New Haven, Conn. - Penn volleyball hung tough on the road against the Ivy League leaders on Friday night, but Yale was able to take a 2-0 lead into the break and blew the match open in the third, inflicting a 3-0 defeat on the Quakers (20-25, 22-25, 8-25) and maintaining its lead over Princeton in the quest for the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Lauren Martin and Emma White led the Red and Blue with eight kills apiece.
All the early indications seemed to point toward this one remaining close throughout. The Quakers shot out of the gate with a 13-7 lead, prompting a timeout from Yale to quell Penn's momentum. Despite that, the Quakers continued to lead comfortably and White's second kill of the set put Penn out in front by a count of 18-13. Following Yale's final timeout, the Red and Blue attack suddenly went cold at the worst possible time. A Penn service error opened the gates for the Bulldogs to score seven of the next eight points and gain its first lead since 1-0 at 20-19. While Yale gave one back with a service error of its own thatknotted the score at 20-20,it proved to be Penn's last point of the set. Kills from four different Bulldogs along with a Penn attack error gave Yale the set, 25-20.
The two-pronged attack of Martin and White kept the Red and Blue in it for much of the second set. The Quakers and Bulldogs battled through 11 ties and three lead changes, the last of which gave Yale an edge they wouldn't give back. Tied at 16-16, Yale scored four unanswered to gain control. Down 24-19, Penn had one last gasp as White supplied back-to-back kills, followed by a block from Susan Stuecheli and Elizabeth Horner to close Penn to within two at 24-22, but White's attack error on the subsequent point sent the Quakers into the locker room down 0-2.
The third set was over almost before it started. Penn jumped ahead 2-0 off a kill from Stuecheli and a block courtesy of her and Martin on the next point, but the Bulldogs recovered quickly and gained a lead of 8-4, forcing a timeout from Penn. The Quakers were able to go back-and-forth with Yale over the next few points, but with the Bulldogs ahead 11-7, they suddenly took their play to a whole other level. Three kills from Haley Wessels in a span of four points gave Yale a working margin of 15-7 and the lead only grew from there. When it was over, Yale had scored 14 of the last 15 points in the match, winning the third set 25-8.
Kristin Schoonover led the Quakers with 15 assists in her first match since Oct. 8 at Columbia. Dani Shepherd managed 21 digs to move into third place on the single-season digs list and now has 522 on the year.
Penn's final road match of the season is tomorrow at Brown. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m.
Download: Yale-Penn Box Score.pdf