FULLERTON, Calif. -The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team lost to Cal State Fullerton, 3-1, Saturday in the Holiday Inn Buena Park Fullerton Classic. Penn fell in the first two games (30-20 and 30-21), but took the third set, 30-28, before falling in game four by the same score.
Despite getting out to an early 3-0 lead in game one, Penn saw the Titans score seven consecutive points and build up a comfortable lead that was too much for the Quakers. The Red and Blue hung with CSF in game two until the Titans scored four points in a row to take a 17-12 advantage. CSF never let Penn get within six points and took a commanding 2-0 lead.
On the verge of facing a sweep, the Quakers did not go quietly in the fourth set. Holding a 28-23 lead, a victory seemed imminent for the Quakers. However, the Titans scored the next five points to tie the game. Then junior Linda Zhang stole the show. Zhang delivered a kill to put the Red and Blue up by one. Serving game point, Zhang served a service ace to give Penn the 30-28 victory.
The Quakers kept the momentum going they built in game three. Leading 9-8 in game four, Penn scored the next four points to take a 13-8 lead. The Red and Blue built its lead to 20-13 thanks to kills from Natalie Drucker, Elizabeth Semmens and Zhang. Penn maintained its lead until the Titans scored four straight points to tie the score at 24. Penn took a two-point lead on a kill by Anna Shlimak and a CSF attack error. The Titans scored three straight, but Zhang answered with a kill to tie it at 27-27. Both teams exchanged attack errors and CSF converted two straight kills to seal the match.
Drucker and Semmens led Penn with 10 kills each, while Shlimak, Zhang and Stephanie Gwin had nine kills a piece. Defensively, the Quakers were very solid placing five players in double digits in digs. Laura Black had a team-high 28 digs, whileShlimak (26), Meredith Damore (18), Zhang (15) and Elizabeth Hurst (12) also reached double digits. Just as impressive was Penn’s play at the net -- the Quakers combined for 12 block assists, led by Drucker’s four.
Penn is back in action this evening, taking on Lipscomb at 7:30 p.m. (EDT).