PHILADELPHIA – The
University of Pennsylvania volleyball team capped off the Valley Forge Sports
Penn Invitational in style on Saturday, completing a sweep of George Mason and
Lafayette at The Palestra. The Quakers defeated the Patriots, 3-1 (25-23,
19-25, 25-12, 33-31), to open the day before closing out the tournament with a four-set
win over Lafayette (23-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-17). Penn improves to 3-5 on the
Freshman Caroline Furrer and sophomore Courtney Quinn represented the Quakers on the Valley Forge Sports Penn Invitational All-Tournament Team. Furrer tallied a team-high 51 kills in four matches (3.40/set), while Quinn added 43 of her own. Quinn also notched a pair of double-doubles, picking up 37 total digs. Furrer did her part on defense as well, totaling 36 digs and nine blocks.
Penn 3, George Mason
Inside the Numbers
Furrer was nothing short of spectacular in the opening match of the day. The Texas native hit .312 with 20 kills, which is the highest total for a Quaker in a match since 2014 (Alexis Genske). She also racked up eight digs and six block assists. Quinn also put forth a standout effort, tallying her second-straight double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs.
Sydney Morton continued her strong start to the season with 41 more assists and 13 digs. Michelle Pereira recorded a team-high 24 digs. As a bunch, the Quakers picked up a season high 10 blocks to go along with a .253 hitting percentage.
How it Happened
A series of runs defined the first set, as each team exchanged dominant stretches of action. The Quakers earned the last laugh, closing out the frame on a 6-0 run, and ultimately winning it, 25-23. That final flurry from Penn followed a 6-1 stretch from the Quakers that tied the score at 18-18. A shared block from Covington and Cooper, followed by a kill from Quinn, evened the score. The Patriots put together a significant run of their own earlier in the set, rattling off nine consecutive points to take a 17-12 lead.
Following a 25-19 loss in the second set, the Quakers put forth one their most dominating efforts of the season in the third. On the way to a 25-12 triumph, the Red and Blue hit .423 and notched five blocks. Furrer tallied six kills in the third, while Morton dished out eight helpers. The Quakers had separate runs of 8-0 and 13-2 in the set.
The fourth set was a different story, as the Quakers eclipsed 25 points for the first time this season. In a set that saw 18 ties and Penn fighting off five match points, the Red and Blue finally finished the deal 33-31. Morton and Furrer each had kills to stave off match points, while a Furrer kill initiated the final match point for the Quakers. The fourth set ended on an attack error from George Mason.
Penn 3, Lafayette 1
Inside the Numbers
The Quakers showed off the balance in the win over the Leopards, as three Penn players reached double-digit kill totals. Quinn showed the way with a team-best 14 put-aways, while junior Kendall Covington added 11 and freshman Zoe Macartney chipped in a career-high 10.
Furrer and Hayley Molnar followed with nine kills each. Furrer also added 10 digs, while Pereira pitched in a squad-high 19 digs. Morton was once again pulling the strings on offense, initiating 36 assists.
How it Happened
Penn had to rebound from a 1-0 deficit after dropping the opening set, 25-23. A tight game throughout, the Leopards finally grabbed some breathing room at 19-16, and after a kill from Carly Kutschke, 23-20. Furrer hammered a pair of kills to twice cut the lead to just two (23-21, 24-22), but Penn was unable to even the score.
The Quakers stormed out the gate in the second set, turning a 4-4 tie into a 14-5 lead. Penn continued the pressure, leading 20-12, and then 22-13. Lafayette made things interesting, however, cutting the edge to just 24-22. The Red and Blue regrouped following a timeout and Quinn shut the door on the Leopards, 25-22.
The third and fourth sets did not offer the same amount of drama as the first two. Penn climbed out to leads in both games, and would never relinquish. The Quakers held leads of 12-6 and 19-11 in the third set, en route to a 25-16 triumph.
It was more of a grind in the fourth for Penn, as Lafayette hung tough for much of the final set. The Red and Blue started to squeak away following a pair of Leopards' errors at 12-8, and then consecutive kills from Molnar and Macartney made it 22-16. Molnar sealed the match for Penn, landing the final kill of the day at 25-17.
The Quakers are back at home on Friday night, as they welcome La Salle to The Palestra as part of the Big 5 Invitational.