Volleyball Releases 2012 Schedule
PHILADELPHIA - A Penn volleyball team returning 13 letterwinners and welcoming in a highly-regarded recruiting class are pleased to announce its schedule for the upcoming 2012 season. The Red and Blue will for the second year in a row host two early-season tournaments at The Palestra while venturing away from home to take part in a weekend tournament at Cal-Berkeley and to square off with Delaware before beginning Ivy League play.
As they have done since 2009, Penn, La Salle, Temple and Villanova will come together at The Palestra to open the Quakers' season on August 31 and September 1 in the Big 5 Tournament. Penn begins with Temple on Friday night with a 7 p.m. start and plays twice on Saturday, facing La Salle in a 10 a.m. contest before closing the tournament with Villanova at 7 p.m.
One week later, the Quakers return to California after a one-year hiatus to face a trio of western schools in the Hilton Garden Inn Classic. Penn will open with 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Cal in the Friday opener on September 7 at 7 p.m. The Bears finished last year at 26-7 but fell to North Carolina in five sets in the First Round. On September 8, the Red and Blue close out the round-robin format with Northern Arizona (15-10 in 2011) at 1 p.m. before staring down UC-Riverside (7-23) in the 5 p.m. match.
On September 14 and 15, the Red and Blue will host the second annual Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational at The Palestra. Penn went 2-1 at last year's event to win the team title and Lauren Martin was named the Tournament MVP. The field this year is made up of George Mason, Radford and Rutgers. After a pair of games to start the tournament on the afternoon of September 14, the Quakers will take on the George Mason Patriots out of the CAA in their tournament opener at 7 p.m. Penn will provide the bookends to another tripleheader on Saturday, September 15, facing Big South foe Radford at 11 a.m. before closing things out with Rutgers in a 5 p.m. match.
The non-conference portion of the schedule closes with a rare Wednesday night game, with Penn meeting Delaware for a third straight season, this time at UD's Carpenter Sports Building. The Blue Hens defeated Penn a year ago on their way to a CAA crown and eventual NCAA Tournament victory over American before a Second Round defeat to Penn State. The September 19 match will begin at 7 p.m.
Ivy League season takes over from there, as Penn opens with its rival, the Princeton Tigers, on September 22 at The Palestra. Three of the last four matches between the two teams have gone the five-set distance.
The Quakers will get their longest Ivy roadtrip out of the way quickly the next week, traveling to Dartmouth and Harvard on September 28 and 29. A five-set victory over the Big Green on the road last season ignited the Red and Blue to finish 4-1 in their final five games. The Dartmouth match will begin at 7 p.m. on that Friday night while Harvard is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Volleyball Family Weekend is on tap for October 5-6 as Penn returns home to host Cornell and Columbia. The Quakers went a combined 3-1 against the two teams a season ago, including a dramatic five-set win over the Lions and a Senior Night win over the Big Red to close out 2011.
Penn will need to survive three road matches through the middle of October if they hope to make a strong final push at the end of the regular season. The swing opens on October 12 at Brown in a 7 p.m. match and continues the next day at Yale with a 5 p.m. start. The Quakers close it out the next week with a 7 p.m. match on October 19 at Princeton to begin the return leg of the Ivy League campaign.
Following Fall Break, the Red and Blue return to the friendly confines of The Palestra for Homecoming and Alumni Weekend. The Quakers' Homecoming match will come on October 26 against Harvard before entertaining Dartmouth on October 27 to bring the first half of a four-match homestand to a close. Yale and Brown close out Penn's home schedule on November 2-3. Senior Night is set for 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 against the Bears.
The final weekend of the Ivy League schedule sees the Quakers back out on the road to do battle with Columbia and Cornell. The match with Columbia is a 7 p.m. start on November 9 and Cornell brings the regular season to a close on November 10, beginning at 5 p.m.
2012 Volleyball Schedule
Aug. 31 - Temple
Sept. 1 - La Salle
Sept. 1 - Villanova
Sept. 7 - @ California
Sept. 8 - vs. Northern Arizona
Sept. 8 - vs. UC-Riverside
Sept. 14 - George Mason
Sept. 15 - Radford
Sept. 15 - Rutgers
Sept. 19 - @ Delaware
Sept. 22 - Princeton
Sept. 28 - @ Dartmouth
Sept. 29 - @ Harvard
Oct. 5 - Cornell
Oct. 6 - Columbia
Oct. 12 - @ Brown
Oct. 13 - @ Yale
Oct. 19 - @ Princeton
Oct. 26 - Harvard
Oct. 27 - Dartmouth
Nov. 2 - Yale
Nov. 3 - Brown
Nov. 9 - @ Columbia
Nov. 10 - @ Cornell
Nov. 29-Dec. 1 - NCAA 1st and 2nd Rounds