Volleyball Wins Thriller Over Cornell, 3-2

Penn 3 - Cornell 2 Box Score

PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Madison Wojciechowski set a school record for most digs in a match with 40 against Cornell on Saturday in Penn’s 3-2 (29-27, 11-25, 17-25, 25-20, 16-14).win over the Big Red in Ivy league volleyball action.

It was in the fifth set that Wojciechowski broke Cara Thomason’s four-year old record for digs in a match. Thomason set the previous mark with 38 digs against Brown on Halloween night in 2004. Wojciechowski broke the mark with two athletic digs in the long rally that led to Tryon’s kill at 14-13. Wojciechowski, a sophomore who holds the school record for digs in a season with 457 – a record she set in her freshman campaign – now possesses three of the top six dig performances in school history. Her previous best was 34 against Brown last November 10.

With the win, Penn improves to 10-11 on the season and its 6-3 record in the Ivy League moves past the Big Red into third place in the Ancient Eight. Penn still maintains championship hopes as the Quakers have games left against Princeton and Yale, the two teams ahead of them in the standings.

Cornell drops to 7-13 and 6-4 in the Ivies with the loss.

The match was as close as any the Quakers have played this season, with two sets going past the normal finishing point – both of which ended in the Quakers’ favor.

The first set saw the Quakers take an early 4-0 lead, but Penn was not able to pull away and the Big Red climbed back into the set, ultimately taking their first lead of the set at 21-20. Cornell was able to get back in the set due to errant attacks from the Penn offense. In fact, Penn committed 34 attack errors to just 16 over the course of the match for Cornell.

The Red and Blue were able to overcome the errors to win the first set thanks to controlled play at the end of the set. Trailing 24-23 and facing set point, Julia Swanson stepped up with one of her 13 kills to tie the set. Kathryn Turner then did the same with Penn trailing, 25-24, and added a kill on the next point to give Penn a 26-25 lead. After a service error from Cornell’s Megan Mushovic, Turner then closed out the first set in Penn’s favor with an ace.

It looked like the difficult first set took a toll on the Red and Blue in the second as Cornell steamrolled the Quakers, 25-11. Penn held a 4-2 lead, but couldn’t stave off a seven-point run from Cornell to give the Big Red a 9-4 lead. Penn closed to 9-6, but that was as close as they would get.

Cornell inched closer to victory with a 25-17 win in the third set. Penn never led in the middle frame, and a 5-0 run by Cornell turned 14-13 set into a 19-13 advantage for the Big Red. In that run, it was again attack errors that did in Penn as they missed on three swings.

With their backs against the wall, Penn rallied for the second time in as many nights, winning the fourth set 25-20 to force a fifth-and-deciding set. This time, it was Cornell who couldn’t execute its attacks, as three errors staked the Red and Blue to an early 3-0 lead. Penn was controlled throughout most of the set, never trailing and only allowing Cornell to climb within one point on one occasion at 16-15. Anne Magnuson had four of her team-high 13 kills in the fourth set.

In the final set, Penn looked to be in position to cruise to the victory, scoring six points in a row to take a 6-1 lead. Magnuson had three kills in that swing and Julia Swanson added two. Cornell roared back to tie the match at 9-9, forcing a Penn timeout. Out of the timeout, Elizabeth Semmens and Swanson combined to give Penn an 11-9 lead, but the Big Red would not go away. With the match tied at 13-13, Megan Tryon slammed home a Swanson set to give Penn a late lead. Meagan Tatum tied the match immediately on the next point with a kill of her own.

With the match tied at 14 all, Magnuson took a Tryon feed and scored her final kill of the match. Swanson then took over the serve and wasted no time, scoring an ace to clinch the match.

The Quakers are back on the court Nov. 7 at Harvard at 7 p.m.