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PHILADELPHIA After 12 non-league matches to start the 2008 campaign, the Penn volleyball team returns to Ivy League play when it hosts Princeton at The Palestra on Saturday night. The Quakers posted a 4-8 record in their nonconference slate which included trips to Florida and California to take on some of the top teams in the country.
The two teams begin their Ancient Eight season where the 2007 campaign left off, in the confines of The Palestra. Princeton capped its undefeated Ivy League season with a 3-1 win over the Quakers last November 14. Julia Swanson led all players with 20 kills in the match. Princeton’s Parker Henritze followed with 19.
Last weekend, Penn traveled across the country to California for a set of matches against San Francisco, Seattle and St. Mary’s. The Quakers were not able to come away with a win on the trip, but competed hard in all three matches despite not picking up a “W”. In the first two matches of the trip, Penn held 2-0 leads against tough San Francisco and Seattle teams but could not close the matches out.
Princeton, the reigning Ivy champion, is on a 15-match winning streak in Ancient Eight competition, with the last loss coming at the hands of Cornell in November of 2006. In 2008, the Tigers are 6-2 with tournament wins at the Rose Hill Classic in the Bronx and at the Seton Hill Tournament.
A few notes heading into the Ivy opener for both teams ...Princeton owns a 37-24 edge in the all-time series and has won five in a row dating back to 2005-06. Only seniors Stephanie Gwin and Kathryn Turner have recorded a win over Princeton in their Penn careers a 3-1 win at Princeton on Sept. 30, 2005. Penn’s heavy early-season schedule has seen the Quakers play four more matches than the Tigers and twice as many sets (46-23). Penn’s Julia Swanson ranks third in the Ivy League in kills-per-set with 3.40. Her total of 143 kills is tops in the league. Sophomore setter Megan Tryon is second in the conference in assists with 400, a new career high. Turner was named to the Ivy League honor roll this week for her play in California. She had 30 kills over the three matches and factored in on nine blocks. Her best match of the weekend came against Seattle where she had 17 kills and hit at a .519 percentage with only three errors. Lindsey Ensign has played in every set for the Tigers, leading the team in kills with 71.Her hitting percentage of .424 is far and away the best in the conference, 51 points ahead of second place. Bailey Robinson paces the Ivy League in assists-per-set with 10.83.