PHILADELPHIA - Penn continued its perfection in the Ivy League, taking down Yale for the second time this season, this one in four sets in front of a rowdy crowd at the Palestra on Friday night.
Spurred by their biggest crowd of the year, the Quakers played inspired defense, as they beat the defending conference champions 3-1 for their first season sweep of Yale since 2003. The Red and Blue dropped the first set to the defending conference champions 25-23, but rebounded to take the last three, 25-20, 25-23 and 25-21.
Penn dug a season-high 97 balls while Yale collected just 75 digs. Junior libero Madison Wojciechowski led the charge with 25 digs, but it was a complete team effort as seven different players had at least six digs. Senior Mary Russell was second on the team with 17 digs, while senior Elizabeth Semmens (16) and junior Julia Swanson (14) each hit double digits.
Complimenting the phenomenal defensive effort was freshman Lauren Martin. The first year tied a career-high with 21 kills, a mark she equaled in Pen's first victory over Yale, and hit .350 to lead the Quaker offense. She added a career high six digs as well.
Penn scored the first point of the match, but neither team could pull away in the early going. Tied at ten apiece, Yale scored consecutive points to go up two before Lauren Martin evened it up with kills of her own. The Bulldogs were undeterred and went on a 4-0 run to up the lead to 16-12. The Quakers evened it up at 17 and again at 20, though were unable to take the lead and Yale held on for the 25-23 win.
The Red and Blue came out firing in the second set, taking four of the first five points and seven of the next nine to jump ahead 11-3. The Bulldogs pulled within four at 15-11 and three at 16-13, however strikes by Semmens and Martin and a Semmens service ace pushed the lead to 19-13. The two teams traded points for the remainder of the set as Penn even it at one with the 25-20 victory.
Yale came to play in the third set, but so did Penn as the two teams battled with extensive rallies though the set's early points. The Quakers were the first to separate themselves, going up three,11-8, on a kill by Swanson. The Bulldogs came back to tie it at 13, 14 and 15, though were unable to take the lead.
Semmens gave Penn a 16-15 lead and the team scored three straight points to open up a four point advantage. Yale cut the deficit in half to make 19-17, but the Quakers scored three consecutive points for the 22-17 lead. The Red and Blue reached set point up 24-21, however an Alexis Crusey kill and Penn attack error made it a slim 24-23 margin, prompting a Quaker timeout. Swanson's kill following the break in action ended the set.
In the final set, Penn opened up a 9-4 lead and soon extended it to 12-6. The Bulldogs responded and climbed back within two at 16-14 and again at 20-18. Consecutive kills by Ashley Hawkins doubled the lead, putting the Red and Blue on top 22-18. Yale was unable to gain any more ground and Semmens ended the match with a kill for the 25-21 win.
Yale hit .190 for the match as Crusey led the team with 21 kills and also added 11 digs. Senior Cat Dailey was the only other Bulldog in double figures, with 19 kills and a team-high 17 digs. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 16-3 overall and 6-2 in conference play.
Penn hit just .202 overall, but had 67 kills to Yale's 53. Joining Martin with double figure kills were Semmens (18) and Swanson (12). For Semmens, it marked her sixth straight double-double and 13th of the season. Penn improves to 17-4 with the victory and 8-0 in the Ivy League.
The Quakers return to action tomorrow when they square off against Brown at 4 p.m.
Download: Penn Stats.pdf