PHILADELPHIA - The Penn volleyball team got off to a great start Sunday afternoon at The Palestra, hit a lull for a pair of sets, but recovered in time to gain a 3-2 win over Seton Hall. Game scores were 25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 16-25, 15-11.
Penn improved to 4-5 on the season, and ended a successful if tiring weekend with a 3-1 mark. Seton Hall fell to 5-8.
In the first set, the Quakers broke open a 5-5 tie by scoring six of the next seven points, gaining an 11-6 edge. That lead swelled to 18-8 before the Pirates made a run and got back within three on a pair of occasions (22-19, 24-21). However, Ashley Hawkins got the kill to close it out and give Penn the four-point win.
Set 2 again started even, before Penn went on a three-point run at 6-6 and never looked back. The Quaker advantage crested at eight on several occasions before ending at 25-18.
Seton Hall came out of the locker room inspired, while Penn began to lag a little bit -- no doubt beginning to suffer from playing its fourth match of the weekend. The Pirates reeled off four straight points to take a 7-3 lead, and while the Quakers got back within one on several occasions they could not overtake their guests until late in the set. With the match tied at 21-21, Elizabeth Semmens had a monstrous kill for Penn, and Julia Swanson followed that up with a kill of her own to put the Quakers up 23-21.
Just when it looked like the match was over, though, SHU got a kill from Krissy Wrobel, and then a pair of attack errors by Penn opened the door. Meghan Matusiak ended the four-point swing with a kill, and just like that the score was 2-1 in sets.
Riding a wave of emotion, Seton Hall jumped on Penn in Set 4 and gained a relatively easy win. The Pirates used a five-point run to take a 13-6 lead, and that was more than a clearly tiring Penn team could overcome. It was on to the fifth and final set.
Perhaps because the light at the end of the tunnel was in sight, Penn seemed to find its legs. After four pretty pedestrian hitting games, the Quakers came to life in Set 5 and hit a staggering .444 with nine kills. As a result, Penn never trailed in the set and allowed Seton Hall to score consecutive points only once in gaining the match victory.
Swanson ended the match with 18 kills and had 19 digs, while Anne Magnuson had 14 kills and hit a superb .364 with only two errors. Megan Tryon had 45 assists on the night, while libero Madison Wojchiechowski led the Quakers with 25 digs. Shannon Moody (13 digs) and Logan Johnson (12) also hit double digits on defense.
Penn heads to the West Coast this weekend for three matches, starting Friday at the University of San Francisco. Match time is set for 7 p.m. local (10 p.m. in Philadelphia).