PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania volleyball squad came out firing to start off the 2014 campaign against Colgate, sweeping the Raiders in three sets (25-20, 25-23, 25-15) in front of an excited home crowd. After Colgate scored the first point of the match, the Quakers took control and maintained the lead throughout the entire contest. Alex Caldwell led the way for the Quakers with seven kills, 17 assists, and 13 digs, but it was an all-around effort that allowed Penn to walk away with a win.
With the scored tied at 11 in the first set, the Red and Blue shifted the momentum in their favor with a block by senior Kendall Turner and freshman Aimee Stephenson. A kill by Turner caused Colgate to take a timeout with the score at 15-12. However, the Quakers remained hot as junior Alexis Genske put down two kills pushing the lead to five. The Red and Blue’s control allowed them to take a nine point lead and eventually capture set one, 25-20.
After a Colgate service error, Penn went on a five-point run to make the score 10-4 in the second set. Junior Michellie McDonald-O’Brien and Stephenson came up with a big block to get the ball rolling, and the offense went on an attack. Senior Trina Ohms, Stephenson, and Genske recorded three kills in a row, while Genske finished the run with an ace. The Raiders hung tight with the Quakers, coming within one, 24-23. But Caldwell found her shot and took it, set up by junior Ronnie Bither, slamming the ball onto a wide open court.
Set three was all the Red and Blue as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Penn forced the Raiders to call time after a block by Caldwell and freshman Kendall Covington increased the lead to 10-3. The Quakers weren’t fazed as Caldwell and Covington put down two more kills, while Turner added an ace for a 13-3 lead. Colgate chipped away at the Red and Blue’s lead couldn’t close the gap as Covington and Stephenson blocked an attack for the 25-15 victory.
Friday’s matches marked the first games of the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational. Before Penn took the court, Cleveland State came out on top against Georgetown in the first leg of the tournament. Play will continue tomorrow for the teams, with the Red and Blue sizing themselves up against Cleveland State at 1pm and Georgetown at 7:30pm to cap off the invitational and compete for the crown.
Download: PennvColgate Box.pdf