PHILADELPHIA - Penn (6-8, 1-2) welcomes Columbia (5-8, 0-4) and Cornell (3-1, 8-6)to The Palestra as the Quakers try to get to .500 in the Ivy League. The Lions come into tonight on a four-match losing streak and are looking for their first Ancient Eight victory.The Big Red arethe defending Ivy League champions. Cornell's only slip up in the League came last Saturday against Yale.
After beating Harvard last Friday, Penn ran into Dartmouth, arguably the hottest team in the Ancient Eight, after sweeping Princeton Friday night. The Quakers lost to the Big Green in three (30-25, 30-24 and 30-27) and fell to 1-2 in the League. Despite a solid attack game, the Quakers were beaten on defense. Dartmouth outmatched the Red and Blue 63-44 in digs, placing four players in double digits. Kathryn Turner continued her strong weekend, leading the Quakers with 13 kills.
Friday night, Penn picked up its first Ivy League win of the season, defeating Harvard 3-2. The Quakers won an exciting Game 1, 35-33, but lost the next two 30-19 and 30-21. The Quakers answered back by taking Game 4, 30-27, and Game 5, 15-11. Anna Shlimak and Turner each delivered a team-high 15 kills. Linda Zhang and Kira Campbell combined for 56 assists. The Quakers got a solid effort defensively. Shlimak (25) and Liz Hurst (22) led the Quakers in digs. At the net, Penn had 29 blocks, led by Turner and Gwin who had six each.
Last season Penn and Columbia split their season series. The Lions defeated Penn in New York City in five games on Oct. 14. It marked the first time Penn ever lost to Columbia. The Quakers got their redemption, sweeping the Lions on Nov. 12. Penn holds the all-time series lead 37-1.
Penn and Cornell split in their two matches last season. The Big Red swept the first contest in Ithaca on Oct. 15. The Quakers knocked off Cornell, 3-2, at The Palestra on Nov. 11. Penn ended the Big Red's hopes of becoming the first Ivy League team to go undefeated in the 14 match format. The Red and Blue lead the all-time series 28-20.
The Quakers’ 29 blocks Friday was their highest total of the season. Penn tallied 27 in the Ivy opener versus Princeton (Sept. 30).
The Red and Blue currently lead the Ancient Eight averaging 18.08 digs per game. They hold a slim lead over Dartmouth which is averaging 18.0