PHILADELPHIA - Coming off its second consecutive 2-1 weekend, the Penn women's volleyball gears up for its toughest test of the season when the Quakers host Albany, Santa Clara and St. Francis (Pa.) in the Holiday Inn HD Tournament at the Palestra this Friday and Saturday.
Penn, now 8-2 on the season, is off to its best start since 2002, when the Quakers opened with a 10-3 record. This also marks the final weekend of non-conference play for the Red and Blue, as they open Ivy play next Saturday at Princeton.
This weekend, the Quakers play their first match at 4 p.m. when they take on St. Francis (Pa.). Penn returns to action again at 7 p.m. when Santa Clara steps on the court and the Quakers finish up the weekend on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Albany.
Fan can follow the Red and Blue online by going to the Holiday Inn HD Tournament web page. The page will house box scores, recaps and links to live stats for each of the tournament's six matches. To access the tournament page click here. Additionally, all three of Penn's matches will be webcast live online. Click here to access the webcast.
About the Red Flash
St. Francis (Pa.) enters the weekend with a 2-10 record overall, with wins against Hampton and Bucknell. Penn and St. Francis have played two common opponents, with the Red Flash losing 3-1 to Towson and falling 3-0 to Temple. The Red Flash is led on offense by senior Shirley Miller who has a team high 126 kills (3.15) and also leads the team with 15 service aces (.38). On defense, junior Christine Breisch has 115 digs (2.88), good for tops on the team, while Miller is right behind her with 114 (2.85). Freshmen Elizabeth Williams and Lauren Wingard provide the defense up front as both have 20 total blocks (.50) to lead the team.
About the Broncos
Santa Clara comes into this weekend with an 8-4 record, though three of the team's four losses have been at the hands of top 25 programs. The Broncos and the Quakers have both played Cal State Bakersfield this season, as each team came away with a 3-1 victory. Santa Clara has won three straight overall and features a balanced offense. Freshman Katherine Douglas leads the team with 117 kills (2.60) while junior Krista Kelley is second with 107 kills (3.57). On defense, sophomore Libby Morrison has a team high 130 digs (3.51) and is followed by Douglas with 109 (2.42). Senior Lindsy Davigeadono leads the defense at the net with 40 total blocks (1.03), while freshman Dana Knudsen and sophomore Tanya Schmidt both have 38 total blocks apiece.
About the Great Danes
Albany enters the weekend with a deceiving 5-8 record. The Great Danes have lost to a pair of ranked team this season, but beat Virginia last weekend to snap a four-match winning streak. Albany and Penn have played two common opponents this season, as the Great Danes beat Lamar in four sets and lost to Villanova in five. On offense, Albany has three players with over 110 kills, in Valerie Sourbeer (133), Teresa Coppiellie (113), and Hilary White (111). Defensively, Albany is led by Laurie Gonzalez's 127 digs (3.74), while Brooke Stanely is second on the team with 121 (2.57). At the net, Casey Wright leads the team with 12 solo blocks and 21 total blocks.
Last Time Out
Penn went 2-1 last weekend at the Towson Invitational. The Quakers won their first two matches, 3-1 over Ball State and then 3-2 over Towson. However, in the final match of the weekend, the Red and Blue were plagued by poor hitting and dropped a 3-0 decision to George Washington.
Freshman Lauren Martin was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week following her play last weekend. Martin was named to the Towson Invitational all-tournament team after racking up 37 kills while hitting .290 for Penn.
Junior Madison Wojciechowski had 65 digs (5.33) in three matches over the weekend as she was named to the all-tournament team. She has 209 digs on the season (5.50) and her 5.50 digs per set are good enough for tenth in the country. The junior also moved into fourth place on the school's all-time dig list with 1,177.
Giving A Helping Hand
Junior Megan Tryon is 24th in the country with 10.88 assists per set (435). The mark is also top among Ivy League setters.
In Penn's loss to George Washington, senior Natalie Drucker played just two sets but made her presence felt. Drucker had 6 six kills with just one error on 11 attempts (.455) and also addedd two total blocks.
By The NumbersPenn is 8-2 in non-conference play, its most wins in non-conference play since going 12-5 in 2000. The Red and Blue are 7-0 in four and five set matches this season and just 1-2 in three set matches The Quakers are 7-0 this season when they win the second set of the match. The team is just 1-2 when they drop the set, with the only win coming against Ball State last weekend. Penn is 5-0 this season when it hits fewer errors than its opponents. The Quakers are 6-0 when they out dig their opponents.