Philadelphia, Pa. The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team capped off a great weekend, beating Syracuse 3-1 and St. Francis 3-0 to go undefeated in the sixth-annual Penn/Sheraton Invitational, held in The Palestra. The Quakers had defeated Northeastern and Georgetown in the previous day of play.
“It was a great weekend,” said Head Coach Kerry Carr. “We defeated three of the top teams in the East in this tournament. There were some ups and downs in our play, but the team just came back stronger to combat those weeknesses every time. The experience of playing so well this weekend will give the team a lot of confidence in their play going into the Ivy season.”
In the Quakers (6-4) first match of the day, they defeated a tough Orange team (13-3) 30-23, 31-29, 19-30 and 30-27. Junior Cara Thomason had15 kills during that match. In addition to Thomason, junior Michelle Kauffman had 14 kills and freshman Laura Black contributed 12 kills and two service aces. Freshman setter Linda Zhang had 46 assists and five digs for the Red and Blue.
Junior Kristen Conway had 15 kills for Syracuse and sophomore Erin McQuillin had 13 kills..
The Quakers next faced St. Francis in the final match of the tournament, and won in just three games, 30-24, 30-21 and 30-26. Senior Lynzy Caton had nine kills and two service aces in the victory to pace the Red and Blue.
Black and fellow freshman Anna Shlimak both had eight kills for the Quakers. Sophomore Elizabeth Hurst had 14 digs in the match and sophomore Amy Starosta had three service aces.
The Red Flash (0-14) were led by sophomore Anne Roosevelt, who had 13 kills.
Both Thomason and Zhang were named to the All-Tournament Team, with Thomason being honored as Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.
"It was a great confidence builder for the team to have two members be named All-Tournament," said Carr. "It was great to see a freshman step up to the challenge and make both herself and also her team succeed."
The Quakers are next in action on Friday, Oct. 1, when they open Ivy League play, hosting Princeton at The Palestra at 7 p.m.
The Sixth Annual Penn/Sheraton Invitational All-Tournament Team
Northeastern: Freshman Kira Batura
St. Francis: Sophomore Anne Roosevelt
Syracuse: Junior Kristen Conway
Georgetown: Senior Sara Albert
Penn: Freshman Linda Zhang
MVP: Junior Cara Thomason, Penn
Written by Jennifer Hildebrand, athletic communications assistant