Penn-Yale Box Score (pdf)
New Haven, Conn. - Despite hanging right with the Ivy League leaders for much of Saturday's match, the Penn volleyball team was ultimately felled by a pair of big runs from Yale in the second and third sets as the Bulldogs pulled out a 3-0 win over the Quakers. Alex Caldwell led the Red and Blue with eight kills, narrowly missing out on a second straight triple-double as she also contributed 13 assists and 12 digs to the cause.
The first set featured an amazing 17 ties as neither team could put the other away. A kill from Jesse Ebner and a Penn attack error ended up being the difference as the decisive two points went the way of the Bulldogs. Lauren Martin had four kills for the Quakers but ultimately it was Yale's .318 hitting percentage in the frame that earned them the 1-0 lead.
Penn didn't back down in the second set and used an early 6-1 run to grab an 8-3 lead in the set, prompting a timeout from the Yale bench. The Quakers maintained that lead all the way to 18-12 before things suddenly turned sour. An innocuous service error on the part of Penn was all the opening that Yale needed to rattle off a 12-0 run, turning that six point deficit into a 24-18 lead. A kill from Kristen Etterbeek finally stopped the bleeding but a service error on the subsequent point gave Yale the 25-19 victory.
When the Bulldogs took a 6-2 lead in the third set it appeared they might run away with it, but the Quakers had one last rally in them. From 10-5 down, Penn took seven out of the next nine points to tie the score at 12-12. It was still knotted, 15-15, when Yale put on the afterburners one final time. A 9-0 run that was largely self-inflicted put the Quakers in a 24-15 hole, and though consecutive kills from Emma White and Amanda Pacheco brought the team a little closer, the last of nine attack errors in the set from Penn ended the match at 25-17.
Martin had seven kills in the match, hitting .538, while White and Etterbeek each chipped in with six kills. Ronnie Bither had 14 assists and Dani Shepherd tied for a match-high with 16 digs.
Penn (9-9, 4-3 Ivy) has now reached the midway point of the Ivy League season and will start the second half with a road match at Princeton on Friday night at 7 p.m.