PHILADELPHIA Nine Quakers head home to California this weekend as the Penn volleyball team heads west for three matches. The Red and Blue play the University of San Francisco on Friday at 7 p.m. Pacific time (10 p.m. Eastern). On Saturday, the Quakers will play twice taking on Seattle at 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern) and then Saint Mary’s at 7 p.m. Pacific. Both of Saturday’s games will be held on Saint Mary’s campus.
The Quakers have won three of their last four games to improve their record to 4-5. Last weekend, Penn defeated La Salle and Bucknell by matching 3-0 scores before losing to host Villanova at the Villanova Classic. The Red and Blue wrapped up the weekend with a five-set win over Seton Hall back home in The Palestra. Julia Swanson and Kathryn Turner were named to the all-tournament team at the Villanova Classic for their performances over the two days of play.
Swanson has been a force at the net for head coach Kerry Carr in 2008. The reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Swanson leads the Ivies in kills with 114 and she has reached double digits in kills in seven of Penn’s nine matches including all four victories.
Turner has played an important role in Penn’s defense, leading the Quakers with 18 total blocks (17 block assists). She had a hand in five blocks in last Sunday’s 3-2 win over Seton Hall. She is also second on the team with 67 kills.
The Quakers will have a strong contingent of fans supporting them in California with the families and friends of nine players able to stay in their home state to watch the Red and Blue. Turner, Shannon Moody, Emily Ettel, Megan Tryon, Nicole DeCuir, Ashley Hawkins, Corinne Rich, Stephanie Gwin and Madison Wojciechowski all hail from the Golden State.
Up first this weekend for Penn is USF. The Dons enter the weekend with an 8-4 record and have defended their home court at War Memorial Gymnasium well, posting a 5-1 record at home. USF went 2-1 at the Cal-State Fullerton Invitational last week, defeating CSF and Central Connecticut while losing to No. 9 Cal. Junior libero Haley Carrol was the 2007 Defender of the Year in the powerful West Coast Conference and ranks second on San Francisco’s career digs list. Sarah Mandala has 175 kills through 45 sets this season to lead the Dons.
Saturday’s first match will pit the Quakers against the Red Hawks of Seattle University. The Hawks enter the weekend with a 2-11 record, but have played a tough schedule, taking on four teams ranked in the top-20 in the country. Setter Jamie Mellies has been consistent at the net for Seattle, picking up 323 assists.
The weekend concludes with the Quakers playing St. Mary’s as part of the Gaels’ home-opening weekend. St. Mary’s started the season with a six-match winning streak before dropping three of its last five. All three losses have come to top-10 teams in Hawaii, Washington and Stanford. Sophomore outside hitter Megan York has recorded eight double-doubles this season and leads the Gaels in both kills and digs.
Live Stats will be provided for the San Francisco and St. Mary’s games at the school’s respective websites. In addition, live video of the match with San Francisco will also be available by clicking here.