CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After starting off strong with identical scores in sets one and two, the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team struggled to finish the job and dropped a five-set heartbreaker to Harvard in Cambridge Friday night, 3-2 (20-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-11). Junior captain Alexis Genske led the way with 15 kills, while senior Kendall Turner hit .688 on the night with 11 kills in 16 attempts and contributed four blocks. Senior captain Trina Ohms hit .500 with eight kills in 14 attempts on one error. Junior Alex Caldwell finished with double digits in assists, 24, and digs, 11. The Quakers (5-12, 2-4 Ivy) will regroup and continue the trek up north to take on Dartmouth tomorrow at 5 p.m.
The Red and Blue fell behind in the first set, as the Crimson jumped out to a 5-0 lead. A service error by Harvard allowed Penn to begin chipping away at the score. A kill by Genske brought Penn within three, 13-10, and four consecutive kills by the Quakers put them ahead for the first time in the set. The Crimson kept things close until back-to-back kills by freshmen Aimee Stephenson and Kendall Covington gave the Red and Blue a lead they would not relinquish. Turner finished the set with a kill, 25-20.
Turner kicked things off in the second set with her fifth kill of the night. Penn and Harvard exchanged points until a kill by Genske followed by a block by Caldwell and Turner gave the Quakers an 11-9 advantage. The Red and Blue held a steady lead until the Crimson threatened to turn things around with a kill and back-to-back aces, which forced head coach Kerry Carr to call a timeout at 21-19. The break proved to be what Penn needed and the Quakers took four of the next five points for a second set win, 25-20.
A solo block by Turner evened the score to 13 all in set three, but Harvard responded with four points in-a-row to take control. The match ended one again at 25-20, but unlike the first two sets, the Crimson took the win.
Harvard came on strong in the fourth set and carried that momentum into the fifth set for the set and match win.
Download: Penn v. Harvard Boxscore.pdf