PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers begin their second week of play by traveling down to the University of Maryland for three matches in the Terrapin Invitational beginning Friday evening.
Penn opens the weekend Friday at 7 p.m. with the host Terrapins. Saturday, the Red and Blue face off against 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Tulane at 10:30 a.m. before finishing off the day with a match versus Fairfield at 4:30 p.m.
Last Time Out
The Quakers opened the season on Sept. 3 in convincing fashion, sweeping city rival Temple 3-0. Penn won 25-20, 25-14, 25-21, getting 13 kills and 11 digs from senior Julia Swanson. On Saturday, the Red and Blue dropped its first set against La Salle, 25-17, before rebounding to take the final three, 25-14, 25-12, 25-21. 17 different players saw action in the match, with 15 recording a dig or kill. Sophomore Amanda Pacheco hit .412 with nine kills to lead the team. Penn suffered its first loss of the season Saturday evening, falling to Villanova in a thrilling five-set match. Down 2-1, the Quakers rallied for a 25-21 victory in the fourth set to force a fifth. In the fifth, a late rally fell just short at the Wildcats captured the 15-12 win. Pacheco had a team-high 15 kills while Madison Wojciechowski and Logan Johnson combined for 57 digs.
About the Terrapins
Maryland enters the weekend winners in five of its last six matches, the only blemish being a 3-0 defeat at the hands of 27th ranked Missouri. The Terrapins have won three consecutive three-set matches and dropped just one set in their five victories this year. Freshman outside hitter Mary Cushman leads the team in both hitting percentage (.328) and kills per set (3.21), though Maryland has four other players averaging over 2 kills per set. Tied for second with 2.32 kills per set, senior Brittney Grove and junior Lisa Scott also provide a strong presence at the net. Grove is averaging 1.11 blocks per set (21) and Scott is close behind her with .89 blocks per set (17). Senior Bethany Springer leads the team with 64 digs (3.37), while sophomore setter Remy McBain averages 9.79 assists per set.
About the Green Wave
Tulane has struggled to a 0-6 start after playing tough competition in its first two weekends. Despite early losses to No. 2 Stanford and New Mexico, who is receiving votes in the latest AVCA poll, the Green Wave have played good volleyball in their last two matches, scoring at least 23 points in three of their last six sets. Redshirt sophomore Izabela Grot leads the team, hitting at a .261 clip and averaging 3.42 kills per set. Sophomore Milica Jovic and freshman Cori Martone are second and third on the team in kills, with 2.53 and 2.37 respectively, while Martone is also second on the team with 2.21 digs per set. On defense, senior Amaris Genemaras averages a team-high 2.72 digs per set and freshman Azarri Badawi has ten total blocks (.56).
About the Stags
Fairfield comes into the weekend looking for its second win of the year after losing its past three contests. The Stags are 1-6 overall with their lone victory on the season coming against South Dakota in four sets. The team features a balanced offense as three different players average over 2 kills per set. Sophomore Brianna Dixon leads the team with 2.72 kills per set while hitting at a .131 clip. Junior Haililani Pokipalais is second with 2.40 kills per set. Freshman middle blocker Hayley Moyer is third on the team in kills (2.04) but leads the team with .60 blocks per set (60). Sophomore Kara Reis averages 3.08 digs per set and also has eight service aces. Redshirt senior Alex Lopez does a bit of everything from the setter position, averaging 7.96 assists per set with 22 kills (.88) and 31 digs (1.48).
Following The Quakers
Fans of the Red and Blue can follow all the action by going to the tournament home page (click here). Live stats are available for every match of the tournament, while Penn's battle with Maryland will also be broadcast online. For fans traveling to the matches this weekend, the page also includes directions and parking details.
Sophomore Amanda Pacheco started strong and just got better over the weekend. She improved her kill totals and hitting percentage in each of Penn's three matches, culminating in a dominating 15 kills with a .448 hitting percentage against Villanova. She also added six digs and four total blocks against the Wildcats.
Madison Wojciechowski recorded her ninth career match with at least 30 digs in a five-set loss to Villanova on Saturday. The senior's 33 digs tied her for the seventh highest single-match total in school history. Wojciechowski already owns the two highest single-match dig totals.
We're Going Streaking
Wojciechowski had at least ten digs in each match over the weekend, extending her streak of consecutive matches with at least ten digs to 12 matches. Senior Megan Tryon extended her streak of consecutive matches with at least 30 assists to 20 matches.
Can You Dig It?
Logan Johnson set a career-high with 24 digs against Villanova and was one of five different players to record double digit digs. Joining her in double digits were Wojciechowski (33), Tryon (15), Dani Shepherd (13), Julia Swanson (11). Penn's 103 digs against Villanova was the most by a Red and Blue squad since recording 111 digs against Brown in 2007.
Freshman Susan Stuecheli had nine total blocks (1S, 8A) on Saturday against Villanova. It is the highest total since Kathryn Turner recorded ten total blocks (10A) against Harvard in 2008.
Sophomore Sarah Cobbinah saw her first action as a Quaker and made it count, nailing seven kills in 13 attempts with just one error for an impressive .462 hitting percentage against La Salle.
Moving On Up
With her 34 kills over the weekend, Swanson moved from 10th to 7th on Penn's all-time kill list. She now has 946 career kills and is poised to pass Suzie Shuman (953) and move into 6th this weekend.