PHILADELPHIA – A new season of Penn Volleyball begins on Friday, as the Quakers head out to Houston, Texas to compete in the Houston Baptist Labor Day Classic. Penn will be joined at the season-opening Invitational by Toledo, Northern Colorado, North Florida, and the host Huskies.
*The Quakers kick things off with matchups against Toledo (2:30 p.m. EST) and Houston Baptist (8 p.m.) on Friday. Tilts against North Florida (11 a.m.) and Northern Colorado (5:30 p.m.) will follow on Saturday, as Penn fits in four matches in a little over 28 hours.
Experience at the Top
*The Kenneth L. Gross Head Coach of Volleyball, Kerry Carr, will be beginning her 19th season patrolling the sidelines for Penn. Carr has led five teams to Ivy League championships during her tenure, the most recent coming in 2010.
*The Quakers’ last trip to Houston Baptist was certainly a memorable one. Coach Carr’s 2009 squad made Penn’s last voyage to HBU before going on to win the Ivy League Championship. The Red and Blue would go on to win a second-straight Ivy crown the next season.
*Texas natives Kendall Covington, Courtney Quinn and Caroline Furrer will all be enjoying a return trip home this weekend. Covington hails from right inside Houston, while Quinn’s hometown of The Woodlands is located just 30 miles outside of the city. Furrer comes from Georgetown, Texas, which is about a three-hour drive from HBU.
*The Quakers, who enter the year as the youngest team in the Ivy League, will look to build off a 13-13 record of a year ago, which included a 3-1 clip to end the season.
*Covington and Sydney Morton will lead the Red and Blue as
captains, pacing a team that returns four other juniors and eight sophomores.
*Offensively, the Quakers will look to Covington and Courtney Quinn to shoulder much of the load. Covington started 25-of-26 matches last season, hitting .257 and leading the team in blocks (72). Quinn enjoyed a breakout freshman season in 2015, piling up more than 100 kills and 200 digs.
*Juniors Michelle Pereira and Hayley Molnar will also be relied on for the Red and Blue. Pereira appeared in all 26 matches a year ago, leading the squad in digs per set with 4.31.
*The Quakers welcome nine newcomers for 2016. Sophomore transfer Sara Robicheau (Mount Holyoke) is joined by freshmen Elo Agbaike, Carlie Bolling, Caroline Furrer, Madison Goldstein, Zoe Macartney, Lauren McLeod, Caroline Raquel, and Ariana Wiltjer.
Scouting the Field
2016 Record: 2-1
2015 Record: 6-23 (3-13, MAC)
Quick Note: The Rockets return all six of their starters from 2015, while head coach Greg Smith returns for his eighth season at the helm.
2016 Record: 1-3
2015 Record: 17-17 (7-9, Southland)
Quick Note: Penn swept the Huskies in their only-ever matchup in 2009. The Quakers put together a 3-1 record during their previous trip to the Lone Star State.
2016 Record: 3-1
2015 Record: 21-11 (7-7, Atlantic Sun)
Quick Note: The Ospreys’ win total of a year ago is their second-highest in a season since turning Division I.
2016 Record: 1-2
2015 Record: 14-16 (10-6, Big Sky)
Quick Note: A perennial top-40 program, the Bears have made the NCAA Tournament three times since 2011.
*Follow @PennVolleyball on Twitter and Instagram for live updates from Texas, as well as throughout the 2016 season.