PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's volleyball team looks to extend their conference unbeaten streak this weekend when they host their first Ivy contests of the season. The Red andBlue play Cornell on Friday at 7 p.m. and on Saturday host Columbia at 4 p.m.
In Saturday's match against Columbia the team will be participating in Dig Pink, an initiative to bring about awareness and raise money for breast cancer research. Fans of Penn are encouraged to wear something pink to the match on Saturday or buy a pink volleyball shirt at the Palestra to show their support. Fans may also make donations at the matchwith all proceeds goingto the Side-Out Foundation, an organization dedicated to breast cancer research through volleyball tournaments, clinics, and rallies. Those who would like to donate to Side-Out online may do so by clicking here.
The Quakers are fresh off their second consecutive road sweep as they beat Dartmouth 3-1 on Friday and then finished off Harvard in four sets on Saturday. Against the Big Green, the Red and Blue took the first set 25-23 before dropping the second set 25-19. Penn responded in the third set, with a 25-22 win, and concluded the match with a 25-18 victory. Facing the Crimson on Saturday, the Quakers took the first two sets, 25-16 and 27-25, before dropping the third set 22-25. Penn came back with a 25-16 victory in the final set to improve to 5-0 in Ancient Eight play.
On Friday, the Red and Blue take on a Cornell squad which is in a three-way tie for third place in the Ivy League standings with a 3-3 record. The Big Red lost to Yale 3-0 and beat Brown 3-1 last weekend. Cornell is led by dual threat Deveny Pula. The freshman leads the team with 2.85 kills per set (151) and is second on the team averaging 2.47 digs per set (131). Junior Alessa Cekauskas is the only other player on the Big Red averaging over two kills per set (2.17), as Cornell's 11.03 kills per set is eighth in the Ivy League. On defense, senior Megan Mushovic leads the team with 4.43 digs per set (266).
After winning just one conference match over the last three years, Columbia is 2-4 in Ivy play this season. Last weekend, the Lions beat Brown 3-1 on Friday before losing to Yale 3-1 on Saturday. Leading the charge for the Columbia is freshman Megan Gaughn who is first on the team with 4.12 kills per set (305), also good for tops in the Ivy League, and is second on the team with 3.32 digs per set (246). On defense, senior Ellie Thomas is averaging a team-high 4.89 digs per set (357), while sophomore Monique Roberts has 72 total blocks, 16 of which are solo.
Following the Red And Blue
Fans of the Penn volleyball can follow the matches on live stats by clicking here for either match. To access the webcast for either match, click here.
The Quakers are ranked in the top 25 in three different categories in the latest NCAA statistics. Penn is 23rd in digs per set (16.96) and 21st in both assists per set (13.03) and kills per set (14.0). The Red and Blue's marks for assists and kills per set are also tops in the Ivy League.
Senior Elizabeth Semmens was all over the court for the Quakers last weekend as she racked up 43 kills (5.38) and 30 digs (3.75) in two wins on her way to being named the Ivy League Player of the Week.
Shades of '03
Penn is 14-4 this season, its best start to open a season since going 16-4 to begin the 2003 campaign. The 2003 Quakers also opened conference play 9-0 on their way to a 13-1 record and their third consecutive Ivy League title.
Second To None
Junior Madison Wojciechowski moved into second place on the school's all-time dig list with her 19 digs last weekend. She now has 1,325 in her career and trails only Cara Thompson who finished her career with 1,525.
Penn is second in the Ivy League with a .207 attack percentage. The Quakers also lead the conference in assists (13.03) and kills (14.00).
Penn is second in the conference in opponents attack percentage (.178) and opponent's kills per set (11.83). The Quakers are also third in the Ivy League in blocks per set (1.86).
By The Numbers
- Penn's five game winning streak is the longest since winning seven straight last season.
- The Quakers are 10-0 this season when they win the first set, and 11-0 when they win the
- Penn remains a perfect 4-0 in five-set matches this season. The Red and Blue have won the
fifth set in those four contests by scores of 16-14, 15-11, 15-13, 15-13.
- Since 2001 Penn is a perfect 7-0 at the Palestra against Columbia and 6-1 versus Cornell.