PHILADELPHIA – This weekend marks the beginning of a five-match road swing for the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team, starting with Harvard on Friday at 7 p.m. and concluding with Dartmouth on Saturday at 5 p.m. Last year, the Quakers went 2-0 against the Big Green and Crimson on the road, taking Dartmouth out in four and topping Harvard in five with a final set score of 18-16.
Live stats of both the match against Harvard and Dartmouth will be available by clicking here.
A live video streaming of the weekend’s events can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network. The video coverage can be found by clicking the following links.
Penn vs. Harvard
Penn vs. Dartmouth
Last Time on the Court: Yale/Brown
Penn finished its nine-match home stand this past weekend with its Dig Pink! matches against Yale and Brown. After starting off the weekend’s contests with a loss to the Bulldogs in three straight sets (25-16, 27-25, 25-17), the Quakers bounced back and went the distance with the Bears on Saturday (26-24, 25-22, 24-26, 16-25, 15-11) for the Red and Blue’s second Ivy win of the season.
Against Yale, freshman Emmy Friedler posted a personal best and season high 24 digs then bested it the next day against Brown with 34. Along with Friedler’s outstanding performance, four other Quakers saw double-digit digs. In addition, three Quakers reached double-digit kills. Junior captain Alexis Genske totaled 14 kills and contributed 20 digs. However, senior Kendall Turner’s accuracy proved to be the best as she hit .435 with 12 kills and two errors in 23 attempts. Junior Michellie McDonald-O’Brien was right behind her with 11 kills and one error in 24 attempts, hitting .417.
Scouting Harvard (10-4, 3-2 Ivy)
A happy Harvard returned home after a successful weekend away, besting Cornell 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-17) and Columbia 3-2 (25-23, 27-29, 25-19, 17-25, 17-15). After starting the Ivy season 1-2, the Crimson’s pair of road wins has moved them into a three-way-tie for third in the standings.
Standout freshman Paige Kebe logged career-highs with 22 kills and seven digs against Columbia, paving the way for her first Ivy League Rookie of the Week distinction. Prior to Saturday’s performance against the Lions, Kebe had a solid night against Cornell, totaling eight kills, five digs, and two blocks. Kebe’s weekly honor marks the third for Harvard this season. Senior Caroline Walters was named both Ivy League and AVCA Player of the Week on Sept. 23, a week after sophomore Corinne Bain, last year’s unanimous Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was the conference’s player of the week on Sept. 16. So far this season, Bain has had five triple-doubles – two straight – and eight consecutive double-doubles.
Scouting Dartmouth (12-4, 3-2 Ivy)
The Big Green had a tough start to the weekend, as they fell to Columbia 3-1 (25-18, 26-28, 18-25, 21-25) for their second loss in conference competition. Friday’s match with the Lions started off promising, as Dartmouth used a six-point run to hold a lead that carried the Big Green to a first set victory. The second set, however, was a grueling battle that saw 16 ties between the two teams, but two straight errors by Dartmouth after a 26-26 tie gave Columbia the set. The Lions controlled the third and although the Big Green kept the fourth set close, Columbia walked away with the win. Junior Paige Caridi led the offensive efforts with 18 kills, while sophomore Stacey Benton put up 39 assists and four digs. Sophomore Julia Lau anchored the defense with a notable 20 digs.
Despite the loss to the Lions, Dartmouth found redemption the following day with a sweep over Cornell (25-17, 25-18, 25-20). The Big Green effectively discovered their rhythm, leading from start to finish in the first set with a 10-point lead at one time. 13 errors by the Big Red and strong performances from junior Kaira Lujan, senior Alex Schoeberger, Caridi, and sophomore Emily Astarita made the second set an easy one to take, and a closer third set ended when Astarita put down the final kill.
Dartmouth began the Ivy season atop of the standings until the Big Green suffered its first loss to reigning Ivy League Champion Yale. This past weekend’s split has now landed Dartmouth in a three-way-tie for third with Harvard and Columbia.
Around the Ivy League
Last year the Bulldogs established themselves as the team to beat, taking the crown for the fourth year* in a row with a 13-1 record in the Ivy League. Yale’s lone loss came in the second half of the Ivy slate in a five-set road loss to Harvard.
However, this year has already proved to be much different than last; Each of the Ancient Eight teams has at least one loss to their name in the first half of conference contests.
Princeton pulled ahead as the lone team without a loss, until the Tigers fell to the reigning Ivy Champs this past Saturday, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-12). Now Princeton, along with Yale -- who lost to Harvard in five earlier this season -- are now tied for first place. Dartmouth, Harvard, and Columbia each have three wins and two losses, for a three-way-tie for third; Penn (2-3), Brown (1-4), and Cornell (0-5) round out the rest of the standings.
*In 2010, Penn and Yale were named Co-Ivy League Champions. The Quakers defeated the Bulldogs in a five-set battle to advance to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament.
Ivy League Composite Schedule