PHILADELPHIA - Though the Penn volleyball team came out slowly on Saturday after the emotion of a pregame ceremony honoring its six seniors, they eventually worked out the kinks and blew Brown out of the gym as the match progressed, winning going away by a score of 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-12, 25-12). Kristen Etterbeek led the Quakers with 20 kills and 17 digs, while senior Lauren Martin added 10 kills.
There weren't many lead changes to speak of on Saturday. The team that led early tended to lead throughout without being heavily challenged. In the first set, that team was Brown. The Bears scored the first three points of the match and the only time Penn was able to even the score was at 9-9. Brown then scored the next four points and held off a late Quaker rally that saw the Red and Blue close the lead back down to two after trailing by as many as seven. A kill from Thea Derrough (a team-high 10 in the match) and a block gave Brown the 25-21 win.
Brown took an early lead once again in the second set, but behind eight kills from Etterbeek, Penn stormed back and took a 9-6 lead, forcing the Bears to burn a timeout. The run didn't stop there, as Alex Caldwell had one of her four spikes in the set and then combined with Amanda Pacheco for a block to stretch the lead to 11-6. Brown could get no closer than three from that point on and the Quakers went into the locker room with the match tied at a set apiece after their 25-16 victory.
Though the Quakers looked good while fighting back and taking the second set, they took their play to a whole new level in the final two sets, never trailing in the third and fourth. Two aces from Alexis Genske started Penn off on the right foot in the third set, and the lead ballooned to 7-1 before Brown halted play to try to slow the Quaker momentum. The Bears were able to play even with Penn for a little while, but did nothing to slash into the Red and Blue lead. With Penn up 21-12, Etterbeek put her team ahead by double-digits, then Susan Stuecheli finished Brown off by herself, ending the set with two straight kills and a solo block.
The fourth set was nearly a mirror image. With Penn leading 2-1, the Quakers scored seven straight before a timeout was called. With the match well in hand at the end, Kerry Carr was able to give each of her seniors a curtain call. The final two Penn points in the match came courtesy of senior Lauren Davis, the last giving the Red and Blue the set and the match with a 25-12 win.
After Brown hit .220 to win the first set, they never hit above .000 as a team in each of the next three sets. Five Quakers reached double-figures in digs, led by Emma White's 23. Ronnie Bither was busy with 32 assists and 12 digs, while Caldwell narrowly missed her second straight triple-double, tallying eight kills, 23 assists and 12 digs. In their final competition on the floor of The Palestra, the five Penn seniors in uniform performed great, led by Martin's 10 kills and two block assists. Pacheco had four kills, four block assists, three digs and a pair of assists. Davis was active on both offense and defense, notching four kills, six digs and a block assist. Middle blocker Tori Manix had two kills and two block assists while Hilary Ash teed up Martin for a kill in the first set.
Penn (13-10, 8-4 Ivy) concludes its regular season on the road next weekend, facing Columbia on Friday night and Cornell on Saturday.
Download: Penn-Brown Box Score.pdf