PHILADELPHIA - In a match that lasted two-and-a-half hours, the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team defeated Dartmouth 3-2 Friday evening at The Palestra. After losing Game 1, 30-23, the Quakers bounced backto winGame 2, 30-28. Penn lost Game 3 by the same score, but won Game 4, 31-29, and Game 5, 15-9.
Down 0-1 after the first set, Penn (8-10, 3-5 Ivy) took a seven-point lead in Game 2 and did not let the Big Green get close until late. Dartmouth (10-9, 4-5 Ivy) pulled within three, but the Red and Blue scored four straight points to go up 29-23. Serving game point, Dartmouth gave Penn a scare, scoring the next the next five points. However, a kill by Anna Shlimak put Game 2 away.
Penn squandered a five-point lead early in Game 3. The Big Green managed to put the game out of reach thanks to three separate runs that made the score 21-11. Like Game 2, a late run was made by the trailing team -- in this case, Penn. Trailing, 29-23, the Quakers tried their best to mount a comeback. After three Big Green attack errors, Natalie Drucker delivered a kill and Elizabeth Hurst served an ace to make it a two-point game. Dartmouth committed another attack error, and Penn was on the brink of coming all the way back from a six-point deficit. However, after the Big Green took a timeout, Dartmouth's Morgan Covington connected on a kill to win the game.
After two remarkable comebacks that fell short in the previous two games, Game 4 was the most evenly matched game of the night.After 11 ties and six lead changes,the teams were knotted up at 28-28. A kill by Shlimak gave Penn a brief advantage, until Dartmouth’s Sandy Barbut evened the score with a kill of her own. However, back-to-back kills by Penn's Elizabeth Semmens and Linda Zhang set up a decisive Game 5.
After falling behind 4-2, the Quakers stormed back with four consecutive points and never relinquished the lead. Ahead 9-8, Penn went on a 5-0 run that included two service aces by Zhang. After a Penn attack error, Laura Black delivered her 22nd kill of the night to win the match for the Quakers.
After setting a career high in kills last Saturday, Black rewrote her own record with 22 kills Friday. She was joined in double figures by Drucker (14), Semmens (13) and Shlimak (10). As a team, the Quakers amassed 112 digs, led by Hurst’s 29. Zhang and Semmens had 20 apiece, while Shlimak added 14.
Saturday, Penn hosts Harvard at 4 p.m. at The Palestra.