PHILADELPHIA – Countless hours of digging, passing, and attacking have already been logged as the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team is set to get the 2014 season underway. The Quakers begin the journey on Friday as they host the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational for the fourth consecutive year. This weekend’s round-robin action will be played with Colgate, Cleveland State, and Georgetown.
Live stats of the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational matches will be available by clicking here.
The Penn Sports Network will also be providing live HD video streaming of the three Penn matches, which can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network. Video coverage of the tournament is part of the ILDN special-free weekend and can be viewed for free by clicking these links.
Penn vs. Colgate
Penn vs. Cle State
Penn vs. Georgetown
Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational Schedule
4 p.m. Cleveland State vs. Georgetown
7:30 p.m. Penn vs. Colgate
10:30 a.m. Georgetown vs. Colgate
1 p.m. Penn vs. Cleveland State
5 p.m. Colgate vs. Cleveland State
7:30 p.m. Penn vs. Georgetown
Scouting Colgate (1-0, 0-0 Patriot League)
The last time the Quakers and Raiders played was in 2000, when the Red and Blue won in three. In the seven-game series, Colgate has one win which came in a five-set battle in 1999.
Picked to finish second in the Patriot League, the Raider’s opened their season with a home win over Niagra, 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 14-25, 15-13). The Purple Eagles rallied in the fifth set to come within one, 14-13, but Colgate’s Diane Seely -- last year’s Patriot League Player-of-the-Year -- ended the contest on the next point with her 17th kill of the evening. Sophomore Kathleen Harris also reached double-digit kills with 13.
Scouting Cleveland State (2-2, 0-0 Horizon League)
After claiming the season’s first win against Tennessee Tech in the Appalachian Invitational, the Vikings evened their record to 2-2 with a home sweep over Akron, 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-17). Sophomore Grace Kauth and junior Christina Toth led the offense with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while junior Nikki Holmes contributed a team-high 15 digs.
Saturday’s contest will be just the second time in school history that Penn takes the court with Cleveland State. The two teams first met in 1991 with the Vikings as the victors, 3-0.
Scouting Georgetown (2-1, 0-0 Big East)
Against the Red and Blue, the Hoyas hold the series lead at 11-4, contributing their most recent win in 2002.
Georgetown started the season with a 3-0 loss against No. 24 American but bounced back and recorded two wins against George Mason, 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 25-13), and Howard, 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-15). Against both teams, junior co-captain Lauren Saar reached double-digits in kills and also contributed 20 digs against George Mason. Senior Mackenzie Simpson hit the career milestone of 1,000 digs when she recorded 23 digs against George Mason.
New Season, New Locker Room
Through generous donations from supportive donors of the Penn volleyball program, the renovations to the locker room in The Palestra were completed for the start of the 2014 season.
The official unveiling of the locker room will take place the weekend of November 7th and 8th with a ribbon cutting ceremony presented by the donors. Alumni, family, and friends are welcomed to witness and be a part of the event.
O Captain! My Captain!
Penn’s three captains this season are Meghan Connolly, Trina Ohms, and Alexis Genske.
Connolly finished sixth on the team in service aces last year with 16 and set a single-match career-high service aces of five against Norfolk State at the Villanova Tournament. Against Weber State during last year’s Crowne Plaza West Penn Invitational, she set a season high 10 digs.
Ohms contributed a total of 79 kills last season and set a single-match career high of nine kills and highest career attack percentage of .583 against Princeton. She also set a single-match career-high of six blocks against Sacred Heart last year.
Genske was named second-team All-Ivy and earned Ivy Player of the Week for her performance in the road wins over Dartmouth and Harvard. She set a personal best 20 kills, which was also the best mark in a match for Penn last year.