PHILADELPHIA – The second week of Ivy volleyball is quickly approaching and the University of Pennsylvania volleyball team is prepared for its opponents: Columbia and Cornell. The Quakers will host the Lions and the Big Red in the first weekend of back-to-back Ivy competition this season starting on Friday at 5 p.m. with Columbia and following with Cornell on Saturday at 7 p.m. Students who come out to support the Red and Blue Friday night will receive free pizza.
Live stats of both the match against Columbia and Cornell will be available by clicking here.
The Penn Sports Network will also provide live HD video streaming, which can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network. Video coverage of the matches can be found by clicking the following links.
Penn vs. Columbia
Penn vs. Cornell
Last Time on the Court: Princeton and Dayton
Before Penn opened the Ivy League season last Friday night against rival Princeton, six of the previous eight matches were determined in five sets. However, the showdown in The Palestra strayed from this tradition and ended in three sets, with the Tigers walking away as the victors (25-15, 25-16, 25-14).
The Quakers had to shake off the loss for a quick turnaround, as the team hosted Dayton Sunday afternoon.
After dropping the first set, the Red and Blue battled for the second set win, as freshman Aimee Stephenson began and ended the contest with a pair of kills. The Flyers came back from the break strong and ready to play, taking the next two sets for the victory, 3-1 (25-13, 23-25, 25-15, 25-18).
Junior Ronnie Bither produced a double-double in both matches and finished the two contests with 34 assists and 20 digs.
Scouting Columbia (5-5, 1-0 Ivy)
After a string of matches on the road, the Lions had the luxury of hosting their Ivy League opener. After suffering a five-game losing-streak, Columbia proved its resilience this past weekend as it triumphed over Cornell, 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-12, 25-20).
This conference win comes as a potential mid-season upswing as the Lions’ performance came close to surpassing a few school records. Junior Katarina Jovicic showed her defensive prowess as she led the Lions with nine blocks; these blocks, a career high for Jovicic, are the most a single player has accomplished since Savannah Fletcher’s 11 blocks in a 2011 match against Brown. Joining Jovicic as a key defensive player was senior Charlee Dyroff, whose 17 digs place her 68 digs shy of ranking in Columbia’s top-five list of all-time digs. Offensively, Jovicic finished the match with an impressive .450 hitting percentage.
Scouting Cornell (3-8, 0-1 Ivy)
The Big Red’s efforts to turn around a two-game losing-streak and begin their Ivy League season with a win were met with defeat as Columbia defeated Cornell, 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-12, 25-20).
Offensive leaders for the Big Red consisted of sophomore Macey Wilson as well as freshmen Maddy Sroufe and Emily Wemhoff; Wilson ended the match with a noteworthy .286 hitting percentage while the two freshmen recorded 10 kills each. Cornell’s young team held its own against the Lions, even winning the first set 25-20. Despite a well-played, competitive match, Columbia edged out the Big Red and took away a potential conference win.
Next Up for the Quakers: Dig Pink!
Penn will wrap up its nine-match home stand next weekend when the Quakers host Yale and Brown. Not only are next week’s contests crucial Ivy matches before the team hits the road, both will be this year’s Dig Pink! matches. After Saturday’s contest against Brown, the Red and Blue will also hold a free volleyball clinic. Everyone is welcomed to come out and support the cause!
Dig Pink! is the name of the Side-Out Foundation’s national October breast cancer rally. If you would like to make a donation, click here. All proceeds benefit the Side-Out Foundation, which in turn awards grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing patient services to breast cancer patients and their families.