PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team will continue the 12 year tradition of playing Princeton to open its Ivy League season. The Quakers will play the Tigers Friday in Dillon Gym at 7 p.m. On Monday, the Red and Blue will play Big 5 rival La Salle in the Tom Gola Arena at 7 p.m. in the final non-conference match-up for both teams.
Live stats for Penn vs. Princeton will also be available by clicking here.
Live stats for Penn vs. La Salle.
Links for video and stats can also be found on the schedule.
The Quakers (5-5) opened the Villanova Classic Invitational last weekend against Norfolk State, rallying to win from a 2-0 deficit. With an improvement of team attack percentage in every set, Penn ended the fifth set with nine kills and a percentage of .692. Senior Kristen Etterbeek finished the match with 15 kills. On the second day of the tournament, the Red and Blue claimed its first sweep of the season, against Sacred Heart, and totaled 11 team blocks. The tournament concluded with a showdown between Penn and Villanova. The Quakers were victorious in Set 1 but could not finish off the Wildcats and dropped the next three. Sophomore Michellie McDonald-O’Brien topped the leaderboard and finished with a personal best of 14 kills.
Penn finished the tournament in second (2-1). Senior captains Susan Stuecheli and Etterbeek were both named to the All-Tournament team.
Scouting the Tigers
Princeton (4-6) competed in the Bryant Tournament last weekend and finished 1-2. The Tigers faced host Bryant Friday evening and lost 3-1. Day two was split, with a sweep against Lowell and a 3-1 loss to Stony Brook. Leading the Tigers in kills is sophomore Kendall Peterkin with 120 (3.75 k/s). Peterkin also leads with 16 service aces. For the Princeton defense, junior Nicole Kincade leads with 20 total blocks and sophomore Sarah Daschbach leads with 154 digs (4.28 d/s).
Last season, the Quakers and the Tigers split a pair of 3-2 thrillers, with the road teams winning the fifth set 15-13.
Scouting the Explorers
La Salle (1-15) currently holds a 15-match losing streak and is desperately trying to end it, having lost five matches 3-1 and ten matches 3-0. The Explorers' sole win came from their first match, against Fairleigh Dickinson. Penn hosted the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational, in which the Blue and Gold competed but did not face the Quakers.
Last weekend, the Explorers were swept by three teams in the Memphis Invitational: Memphis, Austin Peay, and Arkansas-Little Rock. Sophomore Explorers Kelly Perillo (117 kills) and Erin Noga (186 digs) remain on the top of the leaderboard.
Before the battle with the Quakers, La Salle will also play on home territory against NJIT, George Mason, and Rhode Island.
The Kenneth L. Gross Head Coach of volleyball Kerry Carr has never wanted her team to be an easy target. The numbers the Quakers have notched against ten opponents have proven that Carr’s team is an unpredictable one, with several threats.
Senior captain Kristen Etterbeek and sophomore Jasmine DeSilva have entered triple digit territory in kills with 111 and 123, respectively. Sophomores Alex Caldwell (81) and Michellie McDonald-O’Brien (69) are over the 50 kill mark. Five Quakers fall under 50 but shouldn’t be underestimated: junior Trina Ohms (37), freshman Arielle Winfield (35), senior captain Susan Stucheli (21), junior Kendall Turner (17), and sophomore Alexis Genske (12).
Setting the assists are Caldwell (240) and sophomore Ronnie Bither (209).
The defensive unit shines just as brightly as the offense. Leading in digs for the Red and Blue are Genske (117) and senior captain Dani Shepherd (104). Three more players have tallied 50+ digs: Caldwell (83), Bither (78), and DeSilva (51); junior Meghan Connolly (25), freshman Rachel Baader (17), and Ohms (12) follow. Blocking leader for the Quakers is Winfield (27 total blocks). Added into the blocking mix are Caldwell (19), McDonald-O’Brien (16), Ohms (14), DeSilva (13), and Stuecheli (12).