MIAMI Penn’s trip to the Sunshine State got off to a cloudy start on Friday night as the Quakers dropped a five-set match to Oral Roberts, 3-2(25-15, 27-29, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13).
The Quakers never led in the first set as the Golden Eagles flew out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back. The Eagles’ largest lead of the first set was ten points, a margin they held three separate times including the final score of 25-15.
The second set saw Penn hold the lead throughout most of the frame until ORU took its first lead at 19-18. The largest lead up to that point was four, a margin Penn led by at 13-9. Once the lead changed hands the first time late in the set, neither team was able to lead by more than two. Penn staved off match point at 25-24 and eventually won the match by breaking a 27-27 tie with a kill from Julia Swanson and an attack error from ORU’s Jackie Oliveira for the 29-27 set win.
The Eagles regained the lead in the third set with a 25-18 win. In the early portion of the set, ORU rattled off six points in a row to turn a 5-4 Penn lead into a 10-6 advantage from which they never looked back. A second long run, this time of five points, opened up a 19-15 set into a insurmountable 24-15lead.
Penn was not deterred, however, and forced a fifth set with a 25-21 win in the fourth. The Red and Blue took an early 4-0 lead thanks in part to a pair of Shannon Moody aces. The Quakers never trailed in the set and withstood a late rally that closed the lead to 23-21 before a pair of kills from Kathryn Turner and Swanson won the set.
The fifth set was a nail-biter as neither team led by more than three points (ORU, 8-5). There were six ties and two lead changes. The set, and the match, turned in favor of ORU when the Eagles scored three points in a row to break an 11-11 tie and force match point at 14-11. Two kills from Turner put the Quakers back within one, but ORU clinched the match on the next point.
Sophomore Megan Tryon had 46 assists in the match, setting up all but eight of Penn’s 54 kills. Her assist number was one more than the entire ORU team. Three women were in double figures in kills for the Quakers, led by Swanson’s 15. Ashley Hawkins and Turner each added 12 kills.
Penn is back in action on Saturday for Day Two of the FIU Invitational. The Quakers play the host school at 1 p.m. and face Central Florida at 5 p.m.