Lafayette Box Score
Army Box Score
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Penn Quakers registered their first victories of the season Friday in the opener of the American Volleyball Tournament with a 3-0 defeat of Lafayette. Penn (2-3) swept the Leopards (4-6), 30-17, 30-27 and 30-14 before taking care of Army (11-2) 30-18, 30-18 and 30-23. Sophomore Natalie Drucker knocked home 25 kills over the two matches, putting up a .523 hitting percentage.
The Quakers grabbed an early lead in the first game against Lafayette and never looked back. Drucker earned the opening kill, and Penn quickly built a 10-5 lead. After letting Lafayette crawl back to within three at 12-9, the Quakers reeled off a 6-0 run with senior Laura Black serving to establish a commanding 18-9 advantage. Freshman Julia Swanson tallied two kills during the run. A 6-1 run closed the game and gave the Quakers an early 1-0 advantage. Drucker and Swanson each had four kills in the game, while senior Linda Zhang contributed nine assists.
Lafayette came out looking to answer in Game Two, and the contest seesawed back and forth until a 6-0 run turned a 14-13 Leopards advantage into a 19-14 Quaker lead. Again the Leopards answered, tying the score at 22. Behind three kills from senior Anna Shlimak, Penn held onto a tenuous 28-27 lead before two straight points gave them a 2-0 lead in the match. Swanson had seven kills and Shlimak knocked in five during the game. Freshman Megan Tryon set up 22 successful attacks.
After being unable to secure a victory last weekend when up 2-0 over Stony Brook, the Quakers came out determined to complete the sweep in the third game. After being tied 6-6 early, Penn rattled off 24 of the next 31 points - including 12 of the last 13 - to run away with the match. Drucker and Shlimak tallied six kills each.
The Quakersdefeated the Leopardslargely thanks to their dominating service game. Penn slammed home 10 aces in the match compared to just three for Lafayette. Shlimak and Black had three aces each.
Shlimak and Swanson had 12 kills each, behind only Drucker for the match-lead. No other player on either side reached double figures. Swanson's 12 were a personal best.
Tryon led allsetters with 26 assists, followed by Zhang's 23. Freshman Madison Wojciechowski recorded 16 digs and Black had 14.
"Madison was in the zone today," said head coach Kerry Carr. She was there for every hit."
The Quakers again jumped out to a fast start in the first game against Army, grabbing an 11-3 lead thanks to three early blocks. Kathryn Turner was credited with three block assists, while Shlimak earned two and Black had one. By the end of the game, Penn had 10 assisted blocks and one solo, which came from Drucker. Black led the team with six kills during the contest.
With Army up 9-8 in Game Two, the Red and Blue went on a 7-0 run to grab a 15-9 lead. The Black Knights could not regain momentum, and a 6-1 run completed the victory for the Quakers. Turner pounded home five kills for the game, while the Quakers added five more blocks to help give them a 2-0 lead in the match.
Penn completed their second sweep of the day with a 30-23 victory in the third game. The Quakers quickly grabbed an 8-2 advantage, but after the teams swapped points, Army battled back to pull to within one at 19-18. Drucker finished her big day with three kills down the stretch, as Shlimak and Swanson added two each to seal the victory.
Drucker finished the match with 10 kills, good for a .500 hitting percentage. Swanson also had 10 successful attacks, connecting for a .233 percentage.
"To play with so few errors shows how solid Natalie has been for us so far this season," Carr said. "Kat Turner was also there for us today. She can find a way to get kills for us." Turner finished with seven kills against Army.
The Red and Blue allowed only one opponent to tally double-digit kills on the day. Army’s Briana Stremick had 10 kills to go along with 10 errors for a .000 overall percentage.
Penn outblocked the Black Knights 20-2, including solo blocks from Drucker and Zhang. After their impressive first match of the tournament, they tallied another seven service aces en route to putting away Army.
"This day was huge for us," Carr said after the sweeps were complete. "To come out against a really tough Army team and dominate the net and pick up our offense like we did was great. We never really let them into the game with our tough serving and net play."
"Our starters gained confidence in themselves today against two teams with two different styles," she continued. "We didn't make errors. We were steady, and that was a huge day for us."
Penn is back in action tomorrow at 12:30 against Navy in the second day of the American Volleyball Tournament at American University. They will then play at either 4:00 or 7:00 p.m. before concluding the weekend.