PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team earned a second-set victory on Saturday night, but couldn’t deny Princeton much longer. The Tigers bounced back to win the final two sets and take the match, 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 11-25, 14-25), at The Palestra.
The Quakers and Princeton split their season series, with each team winning on the road. Penn falls to 3-5 in the Ivy League this season and 9-11 overall.
Senior Alex Caldwell notched a team-high 11 kills to pace the offense, reaching double digits for the fifth time this season. Freshman Courtney Quinn hit a team-best .333 with seven kills, while also chipping in 12 digs. Senior Alexis Genske also had seven kills, to go along with seven digs.
As a team, the Quakers hit .093 for the match -- their second lowest percentage of the season.
Princeton was led by 22-kill, 10-dig performance from Kendall Peterkin – hitting .354 in the process. Cara Mattaliano was also stout for the Tigers, racking up 17 kills and 15 digs. Princeton notched a .239 hitting percentage and out-blocked Penn, 7-4.
The Quakers jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set, beginning with a Genske kill to put Penn on the board. The Quakers extended that edge to 12-5, following a kill from Michellie McDonald-O’Brien. Princeton gradually made up ground in the first, eventually tying the score at 14 after a Penn service error.
The Tigers would go on to build a 20-16 lead in the first set, when Pauli King notched her first kill of the match. Following a Quinn kill to cut the lead to 24-21, Mattaliano capped off the set for Princeton. The Quakers hit .073 as a team in the first set.
A back and forth beginning to the second set eventually saw Princeton build a 12-8 lead. The Tigers maintained a three-to-four point edge for much of the second frame, before the Quakers came charging -- putting together their best stretch of the match.
Down 22-19, Penn finished the set on a 6-0 run which saw Princeton burn both timeouts unable to stop the momentum. Ronnie Bither and Quinn each posted kills in the stretch -- while Genske sealed the deal with a service ace. Sophomore Kendall Covington recorded a clutch solo block to give Penn set point.
The Quakers will be at home for the next two weekends, beginning with a matchup against Harvard next Friday night.
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