PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers seek to extend their win streak to three when they play host to Dartmouth at the Palestra on Friday at 7 p.m., and then face off against Harvard Saturday at 5 p.m.
Penn is coming off a 2-0 weekend in which the team beat Yale and Brown in four sets to improve to 6-9 overall and 2-1 in Ancient Eight. Dartmouth, meanwhile, is 3-1 in the Ivy League and 12-3 overall, with its lone league loss coming to Columbia. Harvard is 5-11 overall but has won three of four and is 2-2 in the Ivy League, including a pair of victories over Columbia and Cornell last weekend.
Last Time Out
On Friday, Penn took the first two sets 25-21, 25-19 against 2008 Ivy League champion Yale. The Quakers dropped the third, 20-25 and were down in the fourth before coming back for the 25-22 victory. On Saturday, the Red and Blue opened with a 25-20 first set victory but dropped the second, 18-25. Penn responded with a dominating 25-16 win in the third and ended the match with a tough 25-22 fourth set victory to take the match.
Following the Red and Blue
Quaker fans can follow all of the action this weekend via live stats (click here) or they can also watch a live streaming webcast on the Penn Sports Network (click here)
The Quakers have won three straight against the Big Green going back to the 2008 season. Last year's 3-1 victory over Dartmouth at the Palestra guaranteed Penn sole possession of the 2009 Ivy League championship. In that match, Lauren Martin hit .548 with 20 kills while Madison Wojciechowski added 28 digs.
The Red and Blue seek a measure of revenge against the Crimson as they were the lone blemish on the Quakers' 13-1 Ivy League record in 2009. In that match Penn jumped out a 2-0 lead, but dropped the third, and a chance to sweep, 25-27. The team also lost the fourth, 16-25, and were victimized 10-15 in the fifth, ending the Red and Blue's 11-match winning streak. Overall Penn was won nine of its last ten meetings with Harvard, dating back to the 2005 season.
Scouting the Big Green
Dartmouth went 1-1 last weekend, dropping a 3-1 decision to Columbia. The Big Green are one of the most potent offenses in the Ivy League and are led by junior Madeline Baird. The outside hitter averages 3.91 kills per set, second in the Ivies, and 3.70 digs per set while hitting at a .226 clip. Junior Anne Villanueva leads the team with a .310 hitting percentage and is also second in kills at 2.80 per set. Senior Kelsey Johnson is third with 2.15 kills pet set. Dartmouth splits its passing duties, with junior Kendall Houston and sophomore Alissa Santa Maria each averaging over nine assists per set. Defensively, the Big Green are second in the country averaging 18.61 digs per set. The team is led by junior Amber Bryant at 5.57 digs per set, followed by Baird and then Kendall (2.54). Up front the team averages just 1.66 blocks per set, led by freshman middle Elisa Scudder's .80 blocks per set.
Scouting the Crimson
Coming off a pair of wins over the weekend, Harvard enters the Palestra looking to move over the .500 mark in Ivy play. The Crimson feature a balanced offense, with five players averaging 2.2-1.5 kills per set. Sophomore Taylor Docter leads the team at 2.14, while junior Anne Carroll Ingersoll is right behind her at 2.10 kills per set. Senior Mikaelle Comrie (1.96), freshman Teresa Skelly (1.75) and junior Sandra Lynne Fryhofer (1.57) are third, fourth and five respectively. Skelly's .333 hitting percentage is tops among Harvard regulars and second in the Ivy League, while Fryhofer is second on the team hitting an even .200. Skelly also makes her presence felt on defense, averaging a team-high .92 blocks per set, including 11 last weekend. Fryhofer and Ingersoll are both tied for second on the team, at .69 per set. Junior libero Christine Wu leads the back of the defense, averaging 4.17 digs pet set as the team averages 14.00 pet set.
Sophomore Amanda Pacheco was named the Ivy Co-Player of the Week in helping Penn to a 2-0 weekend. The middle blocker was a force for the Red and Blue in both matches, hitting .404 with 3.0 kills and 1.12 blocks per set, also chipping in with ten digs over eight sets of action. Pacheco is the first Quaker this season to receiving Ivy Player or Rookie of the Week honors. The last member of the Red and Blue to earn Player of the Week honors was Elizabeth Semmens, who received the honor the second to last week of the 2009 regular season.
Madison Wojciechowski is currently ranked sixth in the country averaging 5.73 digs per set. As team, the Quakers are ranked 16th, tallying 17.43 digs per set. Penn is one of three Ivy teams ranked in the top 20, behind only Dartmouth (2) and Yale (7).
Pacheco leads the Ivy League in hitting at .344 while freshman Susan Stuecheli is sixth at .309 ... Megan Tryon leads the league averaging 10.29 assists per set ... Madison Wojciechowski leads the Ivies with 5.73 digs per set ... Senior Julia Swanson is fifth in the Ancient Eight at 3.17 kills per set ... Stuecheli is sixth with .90 blocks per set ... Tryon is seventh with .27 service aces per set (14) ... As a team, Penn is ranked third in kills (12.51) and digs (17.43), and fourth in assists (11.68) and hitting percentage (.202).
A victory this weekend will give head coach Kerry Carr her 204th win at Penn, breaking the school record of 203 set by Joe Sagula when he left Penn following the 1989 season. Carr has a career record of 203-136 at the helm of the Quakers, as well as leading them to four 20-win seasons and four Ivy League championships during her tenure.
Can You Dig It?
Wojciechowski recorded double-digit digs in both matches over the weekend, extending her streak of matches with at least ten digs to a school-record 24 matches. Overall she has recorded double-digit digs in 88 of the 95 career matches. Wojciechowski also had 30 digs against Yale on Friday, the third time this season she has recorded 30 or more digs and the 11th time in her career.
In Penn's victories on Friday and Saturday, three different players recorded double-digit kills in both matches. Lauren Martin and Pacheco reached double-digits in both matches, while Etterbeek added 11 on Friday and Swanson had 14 kills on Saturday.