PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers embark on their final non-conference road trip of the season when they travel down I-95 to take on Delaware, Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The Red and Blue renew a rivalry which has been dormant for much of the 21st century. Penn's last battle against the Blue Hens came in 2000, head coach Kerry Carr's third season in Philadelphia.
Where We Are
This year the Quakers travel down to Delaware seeking to improve on their 4-6 record before Ivy play begins next weekend. Penn has played its toughest non-conference schedule in years, battling against No. 11 UCLA, as well as Cal State Fullerton, Maryland, Tulane and West Virginia.
The Red and Blue are hitting .198 as a team this year, led by middle blocker Amanda Pacheco. The sophomore is hitting .361 and is second on the team with 2.45 kills per set. She is one of three players averaging over two kills per set. Senior Julia Swanson leads the team with 3.16 kills per set while sophomore Lauren Martin is third at 2.41. Senior Megan Tryon serves as the offensive catalyst, averaging 10.96 assists per set. Defensively, the Quakers are led up front by freshman Susan Stuecheli. She is averaging 1.12 blocks per set, including five solo blocks, while Martin is second with .53 blocks per set. On the back line, senior libero Madison Wojciechowski is averaging a team-leading 5.56 digs per set, while Swanson (2.69) and Tryon (2.62) are second and third respectively.
Last Time Out
Penn's trip to California didn't produce as many wins as the team would have liked, but two impressive performances gave the Quakers much to be pleased about. The Red and Blue's first match out west was against tournament host Cal State Fullerton and the Titans won in three, 25-17, 25-13, 25-11. Later that night the Red and Blue put a scare in 13th-ranked UCL A, taking late leads in each of the first two sets before falling 25-22, 25-21, 25-11. On Saturday, Penn opened with a three-set loss to Liberty, 25-15, 25-22, 25-21, before taking out West Virginia in three, 25-21, 25-17, 25-21. Against the Mountaineers, the Quakers hit a season-best .404, getting good matches from Swanson (12 kills, 22 digs) and Pacheco (.478 with 13 kills).
Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware is 9-4 entering the weekend with three wins in its last four matches, including 3-2 victories over Santa Clara and Notre Dame. The Blue Hens are a multi-faceted team with a balanced offense and defense. They have four players averaging over two kills per set, with senior Katie Dennehy tops on the team at 2.98 while hitting at a .215 clip. Sophomore Alissa Alker is second at 2.85 while junior Kim Stewart (2.61) and senior Paige Erickson (.200) are second and third. Erickson leads the regulars in hitting at .240 clip and also is Delaware's force at the net, leading the team with 1.24 blocks per set. Senior Greta Gibboney is averaging a team-high 5.67 digs per set, good for eighth in the country, while the Blue Hens as a team average 18.09 digs per set, the seventh best mark in the nation.
Following the Red and Blue
Fans can following the Quakers on Saturday via live stats, by clicking here.
Going for Win 203
With a win on Saturday against Delaware, head coach Kerry Carr would inch closer to the program's all-time win record. Carr has 201 victories, just two short of tying Joe Sagula's mark of 203.
The Quakers are ranked in the top 20 nationally in two different statistical categories. Senior Madison Wojciechowski is 11th in the country averaging 5.56 digs pet. As a team, Penn averages 17.52 digs per set, good for 16th nationwide.
We're Going Streaking
Wojciechowski had at least ten digs in each match over the weekend, extending her streak of consecutive matches with at least ten digs to 19 matches.
It's Been A While
Penn's bout with Delaware marks the first meeting between the two teams since 2000, when the Quakers took down the Blue Hens 13-15, 15-5, 15-5, 11-15, 15-7. It was head coach Kerry Carr's first victory of 2000 season, a season which saw her squad go 22-8 for the school's first 20-win season since 1987.
1,000 Kill Club
In Penn's match against Liberty, senior Julia Swanson became just the fifth player in school history with 1,000 kills. Swanson finished the weekend with 1,013 kills, moving her past Laura Black (1,011) into fourth place on the program's all-time list. She now sits 105 kills from passing Kari Sommerstad (1,117) and moving into third place.
Against Liberty, senior Megan Tryon became just the fifth setter in school history with 3,000 assists. She finished the weekend with 3,038 career assists.