Volleyball Drops Final Two at FIU Invitational

Penn vs. Florida International Box Score

Penn vs. Central Florida Box Score

MIAMI – Penn’s trip to the Florida International Invitational ended on Saturday with a pair of losses to Sunshine State schools. The host Golden Panthers won the 1 p.m. match, 3-0 (25-11, 25-19, 25-29), and in the nightcap Central Florida swept the Quakers, 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-18). The pair of defeats drops Penn’s record to 1-4.

“These were some very good teams we played this weekend,” head coach Kerry Carr said. “They tested our mental state and at times we didn’t respond.”

Still, Carr thinks the matches played in Miami will benefit the team in the long run.

“We knew these would be tough matches and that we had things to work on,” she said. “It is better to work on our game now than in the Ivy League season.”

Host FIU rolled into the match with a 7-1 record and continued its winning ways on th estrength of a dominating first set. The Panthers jumped out to a 10-3 lead with an offensive showing which included four aces and six kills. From there, FIU never looked back, eventually winning the set, 25-11.

The Red and Blue held the lead for the early portion of the second set until FIU took sets first lead of frame at 13-12. In the third set, Penn held an early 2-0 lead but the Panthers tied things up at two. It was all blue and gold from that point on, and FIU won the set by six.

Virginia Senf and Kathryn Turner tied for the team lead in kills in the first match with six. Senf added six more kills in the second match against Central Florida for 12 on the day.

“When we were able to get the ball to her, Virginia was unstoppable,” Carr said.

In the match with UCF, neither team could separate themselves in the first set as the largest lead belonged to Penn when they held a 6-3 advantage in the early stages of the match. The set was tied at 23-23 when UCF scored the final two points on Erin Campbell kills to take the 1-0 lead. Campbell finished with a match-high 17 kills for the Golden Knights. The second set turned in the middle of the frame when UCF turned a 14-14 set into a 24-16 lead with points in ten of a possible 12 attempts, including seven in a row. Penn was able to get back within five, but a Jenny Heppert kill won the set, 25-19. Three matches in two days may have caught up with the Quakers in the third set against the Knights, as they were never able to mount much offense, and UCF clinched the match with a 25-18 set win.

Carr had praise for her team despite the weekend’s results.

“We played well on defense,” she said. “Logan Johnson came off the bench and had a great weekend of passes, which is something that doesn’t often find its way into the scoresheet. She found a rhythm and played well. So did Shannon Moody. They both showed that I could count on them when needed. Ashley Hawkinsalso had a good weekend. It was nice to see her attack the ball with force and make the other teams work to receive the ball.”

She also feels that the experience in Florida will spark her squad as it prepares for next weekend’s Villanova Classic.

“We know we have lots of things to tweak and work on,” said Carr. “This will energize practice as we focus on our tests next weekend.”

Penn is in action at the Villanova Classic Sept. 19 at 4:30 p.m. against La Salle and again Sept. 20 for two games. The first match on the 20th is against Bucknell at 10 a.m., and the Quakers will wrap up the Classic with the host Wildcats at 7 p.m.