Volleyball Goes the Distance Again, Falls at Columbia

Box Score (PDF)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – For the second-consecutive night, the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team dropped a five-set match in the Ivy League. This time, the defeat came at the hands of the Columbia Lions (19-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18, 15-11) at Levien Gymnasium in New York City. With the loss, the Quakers move to 2-3 in the Ivy League this season, while Columbia improves to 4-1.

Inside the Numbers
Sophomore Taylor Cooper led the offense for the Quakers, putting together a career-best 11 kills. She also added a team-high four blocks. Junior Hayley Molnar was the only other Quaker in double figures, recording 10 kills to go along with three digs and two blocks.

Caroline Furrer and Kendall Covington each put forth nine kills, while sophomore Courtney Quinn added seven. Furrer also recorded nine digs, while Quinn registered 10. Sydney Morton registered the lone double-double for the Quakers with 42 assists and a career-best 17 digs. Junior libero Michelle Pereira picked up a team-high 24 digs.

How it Happened
A 12-4 run from the Quakers in the first set turned an early 7-4 deficit into a 16-11 advantage. An Aimee Stephenson ace, followed by a pair of Columbia errors capped off the stretch. Penn continued to have a four-to-five point lead for much of the first set, eventually ending at 25-19. Quinn provided a put-away at 23-16, while a Columbia attack error and substitution error finished off the set.

Penn scored the first four points of the second set, but struggled to maintain the momentum. The Lions rattled off nine of the next 12 points to take a 9-7 lead. Columbia extended its advantage to 13-8 and then 20-12. Covington put in a kill at 24-17, but the Lions closed the frame on an Anja Malesevic put-away on the following point.

The Quakers showed their resolve in the third set. Trailing 10-6 and then 14-11, the Red and Blue scratched and clawed to tie the score at 15-15. It was a back and forth battle from there, as a kill from Covington knotted it up once again at 20-20. Penn snagged leads at 21-20 and 22-21, and ultimately finished off the set on a Furrer ace and a Columbia error, 25-23.

Columbia cruised along in the fourth set, staking themselves an early 13-4 advantage. The nine-point edge continued at 17-9, while a kill by Zoe Jacobs provided the Lions a 22-14 lead. Columbia eventually closed the door on the Quakers, 25-18.

The Quakers were unable to rebound from the fourth-set, as they found themselves quickly down 7-3 in the fifth. Penn came back to within two at 9-7, but that was as close as it would get. Columbia closed the fifth set with a 6-4 stretch, yielding a 15-11 margin.

Up Next
The Red and Blue will return home next weekend, playing hosts to Yale and Brown. It will be Dig Pink Weekend inside The Palestra, as fans are encouraged to donate to the cause by following this link.