HANOVER, N.H. -After a thrilling five-game win Friday night, the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team could not continue its momentum against a streaking Dartmouth team that upset Princeton the night before in three games. Despite all three games being close (30-25, 30-24 and 30-27), Penn was beaten at its own game-- on defense. Dartmouth outdug the Quakers 63-44.
“We hit well tonight, but they outplayed us defensively,” said head coach Kerry Carr. “It really came down to digs.”
The Red and Blue (6-8, 1-2 Ivy) trailed for the majority of Game 1; theymanaged to get within two points on a kill by Stephanie Gwin, but the Big Green (8-6, 2-2 Ivy) answered by scoring the next four points to put the game out of reach. Kathryn Turner connected on four of five attacks in the first set.
Penn held a 6-3 lead in Game 2, but saw it slip away quickly. A service ace by Anna Shlimak and a Dartmouth setting error gave the Quakers a brief 14-13 advantage. However, that was the last time Penn led as the Big Green scored the next three points. The Red and Blue stayed within two, and eventually tied the score at 19-19 on another Dartmouth setting error. The Big Green, however,came back with three-point and four-point runs to take a 2-0 lead.
With Penn’s chances of making a run getting slimmer, the Quakers played their best game in the third set. Although the Red and Blue’s only lead came after the first point of Game 3, Penn hung tough throughout and keptthe score close thanks to some timely kills. Trailing 26-25, Penn was primed to regain the lead, but Dartmouth scored three consecutive points. Playing for match point, the Big Green committed a service error, and an attack error to let Penn get within two points. On the next serve, however, Dartmouth’s Jess Thomas delivered a kill to clinch the victory.
Turner led Penn with 13 kills, while hitting a solid .308, andElizabeth Hurst had a team-high 13 digs. Dartmouth had four defenders reach double digits in digs.
Next weekend, the Quakers host Columbia (Friday at 7 p.m.) and defending Ivy League champion Cornell (Saturday at 4 p.m.) at The Palestra.