Volleyball Gears Up For Texas Showdown

PHILADELPHIA - Penn travels down to Houston, Texas this weekend for its first road trip of the season. The Quakers will take on four teams in the Lone Star State, matching up against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (11 a.m. EST) and Lamar University (4 p.m. EST) on Friday before taking on Cal State Bakersfield (11 a.m. EST) and host Houston Baptist (6:30 p.m. EST) on Saturday.

About The Islanders
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is 4-4 on the season, with wins over Norfolk State, Texas Southern, Centenary and Texas-Pan American. Junior Emily Ridley leads the Islander attack with 111 kills (3.85) while hitting at a .203 clip. On defense, freshman Ariel Carlson has 18 total blocks in 29 sets (0.62) while junior Kandyce Nielson leads the team with 108 digs (3.86).

About The Cardinals
2008 NCAA Tournament participant Lamar University enters the weekend with a 2-4 record after beating Seton Hall and Hofstra last weekend. The Cardinals feature a balanced attack as three players have at least 40 kills. Senior Adrianne Meengs is a triple threat for Lamar, as she leads the team with 176 assists (8.38), is tied for second with 40 kills (1.90), and is third on the squad with 45 digs (2.14). On defense, freshman Jayme Bazille has 24 total blocks (1.14) including at least four in each of her last three matches.

About the Roadrunners
Cal State Bakersfield enters weekend play with a 4-4 record, with wins over Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sacramento State, UC Riverside and Texas-Pan American. The Roadrunners are led on offense by sophomore Lindy DeGeare's 107 kills (3.34) and 12 service aces (0.38). On defense, senior libero Kayla Williamson has a team-high 200 digs (6.25) while freshman Kelsey Mills leads Cal State Bakersfield with 14 total blocks (0.78).

About The Huskies
Host Houston Baptist enters the weekend with a 4-5 record, with victories over Nicholls State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Jackson State and St. Thomas. The Huskies are led by junior Sarah Hazlewood and freshman Heather Leaverton. Hazlewood leads the team with 70 kills (2.50) and 14 service aces (.50), and is tied for second with 61 digs (2.18). Leaverton meanwhile, is second in kills with 62 (2.30) and leads the team with 25 total blocks (0.93), including nine solo.

Getting Down To Business
Penn opened the season with a 3-0 performance in the Big 5 Tournament last weekend. The Quakers beat Temple 3-2 to open the season on Friday night, and on Saturday beat La Salle 3-1 and Villanova 3-2 to clinch the Big 5 Tournament.

Hitting .500
Senior Ashley Hawkins was named MVP of the tournament after hitting .516 with 37 kills to lead the Red and Blue. Hawkins had double-digit kills and hit at least .500 in all three matches over the weekend.

Ivy Honors
Hawkins was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week following her performance in the Big 5 Tournament. Junior Megan Tryon was also honored by the Ancient Eight as a member of the weekly honor roll.

Ready, Set, Go
Megan Tryon dished out 148 assists (10.57) in Penn's first three matches of the season. The junior is also third on the team with 34 digs (2.43).

Block Party
In the Quakers' 3-2 win over Villanova, Penn had 13 total team blocks. Seniors Anne Magnuson, Ashley Hawkins and junior Britt Danneman each had six block assists, while junior Julia Swanson had one solo block and three block assists.

Can You Dig It?
Junior Madison Wojciechowski led the Red and Blue with 60 digs (5.00) in three matches over the weekend. Senior Mary Russell was second on the team with 47 digs (3.36), while playing in all 14 sets in three matches.

A Grand Ole' Time
With 60 digs last weekend, Madison Wojciechowski surpassed 1,000 digs for her career. The junior has 1,028 digs and needs 50 this weekend to surpass Meredith Damore (1,069) and Meghan Schloat (1,077) to move into fifth place on the school's all-time list.

Jump Start
Julia Swanson started off her season strong, recording 24 kills in Penn's season-opening win over Temple. The junior also had three service aces and seven digs in the match.