PHILADELPHA - It looked promising for the Quakers early, but Princeton stormed back to overcome a 2-0 deficit and stun the defending Ivy League champions 3-2 on Friday night at the Palestra.
Penn took a commanding 2-0 lead, winning 26-14 and 25-15 before the Tigers made their comeback. The Red and Blue lost 25-23 in the third and 25-19 in fourth set before falling 15-9 in the final set. Senior Julia Swanson led the team with 20 kills and also added 12 digs for her fourth straight double-double. Fellow classmate Megan Tryon was all over the court for the Red and Blue with 51 assists, 13 digs and five kills.
The Quakers struggled in the early going of the first set, falling behind Princeton 14-8, before an Amanda Pacheco kills halted the Tiger run. With Logan Johnson serving, Penn reeled off four straight to make it 12-14 and caught back up to Princeton at 18. Penn finally took its first lead of the match at 21-20 and traded points before a pair of errors by the Tigers ended it 26-24.
The Red and Blue continued the momentum into the second set as they never trailed on the way to a 10-4 lead. The Quakers continued to extend the lead, pushing it to ten at 19-9 before winning it 25-15.
Princeton held the lead to open the third set and jumped out to a 15-11 advantage. The score continued to be in favor of the Tigers until a 4-1 run brought the clubs even at 20. Penn was unable to get any lead, falling 25-23.
In the fourth, the Quakers held the lead early before relinquishing it to Princeton 13-12. Penn was still within striking distance at 17-19, but a 6-5 run by the Tigers tied the match up a two sets a piece.
The Red and Blue couldn't get in a rhythm in the final set, falling behind 5-2. The team fought back to tie it at 6-6, but a 9-3 run by Princeton dashed Penn's hopes of a victory.
Freshman Susan Stuecheli was the Quakers' top hitter, firing 12 kills at a .500 clip while also recording three total blocks. Lauren Martin also hit double figure kills with 13. First-year Kristen Etterbeek had her best all-around game of the year, hitting .333 with nine kills, five digs and four blocks.
Defensively, Madison Wojciechowski matched a season-high with 33 digs, while freshman Kristin Schoonover added a career-high 14. Pacheco led the team up front with eight total blocks; three other players each added at least three as well.
The loss drops the Red and Blue to 4-8 overall and 0-1 in Ancient Eight play, while the Tigers improve to 1-0 in league action and 6-6 overall.
Penn returns to action tomorrow night when they host Marquette at 7 p.m. in the Palestra.