the Bulldogs move into first with an 8-2.
Senior Madison Wojciechowski led the defense with a match-high 20 digs. In the process she became just the second player in Ivy history with 2,000 digs, finishing the evening with 2,001. Offensively, Penn was led by sophomore Amanda Pacheco who hit .438 with 11 kills. Senior Megan Tryon added 29 assists, nine digs and a kill.
Neither team could get an early lead in the first set. Tied at 13, it was the Bulldogs who went on a run, scoring four straight and six of seven to push their lead to 19-14. The Quakers climbed back within three at 20-17 but four straight by Yale put the set out of reach as Penn lost 25-18.
The Red and Blue fell behind 11-6 in the second and could never get even, eventually dropping the set by a 25-18 margin once again.
In the third, Penn played even with the Bulldogs through the match's first 20 points. However, a 5-0 run put Yale in front 15-10 before Susan Stuecheli could halt the run with a kill. The Quakers got back within three at 20-17 and 22-19 but couldn't draw any closer, falling 25-22.
Freshman Kendall Polan was instrumental for the Bulldogs, finishing with 30 assists, 15 digs and nine kills. Bridget Hearst also played well, finishing with 16 kills at a .517 clip.
Lauren Martin was second on the team with eight kills,\ while senior Julia Swanson added seven. With her 17 kills this weekend Swanson moved into second place on the school's all-time kill list with 1,144 kills.
Penn, now 11-10 overall, has a chance to rebound from this loss on Friday when the team comes back to the Palestra to host Columbia, Friday night at 7 p.m.