PHILADELPHIA The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team takes the first of its two New England trips this weekend. On Friday, Penn (7-9, 2-3) plays in New Haven, Conn. versus first-place Yale (11-4, 6-0) at 7 p.m; Saturday, the Quakers travel to Providence to take on Brown (6-12, 2-4) at 4 p.m.
After splitting last weekend with Columbia and Cornell, the Quakers try to get back on track this weekend. Penn has been solid defensively in the League, ranking fourth in blocks per game (2.20) and third in digs (17.95). Natalie Drucker (1.07) and Stephanie Gwin (1.03) are fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Ancient Eight in blocks per game.
The Red and Blue will look to hand the Bulldogs their first League loss of the season. Penn will look to contain Alexis Crusey and Shannon Farrell two of the top kills leaders in the Ancient Eight. Crusey is coming off a weekend in which she averaged 5.71 kills per game and earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. Last season, Yale swept Penn in both meetings. Yale holds the all-time series lead, 30-13.
Penn, like Brown, is looking to get back to .500 in the Ancient Eight and Saturday, the Bears host Penn after they take on second-place Princeton Friday. The Bears’ Ivy League victories came over Harvard (10/14) and Columbia (10/7). Last year, Penn fell 3-0 in both meetings. Brown leads the series 34-14.