PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers make their final weekend road trip of the season, when they travel to New England to take on Harvard, Friday at 7 p.m. and the finish up with Dartmouth, Saturday at 4 p.m.
Penn improved to 13-10 and 9-2 in the Ivy League with its victories over Columbia and Cornell last weekend. Dartmouth, meanwhile, dropped both its matches in falling to 4-8 in the league and 13-10 overall. Harvard went 1-1 last weekend as it moved into sole possession of fifth in the Ivy League with a record of 5-7 and 8-16 overall.
Last Time Out
The Quakers opened with a tough Columbia team last Friday. Penn won the first set, 25-20, but dropped the next two, 19-25, 23-25. The Red and Blue came back to take the fourth, 25-18, and send the match to a fifth set. In the fifth, the team found itself with match point, 14-10, however Columbia scored five straight to take away the lead. After a Penn timeout, the team got a big block from Megan Tryon and Susan Stuecheli to tie it, and subsequently scored the final two points to win 17-15. One night later on senior night the Quakers has little trouble taking care of Cornell. Penn dispatched of the Big Red in three sets, 25-20, 25-10, 25-17, getting 14 kills from Lauren Martin.
The Red and Blue saw one contender drop out of first on Saturday, as Princeton fell to a motivated Columbia squad in four sets. The loss gives Princeton an 8-3 record, behind both Yale and Penn. The Bulldogs kept pace with the Quakers, winning both its matches in three sets. Yale is 10-2 in league play and have to play at upset minded Columbia on Friday before finishing with Cornell on Saturday. Following the weekend, the Red and Blue finish its season with a Wednesday match at Princeton. If both Yale and Penn win out they will by co-champions and have a one game play-off to see who earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard has won three of its last five, though was beaten badly by the Quakers in the team's first matchup of the season. In that match, the Crimson hit -.029, though since have hit over .200 in four of their last six. Leading the offense is the trio of Anne Ingersoll, Taylor Docter and Comrie Mikaelle. All three average over 2.00 kills per set, with Ingersoll at 2.25 and Docter (2.12) and Comire (2.10) close behind her. Defensively, Harvard averages 14.69 digs per set with Christine Wu (4.30) leading the team by over two digs per set. Up front, Teresa Skelly averages a team-best .91 blocks per set.
Scouting the Big Green
Dartmouth has lost eight of its last nine, including a match to Penn three weeks ago. In that match, The Big Green won the first and fourth sets, before falling in the fifth to the Quakers. Dartmouth's offense is led by Madeline Baird. The junior is second in the Ivy League with 3.81 kills per set while hitting at a .212 clip. Annie Villanueva is second at 2.30 while Kelsey Johnson (2.19) is third. Defensively, Dartmouth is ranked sixth in the nation with 18.49 digs per set and is led by Amber Bryant's 5.10 digs per set. Baird is second at 3.58 while Kendall Houston is third with 2.29 per set. Up front the Big Green are last in the Ivy League with 1.58 blocks per set, led by Elisa Scudder's .76 blocks per set.
Following the Red and Blue
Penn fans can follow all the action this weekend with live stats against Harvard (click here) and Dartmouth (click here). Live video is available for Harvard (click here) and Dartmouth (click here) as well.
Madison Wojciechowski is current averaging 5.77 digs per set, good for sixth in the nation. As the team the Quakers are currently ranked 10th in the country, with 18.21 digs per set. They are one of three Ivy teams in the top 10, along with Yale (1) and Dartmouth (6).
Amanda Pacheco leads the Ivy League in hitting at .357 while freshman Susan Stuecheli is fifth (.293) ... Megan Tryon leads the league averaging 10.65 assists per set ... Madison Wojciechowski leads the Ivies with 5.77 digs per set ... Senior Julia Swanson is fifth in the Ancient Eight at 3.28 kills per set and Lauren Martin is seventh with 2.94 ... Stuecheli is fourth with .96 blocks per set.
Over the weekend, Penn improved to 13-2 when holding opponents to hitting .200 or less. The Quakers' lone losses came in five-set defeats at the hands of Villanova and Princeton. Conversely, the Red and Blue are 0-8 when allowing an opponent to hit over .200.
Can You Dig It?
Wojciechowski recorded double-digit digs in both matches over the weekend, extending her streak of matches with at least ten digs to a school-record 32 matches. Overall she has recorded double-digit digs in 96 of her 103 career matches.
Pacheco's .357 hitting percentage in 2010 is the best for a Quaker since Linda Zhang hit .404 in 2004. This season she has at least ten kills and a .400 hitting percentage on eight occasions. Her 2.54 kills per set are good for third on the team and her 208 total kills are more than quadruple her total from last season (50).
The Quakers are averaging 1.73 blocks per set, the team's highest total since averaging 2.52 in 2007. Pacheco's 13 solo blocks are also the most in season since Michelle Kauffman at 15 in 2004. Susan Stuecheli's .96 blocks per set is the highest average since Natalie Drucker went 1.14 per set in 2007.
2K and Beyond
Wojciechowski's 41 digs over the weekend bring her school-record total to 2,042. On Saturday she also passed former Cornell standout Megan Mushovic (2,040) for the Ivy League record.
Second to One
Senior Megan Tryon now sits just four assists from passing Heather Glick (3,582) for the program's career assist record. She already owns the school's single-season record of 1,328 set last year.
Saving the Best for Last
Swanson had arguably the match of her career on Friday against Columbia. The senior recorded a career-high 30 digs to go along with 26 kills and six block assists as Penn held off Columbia 3-2. The 26 kills and six block assists were both one short of a career-high for Swanson.
1,000 Digs and Counting
Over the weekend Swanson became just the third player in Penn history to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. The senior had 48 kills and 60 digs in two matches to give her 1,178 kills and 1,044 digs for her career. The kill total ranks second in school history behind Elizabeth Kwak-Hefferan (1,298), while her dig total is good for ninth in school history.