Volleyball Holds off Dartmouth, 3-2

Penn 3 - Dartmouth 2 Box Score

HANOVER, N.H. – For the second night in a row, Penn’s quest to stay in the Ivy League title race in volleyball came down to a fifth set. Fortunately for the Red and Blue, for the second time in as many nights, the final score went in favor of the Quakers. Penn escaped Hanover with a 3-2 (25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 19-25, 15-12) win to keep pace in the Ancient Eight championship hunt.

Penn’s overall record now stands at 12-11, which marks the first time Penn has been over .500 since the Quakers won their first match of the season over Fairfield. More importantly, Penn is now 8-3 in the Ivy League with three matches to play. If Penn wins all three of its remaining contests, they stand a chance to claim a share of the league crown.

With a week and a half left in the season, Yale leads the Ancient Eight with an 11-1 record. The Bulldogs control their own destiny. If they win out, they will be Ivy champs. In second place is Princeton at 10-1, a half game back. The Quakers are in third. The good news for the Quakers is that they have matches left against both teams ahead of them and that the Bulldogs and Tigers play once more against each other, next Saturday in New Jersey.

Before the Quakers could get ahead of themselves and start scoreboard watching, they needed to take care of business against the Big Green. While the victory required five sets, at this time of year the win is the most important thing.

Sophomore outside hitter Julia Swanson led the way for Penn with 24 kills. Anne Magnuson added a career-high 16 kills and Kathryn Turner continued her consistent play at the net, finishing with 14 kills and a .524 hitting percentage. Turner also added two block assists to raise her career total to 269 – tying her for third all-time by a Quaker with Stephanie Bell. Turner is now three block assists away from equaling Kari Sommerstad for second all-time.

Madison Wojciechowski is chasing down her own school record for digs in a season. She added 21 digs against the Big Green to bring her season total to 444. She needs 13 digs in her final three matches to tie the record of 457 she set in her freshman season.

Setter Megan Tryon ended the match with 62 assists, also a career high and one setup shy of entering the top-five in a single match by a Quaker.

With the two teams tied at one set apiece entering the pivotal third frame, Penn needed a while to get going in the set, but eventually pulled away for a 25-15 win. Two kills from Magnuson helped turn a 6-6 set into a 10-6 lead for the Red and Blue. Penn then went on a 6-0 run to take a 21-11 lead. Turner had three kills in the run and Swanson added a pair.

Dartmouth rebounded in the fourth set, staving off the Quakers’ attempt for a clinch with a convincing 25-19 win. The Big Green took their first lead of the set at 5-4 and never looked back, taking leads of 12-5 and 17-9 en route to forcing a fifth set.

In the deciding set, Penn continued spreading the ball around to its attackers not allowing Dartmouth’s defense to focus on one specific player. Swanson had five kills in the final set – including the final two that clinched the win. Magnuson and Turner each added three to help earn the win for Penn.

The win is Penn’s seventh in a row and equals a similar stretch from last season where the Quakers rattled off seven in a row from Oct. 16-Nov. 3 and ties for the most since the 2003 team won eight in a row.

Penn has a chance to equal that mark Nov. 14 against Yale in The Palestra at 7 p.m.