Throughout the matches played this season, errors have plagued the Quakers’ numbers. Penn was able to find a rhythm and committed only two attack errors in the first set and finished with a .455 team total attack percentage.
After being tied at four, the Red and Blue went on a four-point spurt from kills by freshman Arielle Winfield, junior Trina Ohms, and sophomore Jasmine DeSilva. The fourth point was awarded on an attack error by Tiger Sarah Hanna and gave the Quakers a 7-4 lead. Penn stayed just at an arm’s length from Princeton and finally pulled away after tallying five points in a row from a kill by sophomore Alex Caldwell, block by Winfield, kill by DeSilva, kill by Winfield, and lastly another kill by Caldwell. The score was 20-13. After a few more rallies, a kill from senior captain Kristen Etterbeek finished the set, 25-21.
The Quakers started hot out-of-the-gate with a six-point run, in what looked like a promising second set. Penn had a five-point lead, 6-1, but the Tigers clawed their way back to tie the match at nine and led the rest of the set. Princeton eventually pushed ahead by six, 18-12, and then finished the set 25-17.
Penn began set three with four unanswered points, causing Princeton to call a timeout. The Tigers took a short-lived lead, 6-5, before the Red and Blue tacked on six points from two kills by Etterbeek, three service aces by Caldwell, and an attack error by Tiger Tiana Woolridge. The Quakers led by five, 11-6, and would exchange between a four-point lead and a five-point lead eleven more times. A big block by senior captain Susan Stuecheli kept the Quaker advantage, 23-20, but Princeton crept closer. Stuecheli’s block was the last point the Red and Blue would score in the third set, falling 25-23.
Determined to stay alive and keep the five-set show-down streak going, Penn ran up the points on the scoreboard and took set four 25-15. The Quakers began the set in the lead, 5-1. The Tigers then gained a few points to close the point deficit, 8-6, but were shut down when the Red and Blue claimed four points in a row, to lead 12-6. Princeton would later find themselves behind, 18-11, and called a timeout in an attempt to stop the Quakers’ momentum. Penn took one more point before the Tigers took three of their last four points in the set. Five more points were then added by the Red and Blue, making it 24-14. A service error by the Quakers returned the ball to Princeton who were then shut down by an Etterbeek kill, ending set four 25-15.
Set five produced deafening noise from the crowd as the home team went up 2-0 and Penn shortly after found themselves down, 5-2. The Red and Blue came back to tie the score four more times at seven, eight, 10, and 11. A kill from DeSilva, which led to the tie at 11, was the last point Penn would score. The Tigers finished off the set with four points in a row and claimed the set, 15-11, and match, 3-2.
The Quakers were led in kills by Etterbeek (15), who also co-led in digs with sophomore Alexis Genske (19). Caldwell totaled 14 kills, 32 assists, and four service aces. Stuecheli notched two solo blocks and three block assists for the night.
Penn will prepare to travel to Big 5 rival La Salle for the last non-conference match of the 2013 season on Monday.