Volleyball Splits Second Day of Big 5 Tournament

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team split its final two matches of the Big 5 Tournament on Saturday at McGonigle Hall. The Quakers opened the day with a 3-0 (20-25, 18-25, 17-25) loss to Temple, before recording a sweep of their own over La Salle (25-17, 25-17, 25-19).

Penn 3, La Salle 0
The Quakers were extremely sharp in recording their third sweep of the season against the Explorers, hitting .349 as a team. Ronnie Bither, who was named to the Big 5 All-Tournament Team, was especially impressive. The senior setter registered 27 assists and five kills against La Salle and totaled 73 assists over the three tournament games.

Senior Alexis Genske was the recipient of the majority of Bither’s assists, leading the Quakers in both kills (9) and hitting percentage (.533). Alex Caldwell followed with eight kills and Courtney Quinn and Kendall Covington each posted five.

La Salle was led by Bryanna Davis, who put together 13 kills and a team-high .320 hitting percentage. As a team, the Explorers hit .149 with 32 kills.

Set Recaps

Set No. 1
The Quakers jumped all over La Salle in the first set, climbing out to a 6-1 lead. Back-to-back kills from Bither and Quinn capped off the spurt. La Salle battled back after the tough start and eventually inched back to within one at 9-8, following a Rachel Carr kill. The Quakers stretched that edge out to 18-11 after a kill from Jasmine DeSilva. DeSilva struck again to give Penn a 19-14 lead, and back-to-back kills from Genske ended the first frame at 25-17.

Set No. 2
It was more of the same for the Quakers in the second set as Caldwell picked up a kill to put the Quakers ahead, 10-6. Davis helped the Explorers hang around in the second and after back-to-back kills from the sophomore, La Salle trailed by just one— 14-13. Following a Penn timeout, the Quakers and Explorers battled back and forth with the score eventually evening at 17. From there, it was all Penn. The Quakers closed out the second set on an 8-0 run, fueled by five attack errors from La Salle and kills from McDonald-O’Brien, Bither and Caldwell.

Set No. 3
It was a back and forth battle in the beginning of the third set, with La Salle grabbing its first lead of the afternoon at 11-10.The Quakers answered from their first deficit by rattling off six of the next seven points. Bither produced her final kill of the day to put the Quakers up 19-14. Taylor Cooper got into the action for Penn as well, capping off a four-point run with a kill to hand the Quakers a 24-16 lead.

Temple 3, Penn 0

The Quakers had four players record at least four kills in the first match of the day. Alex Caldwell led the attack with six, while Courtney Quinn, Alexis Genske and Michellie McDonald-O’Brien combined for 13. Bither had 25 assists against the Owls.

Temple out-hit Penn, .219 to .049 for the match and was led by a team-high 15 kills from Irem Asci. Kirsten Overton and Janine Simmons were also strong for the Owls, combining for 15 kills and nine block assists.

Set Recaps

Set No. 1
Quinn was the Catalyst early on for the Penn, putting them on the board (1-1) and then bringing them within four at 10-6. Jasmine DeSilva notched her first of three kills to cut the Temple lead to 11-9. The Quakers stayed within four-to-five points for much of the first, making their biggest run when trailing 17-11. The Quakers compiled a 6-1 run, capped off by a kill from McDonald-O’Brien and two consecutive Temple errors, to cut the lead to 18-17. Following a Temple timeout, the Owls won the next three points and finished the first set on a 7-3 run—earning the win, 25-20.

Set No. 2
Temple jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set, with Caldwell registering the first point for Penn. The Quakers notched just their second tie of the match at 10-10, after a block from Taylor Cooper. Quinn and Genske followed Cooper, recording back-to-back kills to provide Penn its first lead of the match. Cooper then notched a kill to tie the game, 13-13. Temple started to slowly seize the momentum and after back-to-back attack errors from Penn, led 19-15. Consecutive kills from Janine Simmons and Tyler Davis closed out the second-set win for the Owls.

Set No. 3
The third set began with back and forth action on both sides. McDonald-O’Brien tied the game at six, while Covington knotted the tally at nine. Temple started to pull away following back-to-back kills from Asci, giving the Owls a 17-12 lead. A block and consecutive errors from Penn, lifted Temple to a 21-13 advantage. Overton capped off the match with a kill to hand Temple a 25-17 third-set win.

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Download: Penn-LaSalle Box.pdf