Penn-Brown Box Score (pdf)
Providence, R.I. - Behind a triple-double from Alex Caldwell, Penn volleyball brushed aside Brown, 3-1, (25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20) on Friday night, setting up a match with Yale on Saturday with massive Ivy League implications. The Quakers (9-8, 4-2 Ivy) were up to their usual tricks on the defensive end, recording 94 digs as a team with five players in double figures, led by Dani Shepherd's 28. Caldwell recorded a match-high 13 kills, along with 20 assists and 12 digs and four block assists. Penn's front row held Brown's best offensive player, Maddie Lord, to just six kills and a -.107 hitting percentage.
Penn had a pretty easy go of it in the first set, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and riding that margin all the way to the finish. Brown was able to gradually work its way into the set and closed within two on two occasions, the last time occurring with the Quakers out in front, 23-21. That's when Lauren Martin took over. A kill and solo block from the senior captain on consecutive points staked the Red and Blue to a 1-0 lead after a 25-21 win.
The Quakers' domination continued into the second where they held Brown to just five kills in the entire set en route to the 25-15 win. Add in five service aces from Penn - three coming from Kristen Etterbeek - and all the makings were there for a cakewalk. The Quakers turned an early 2-2 tie into a 15-3 lead with the Bears getting their only point of that span off a service error. The margin would grow as large as 13 points as the set proceeded, with nine Brown attack errors paving the way for the Bears to hit -.091 combined in the second set.
Brown showed some fight coming out of the break with the 2-0 deficit. The Bears turned the tables on the Quakers for much of the third set, taking their first lead of the match in the early going and holding onto it nearly to the finish. Down 21-19, Penn tied it at 21-21 after kills from Caldwell and Emma White, and then took its first lead of the set after a Brown error. Later, up 23-22 and just two points away from finishing the Bears off, Penn gave away the set with two attack errors and a service error, handing Brown a lifeline in the form of a 25-23 defeat.
The Bears came out strong in the fourth set, grabbing a 3-0 advantage before Caldwell calmed Penn's nerves with consecutive kills. The Red and Blue grabbed hold of the lead throughout much of the set, but Brown fought back one last time to go up 17-16 after a kill from Brittany Link. With the match still very much in doubt, Penn stepped on the gas and scored the next five points and open up a margin that the Bears couldn't recover from.
Outside hitters Etterbeek (10 kills, 19 digs) and White (10 kills, 17 digs) each had double-doubles to complement Caldwell. Setter Ronnie Bither had her team-leading 13th double-double of the season with 21 assists and 11 digs.
The Quakers are back in action on Saturday evening facing a Yale team that remained undefeated in the Ivy League on Friday night, taking down Princeton in four sets. That match is scheduled for 5 p.m. in New Haven, Conn.