PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team announced its schedule for the 2016 fall season on Tuesday. Led by Kenneth L. Gross Head Coach of Volleyball, Kerry Major Carr, the Quakers will play a slate of 26 games, including 12 contests inside the friendly confines of The Palestra.
“We are extremely excited about the schedule this fall,” said Carr. “It will be an awesome experience for some of our players to return home during our season-opening trip to Texas, while also getting some top-notch competition from four tough opponents. We are also thrilled about once again participating in the Big 5 Tournament, which has turned into a great volleyball tradition around Philadelphia. And as always, it will be exciting to see how we match up against the rest of the Ivy League, and hopefully make a run at another conference title.”
The Quakers will open 2016 with a trip to the Lone Star State over Labor Day weekend. Houston Baptist University will serve as the host, as Penn will take on four opponents over two days. In addition to a clash with the host Huskies, the Red and Blue will battle Toledo, North Florida and Northern Colorado. The Quakers defeated Houston Baptist in their lone matchup in 2009, while the other three opponents will be first-ever matchups for Penn.
Houston is a familiar place for the Penn volleyball program, as the Quakers traveled there to open up their Ivy-championship season in 2009. Additionally, junior Kendall Covington and sophomore Courtney Quinn are each from the Houston area.
Penn will kick off its home schedule the following weekend on September 9-10. In similar fashion to the Texas trip, the home team will play four matches in a two-day span. Bucknell and Howard will visit on Friday, while the Quakers will welcome George Mason and Lafayette on Saturday. The Red and Blue faced both Howard (W, 3-0) and GMU (L, 3-2) last season. Penn and Bucknell haven’t met since 2008, while the Quakers haven’t battled Lafayette since 2007.
Coach Carr’s squad will be back at home for the first day of the Big 5 Tournament on September 16. Penn and La Salle will be the second game of a Friday doubleheader at The Palestra at 7 p.m. Day two of the City series will take place at the Tom Gola Arena, with Penn taking on Villanova and Temple. The Red and Blue are 67-53 all-time against the Big 5.
Penn’s final non-conference contest will come in the form of a date with Delaware in Newark on September 20. The Blue Hens and Quakers have met in each of the last six seasons, with Delaware holding an all-time edge of 11-9.
The Red and Blue will begin their quest for an 11th Ivy League championship—sixth under Coach Carr—on September 24. The Quakers are 249-120 all-time in the Ancient Eight, and have opened conference play against the Tigers for the last 15 seasons. These two rivals split their two matchups a year ago, with each squad winning on the road.
Following Princeton, the Red and Blue will have seven consecutive weekends of Ivy action. Penn went 7-7 versus the Ancient Eight a year ago, including a 4-1 stretch to cap off the season.
The Quakers will finish their regular season by hosting Columbia and Cornell at The Palestra on November 11-12.
Penn’s All-time Records vs. the Ivy League
Brown - 44-24
Columbia - 52-6
Cornell - 44-24
Dartmouth - 47-7
Harvard - 45-16
Princeton - 30-47
Yale - 34-27