Philadelphia, Pa. The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team defeated both Northeastern and Georgetown in the first day of play in the Sixth Annual Penn/Sheraton Invitational held in The Palestra.
“It was a great day,” said Head Coach Kerry Carr. “We played really well. Georgetown is a top regional team, and to be able to pull out a win against them a great boost for the team. We just needed the confidence of being back in our own gym to be able to win again. Syracuse (who the Quakers face on Sunday) is our next challenge, and I think the team will rise to the occasion.”
In the first match, the Quakers (4-4) lost a close first game, 30-27, but came back to defeat the Huskies (7-5) 34-32, 30-21 and 30-18 in the next three games to close out the victory.
Junior Cara Thomason had 13 kills during that match. In addition to Thomason, junior Michelle Kauffman had 12 kills, and sophomore Amy Starosta and freshman Laura Black each had 11 kills for the Quakers. Freshman Anna Shlimak had nine kills, including five in a row in the fourth game. Freshman setter Linda Zhang also contributed nine kills along with 45 assists in the Quakers victory.
Sophomore Ashley Reeves and freshman Kira Batura each had 12 kills for Northeastern.
The Quakers faced a difficult test against Georgetown, who had defeated St. Francis earlier in the day. Penn won the first game 30-27, but the next two games were fierce back-and-forth battles, with each team trading points constantly through out. Penn ended up winning both, 31-29 and 35-33.
Thomason had 17 kills in the match, and Black added 11. Zhang had 43 assists in the match, and sophomore Elizabeth Hurst had nine digs.
Georgetown was led by junior Rachel Nelson, senior Sara Albert and freshman Patty Carroll, who each had nine kills.
The Quakers are next in action on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 12:30 p.m. against Syracuse and at 5:30 against St. Francis in the final day of play of the Penn/Sheraton Invitational.