NEW YORK, N.Y. – Taking an early lead in sets one and three helped the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Columbia on the road Saturday evening (25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22). The Red and Blue produced their best hitting percentage as a team this season (.291) in the win over the Lions, with three Quakers reaching double-digit kills. Junior captain Alexis Genske led the way with 17, while senior Kendall Turner contributed 12 of her own to end with the second-best individual hitting percentage of the evening at .458. Not only did Turner prove to be an offensive threat but she was a threat at the net, recording a solo block and pairing up for seven block assists. Junior Alex Caldwell was the third to reach double-digits, as she recorded her fourth triple-double of the season: 10 kills, 26 assists, 14 digs. Freshman Kendall Covington was just one kill shy of being the fourth Quaker to reach double-digit kills. She had nine kills in 17 attempts with just one error to lead the Red and Blue with a .471 hitting percentage.
Penn started hot out of the gate, rattling off two straights points from a kill by Genske and a block by duo Turner and Caldwell. The Quakers were able to hold onto the lead until Columbia tied it up at 9-9. Despite the Lions efforts, the Red and Blue forged ahead with a six-point run. Five of the six points were from kills, while the sixth was from an ace by junior Ronnie Bither. The 15-9 lead was the edge that Penn needed, as Genske and Turner ended set one at 25-21 with a block.
After jumping out to a 10-4 lead, the Lions were able to maintain control of the second set and won, 25-19.
Regrouping, the Quakers came out and took an early 6-3 lead but found themselves tied with Columbia at 10-10. Three kills from senior captain Trina Ohms, Caldwell, and freshman Hayley Molnar gave the Red and Blue the spark they needed as they went on to finish the third set 25-18, on a kill by Turner.
Set four began with a short back-and-forth battle until a Caldwell kill evened the score for what would be the final tie of the evening. Her kill was also the start of a seven-point run that would ultimately give Penn enough of an advantage to win the set. Ohms put down the final kill for the match win, 25-22.
Penn will return home for the Quakers’ senior night and homecoming weekend, beginning with Dartmouth on Friday at 7 p.m. The Red and Blue will then close out the 2014 home-stand with Harvard on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Download: Penn Columbia Boxscore2.pdf