PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team opened its final home weekend of 2015 in strong fashion, sweeping Brown on Friday night at The Palestra. The Quakers (11-12, 5-6) compiled set wins of 25-16, 25-22 and 25-17.
Playing in the final home weekend of their careers, the Quakers’ five seniors certainly rose to the occasion Friday night.
Alexis Genske and Michellie McDonald-O’Brien racked up a combined 25 kills, with Genske picking up her 10th double-double of the season (14 kills, 16 digs). Fellow captains, Jasmine DeSilva and Alex Caldwell, totaled 11 kills of their own -- while Ronnie Bither controlled the offense with 36 assists.
In addition to the senior dominance, freshman Courtney Quinn chipped in three kills and 17 digs while sophomore Kendall Covington put forth five kills.
For Brown, Casey Tierney was the only Bear to reach double digits in kills with 10. As a team, the Bears posted a .069 hitting percentage.
The Quakers put together one of their sharpest opening frames of the season, hitting .344 and hammering 15 kills in the first set. DeSilva got things rolling for Penn, but Genske (five kills) and McDonald-O’Brien (five kills) did much of the heavy lifting in the first set. Back-to-back kills from McDonald-O’Brien provided Penn a 14-10 lead, while a Genske put-away extended the lead to 22-14. Back-to-back kills from the duo capped off the first game for the Quakers.
Penn continued the crisp play in the second set, overcoming an early 3-0 lead to quickly seize momentum. Covington recorded a kill to give Penn an 8-5 edge, while a Genske put-away capped off a 5-0 run and staked the Quakers a 19-14 lead. The Bears would get within two at 20-18, but a Penn timeout froze all of Brown’s momentum. Genske smacked kills to give Penn leads of 21-18 and 24-21, while DeSilva capped off the set with a monstrous kill of her own.
The Red and Blue rolled on in the third, with Genske snapping a 13-13 tie and fueling a 12-4 run to close the set. Following a Brown timeout at 17-14, McDonald-O’Brien recorded her 11th kill of the match and sophomore Michelle Pereira followed with a service ace. After three consecutive errors from the Bears, Bither knocked a pair of kills and Covington sealed the match with her fifth kill of the night.
The Quakers will finish their home schedule, and celebrate “Senior Night” tomorrow against Yale. First serve with the Bulldogs is set for 5 p.m.
Download: Brown-Penn Box.pdf