Bither Wins First Ivy League Rookie Award of 2012

Ivy League Release

PHILADELPHIA -Penn volleyball head coach Kerry Carr has high expectations for her incoming freshmen this season. After just one weekend of play, it's becoming clear why she feels that way. With 113 assists at the Big 5 Tournament, Ronnie Bither was one of only two Ivy League players to top the century mark in that category over the weekend. That, combined with her all-around play on defense, lifted the Penn setter to the first Ivy League Rookie of the Week award of 2012.

If Bither was playing with any nerves in her collegiate debut on Friday night against Temple, she didn't let them show. Recording the first of her three weekend double-doubles, she racked up 44 assists and 14 digs, helping Penn to outhit the Owls in each set, although Temple took home a 3-1 victory.

The next day, Bither's 35 assists and 11 digs propelled the Quakers to their first win of the year, 3-1 over La Salle. In the final match of the tournament against a Villanova team one victory away from the team crown, she was all over the court to the tune of 34 assists, 16 digs, four block assists and a pair of kills. That effort keyed Penn's 3-0 sweep of the Wildcats and forced a three-way tie among Penn, Temple and Villanova at 2-1 for the tournament.

Bither, a Bay Area native, returns home this weekend when Penn travels to the University of California to take part in the Molten Classic presented by Hilton Garden Inn. The Quakers open the tournament facing the Golden Bears at 7 p.m. (PST) on Friday night.