PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team will begin its 39th season in the Ivy League on Friday night, traveling to take on Princeton at Dillon Gym. The Quakers have opened conference play against the rival Tigers for the past 14 years. Penn will also take on NJIT on Saturday to wrap up its 2015 non-conference schedule.
*The Quakers are coming off a 1-2 showing at the annual Big 5 Tournament – their lone win coming against La Salle on Saturday. Penn put together its third sweep of the season against the Explorers, defeating its intra-city rival for the 10th straight time.
*Ronnie Bither was named to the Big 5 All-Tournament team -- compiling totals of 73 assists, 17 digs and eight kills over the weekend. The senior setter currently ranks second in the Ivy League, averaging 9.25 assists per set.
*Fellow seniors Alex Caldwell and Alexis Genske also paced the offense over the weekend. Following a career-high 19 kills against Delaware last Tuesday, Caldwell racked up 22 in the Big 5 Tournament with a .292 hitting percentage.
*Genske continued her stellar senior season, totaling 21 kills and 22 digs. Genske is tied for second in the Ivy in total kills this season with 122.
*Penn also showed off a deep bench over the weekend, subbing in 14 players over the three games with 10 Quakers recording at least one kill. Freshman Courtney Quinn continued to make an impact in her first season in the Red and Blue, racking up 12 kills and 20 digs in nine sets of action.
Scouting the Tigers...
Princeton (5-4) is red hot coming into the first Ivy weekend of the year, brandishing a four-match winning streak. After starting the season 1-4, the Tigers have rattled off wins over Hartford, Duquesne, Rutgers and Howard. Most recently, they picked up a five-set win over the Bison to cap off a perfect weekend at the Rutgers Tournament. The Tigers are led by a versatile attack that is currently leading the Ivy League with a .266 hitting percentage. Princeton has five players with at least 27 kills this season, led by Kendall Peterkin, who is averaging 3.28 kills per set and hitting a team-high .316.
Series History: Princeton leads, 46-29.
Last Season: Princeton won both meetings against the Quakers in 2014, dropping just one set in the process. The Tigers finished third in the Ivy League last season with a conference record of 9-5.
Scouting the Highlanders…
NJIT enters the weekend with a record of 4-8, earning a pair of wins over both St. Francis Brooklyn and Rider. Two of NJIT’s victories have come in five sets, while they have been on the losing end of seven sweeps. The Vukotic sisters have been the offensive catalysts for the Highlanders, combining for 297 kills and 250 digs this season. Nina Vukotic is the reigning Atlantic Sun Player of the Week after averaging 3.77 kills and 3.92 digs per set at the Lafayette Invitational over the weekend. Nina’s sister, Danica Vukotic, is averaging a team-high 4.0 kills per set.
Series History: Penn and NJIT have never met on the volleyball court.
Download: Penn Volleyball Game Notes.pdf