Volleyball Splits Season-Opening Twinbill

Penn vs. Fairfield Box Score

Penn vs. Bowling Green Box Score

PHILADELPHIA – After completing preseason workouts, the 2008 Quaker volleyball took to the newly refurbished Palestra on Friday for two matches to start the 2008 campaign. The Red and Blue began the season with a 3-0 win over Fairfield (26-24, 25-15, and 25-23). Following the match with the Stags, Penn had its second contest of the day against Bowling Green. The Falcons rushed out to a quick two sets to none lead, but a Quaker rally forced a fifth and deciding set. In the final set, Penn held a 8-7 lead before the Falcons rattled off eight points in a row for to clinch the match for Bowling Green (25-18, 27-25, 26-28, 22-25, 15-8).

The match with the Stags, while a sweep for Penn, featured two close sets. Penn rallied from an early deficit in the first set to win by two. The second set saw the Red and Blue carry momentum from the comeback into the new frame. The Quakers won by ten points for their largest set win of the day. The third set was similar in nature to the first, with both teams fighting for points and the end result being a two-point win for the Quakers. Reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year Julia Swanson started her sophomore season off with 15 kills against the Stags to go with nine digs

Head coach Kerry Carr was please with the way her team rallied against Fairfield.

“We finally settled down in the middle of the first set and got our own tempo going,” she said. “It was the first game of the year and we were excited. Once the team settled down, we really hit our stride. We took advantage of the fact they didn’t put us away.”

The second match of the day saw Bowling Green almost join Fairfield in the ranks of teams that didn’t put away the Quakers. The Falcons won the first two sets in two different fashions. The first was a seven-point win, 25-18. The second wwas a two-point set that ended, 27-25, in favor of Bowling Green. In the third set, Penn would not go away, winning a two-pointer of its own, 28-26, to extend the match. The fourth set was again a close one and the Quakers were able to force a fifth set with a 25-22 win.

“We weren’t aggressive early against Bowling Green,” Carr said. “We were playing safe and needed to change that. Once we did that, we were able to get back in the match.”

Carr credited improved defense with keying the comeback.

“We changed up how we defended the middle of the court in the third set,” she said. “We covered more ground and that helped us get right back in the match.”

The deciding set went in favor of the Falcons, andCarr thinks her team may have let one slip away.

“We made some hitting errors that we wish we could have back,” she said. “This was only our second game of the season and our first five-setter and we may have tightened up a bit. This was a good learning experience for us.”

Against the Falcons, the depth of the Quakers was on display as four different women had at least ten kills. Swanson led the way with 11 and was joined by a trio of players who had ten – Anne Magnuson, Elizabeth Semmens and freshman Virginia Senf.

Sophomoresetter Megan Tryonhad a stellar day at the net for the Quakers, recording 59 total assists (30 against Fairfield and 29 in the match with Bowling Green). Against the Stags, she set up 80% of the Red and Blue’s kills (30 of 38).

Penn is back in action next weekend when they head to the Sunshine State for three games at the Florida International Invitational. Next Friday, Penn plays Oral Roberts at 5 p.m. On Saturday the Quakers take on FIU (1 p.m.) and Central Florida (7 p.m.).