Volleyball Outlasted by Harvard in Five Sets

Penn-Harvard Box Score (pdf)

Despite a school-record 45 digs from Dani Shepherd and four players with double-figure kills, Penn fell to Harvard on Saturday evening at The Palestra by a score of 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 13-15).

The first set looked promising for the Quakers as they shot out of the gate with a 7-1 lead, however Harvard would rally. The turning point in the set came at 19-19. After an Emma White kill had tied the setfor the fourth time, the Crimson reeled off four straight points as Teresa Skelly exploded for akill and back-to-back blocks to put Harvard in front at 23-19. The teams traded side outs until the Crimson had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the match.

Penn began the second set with a 4-0 lead just as they had in the first, and saw it balloon to 11-4 before Harvard again challenged. Trailing 16-13, the Crimson scored four in a row to take their only lead of the set at 17-16, but this time Penn responded. White and Amanda Pacheco cashed in the next four points off assists from Hilary Ash and attack errors from Harvard were all Penn needed down the stretch, the final two points coming off blocks from Susan Stuecheli.

Harvard rallies continued to be the story in the third set as the Crimson turned a 5-1 deficit into a 16-10 edge that forced two timeoutsfrom the Quakersto stem the tide. Trailing 20-12, Penn applied some pressure by closing within four points at 22-18, but would get no closer until Harvard had a set point. Another kill from Skelly put the Quakers in a 2-1 hole going into the fourth set.

The combo of Lauren Martin and Kristen Etterbeek were the difference in the penultimate stanza as the two outside hitters combined for 14 kills. Martin personally scored the first three points of the set as Penn again started hot and this time didn't let up. The Red and Blue led throughout andnotched the final three points of the set off Harvard attack errors to tie the match and send it to a final set.

It would be difficult tothink up a better start than how the Quakers began the fifth. Martin againled off with three straight kills and the two teams switched ends with Penn leading 8-5. After a Stuecheli kill and a Harvard attack error, Penn was ahead 11-7 and the Crimson had to burn their final timeout. That's when Penn's attack suddenly went cold. Harvard scored eight of the final 10 points of the match, with one of the Quaker points coming off a service error. A kill from Pacheco that tied the match one lasttime at 13-13 was the only self-generated point Penn could muster in that stretch and consecutive kills from Kristen Casey ended the proceedings with Harvard taking the fifth set, 15-13.

Kristin Schoonover dished out 46 assists in the losing effort to set a career high while Lauren Martin reached 20 kills for the third time on the year. Kristen Etterbeek and Emma White also set career marks with 19 and 14 kills respectively. Amanda Pacheco joined that group in double-figures as she smashed 11 kills while hitting a team-best .240.

Penn falls to 5-8 and 1-2 in the Ivy League with the loss. The Quakers will return to actionon Fridayand Saturday as they travel to Cornell and Columbia. The match with the Big Red begins Friday at 7 p.m., while a trip to New York City to face the Lions concludes the weekend at 5 p.m.

Download: Penn-Harvard Box Score.pdf