PHILADELPHIA - Off to the best start in over five years, the Penn women's volleyball team looks to keep up the winning ways when they travel down to Maryland for the Towson Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Quakers face some stiff competition this weekend, as they look to improve on their 6-1 record. It's the best start for a Penn squad since the Red and Blue opened the 2000 campaign 7-2. That team finished with a 22-8 record and a second place finish in the Ivy League.
Penn opens play on Friday at noon when they play Ball State. The Quakers return to the court at 7 p.m. that night for a bout with host Towson and play their final match of the tournament against George Washington at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Fans can follow the Red and Blue online by going to the Towson Invitational Tournament webpage. The page will house the scores from all the matches as well as links to live stats for each match. To go to the tournament page click here. Additionally, Penn's match against host Towson on Friday at 7 p.m. will be webcast live. Click here to access the webcast.
About the Cardinals
Ball State enters the weekend with a 6-4 record. The Cardinals have won four straight matches, each in straight sets, against Chicago State, Eastern Illinois, Indiana State and IUPUI. Ball State has three players with over 85 kills. Junior Charde' Phillips is hitting .400 and is tied for second on the team with 87 kills. Over her last four matches, she has 49 kills (3.76) and is hitting .481. On defense, senior Julie Breivogel leads the team with 18 total blocks (.58) while sophomore Christi Walters leads the Cardinals with 118 digs (3.58).
About the Tigers
Towson comes into the weekend with a 7-4 record overall. The Tigers are unbeaten on their home court, with victories over Lehigh, Morgan State and Navy, but have lost two of their last three, including a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Cornell last weekend. Towson features a balanced attack, as three players have over 80 kills. A double threat, junior Shelynne Hoyt is third on the team with 80 kills (1.95) and also leads the team with a .259 attack percentage and 34 total blocks (.88). On defense, senior Missy Rohrbaugh leads the team with 144 digs (3.51).
About The Colonials
George Washington has a 5-4 record entering the weekend. The Colonials have won two out of their last three, with the only loss coming at the hands of Villanova. GW, like Penn is 2-0 in five-set matches this year. On offense, the Colonials are led by the two headed attack of junior Leah Hill and senior Katie Butz. Hill leads the team with 124 kills (3.60) and is second on the team with 126 digs (3.60). Butz, meanwhile, is second on the team with 112 kills (3.20) and total blocks with 26 (.74). On defense, freshman Candace Silva-Martin leads GW with 185 digs.
Last Time Out
Penn went 3-1 at the Husky Classic last weekend, with wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Cal State Bakersfield and Houston Baptist. Madison Wojciechowski was named the tournament's most outstanding defensive player, while Elizabeth Semmens was named to the all-tournament team.
Can You Dig It?
Penn is currently ranked 14th nationally in digs per set (17.14). Leading the charge is junior Madison Wojciechowski, who is first on the team in digs and is ranked ninth in the country with 5.54 digs per set (144). Senior Mary Russell is second on the team with 2.89 digs per set (78).
The Quakers rank 15th in the country in kills per set (14.14) and are led by senior Elizabeth Semmens, who is 39th in the nation with 4.07 kills per set (114). Overall six different players have recorded double digit kills in a match this season.
A Passing Grade
Penn is 22nd in the country with 12.86 assists per set. Junior Megan Tryon leads the Quakers, and is 20th in the country, with 11.18 assists per set (313).
Leading The Attack
Ashley Hawkins is first on the team with a .361 attack percentage. She is also second on the team with 66 kills (2.44). The senior is also a defensive force for Penn as she had 27 total blocks (1.00) to lead the team.
Elizabeth Semmens has double-doubles in five of the team's fist seven matches this season, after having one all of last year. Junior Megan Tryon is second on the team with two double-doubles.
Keeping It Fresh
At the Husky Classic last weekend, freshman Lauren Martin finished second on the team with 27 kills (3.00). Fellow classmate Lauren Davis added 21 kills (1.61) and 14 digs (1.08) in the Husky Classic.
Moving Up The Charts
Madison Wojciechowski's 84 digs last weekend put into fifth place on the school's all-time dig list. The junior has 1,112 career digs and needs just 20 this weekend to pass Elizabeth Kwak-Hefferan (1,131) and move into four place all-time.