PHILADELPHIA - The Penn Quakers bounced back nicely from a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Yale Saturday, defeating their crosstown rivals La Salle 3-0 (30-27, 30-25, 30-19). Julia Swanson led all scorers with 17 kills and senior Linda Zhang became just the fourth player in school history to record 3,000 assists over the course of her career. The Quakers improved to 10-7 while the Explorers dropped to 9-17.
The Quakers found themselves down early in the first game, as a series of errors gave the Explorers a 10-5 lead. After La Salle pushed the score 15-9, Penn took over. They went ahead 17-16 thanks to a block by Kathryn Turner and Laura Black. The teams went back and forth from there, although the Explorers were never able to regain the lead.
After La Salle tied the score at 27, Penn took the next three points, punctuated by a block from senior Anna Shlimak and freshman Julia Swanson that clinched the game. In all, Penn exhibited a dominating net defense with six blocks in the game. Turner assisted on five, while Swanson helped on three. Swanson also led all scorers with seven kills.
Linda Zhang recorded 11 assists in the first game, giving her 3,003 for her career. Zhang became just the fourth player in Penn history to set up 3,000 successful assists. She finished the match with 26.
Despite allowing the disheartening comeback in the first game, La Salle did not back down in Game Two. Penn fought back from a 20-17 deficit only to see La Salle break their serve. Kills from sophomores Ashley Hawkins and Anne Magnuson gave Penn a 22-21 lead, and the Quakers finally began to pull away.
Hawkins added two more crucial kills, giving her three for the game and a .500 hitting percentage, as the Quakers took a 30-25 decision. The team added three more blocks, all of which were assisted by freshman Nicole DeCuir. Meanwhile, Swanson added another seven kills, again the most among all scorers.
After pulling out hard-fought victories in the first two games, Penn stepped up and shut the Explorers down in Game Three en route to a sweep. Sophomore Shannon Moody dropped the last kill in between two Explorers to clinch the game, 30-19.
Swanson finished with 17 kills and a .394 hitting percentage. No one else on either team finished with more than 12 (Jackie Kushman of La Salle). Hawkins added four more kills in the third game for Penn, putting her second on the Quakers with seven. She boasted a .667 hitting percentage.
"This win showcased the depth of our bench," said head coach Kerry Carr."We played really well together andstayed in rhythm. This gives us a lot of confidence to go on the road and play Dartmouth this weekend when everyone is playing this well. It was a total team effort tonight."
The Quakers are next in action Friday, when they travel to Hanover to take on Ivy League rival Dartmouth at 7 p.m. in the first of four straight road league games.