PHILADELPHIA - Penn finished its weekend 3-0 and extended its winning streak to four matches with a 3-1 win over Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday evening in the Sheraton-Penn Invitational. The Quakers came very close to sweeping the Knights, but a late comeback by FDU in game one ended Penn's chances of its second sweep of the weekend.
In game one, up 29-25, victory seemed imminent for Penn (4-5), but the Knights (8-4) charged back scoring the final six points to take the game 31-29. Penn bounced back in the second set building a comfortable 19-10 lead. FDU got to within three, but that is all the closer they would get. Penn scored the next two points and five of the next six to build its lead back to six, thanks to three straight FDU attack errors. Up 29-25, freshman Elizabeth Semmens delivered her fourth kill of the game to even the match at 1-1.
Game three was all Quakers. Penn lead for all but one point winning the game 30-19. Freshman Maggie Rusch delivered two service aces.
With the scored tied at 13-all in game four, the Red and Blue reeled off three straight points. FDU pulled to within one, but that is as close as the Knights would get. Penn went on an 8-0 run to put the game out of reach. After three FDU attack errors, Anna Shlimak connected on three straight kills. Another highlight of the final set was two more service aces this time by Meredith Damore.
Laura Black led Penn with 15 kills. Semmens (14), Kathryn Turner (13) and Shlimak (11) also reached double digits in kills. Defensively, Damore paced the Quakers with 14 kills. Fellow senior Elizabeth Hurst had 13, while Kira Campbell notched 12 digs to go along with 47 assists.
Penn returns to The Palestra Wednesday night to host Villanova at 5 p.m.
Note: At the conclusion of the tournament the all-tournament team was announced. Black was named MVP. Turner and Semmens also earned all-tournament honors.
Sheraton-Penn Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP: Laura Black (Penn)
Kathryn Turner (Penn)
Elizabeth Semmens (Penn)
Elena Schmidtt (FDU)
Jenna Benigno (Quinnipiac)