Women's Volleyball Honored At The Palestra

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's volleyball team was recognized for their 2009 Ivy League Championship during a break in action at the men's basketball game versus Yale on February 20. The team also held its banquet earlier that night with several players taking home awards and the entire team receiving their championships rings.

The atmosphere was jovial at the Quakers banquet, as the team looked back on and celebrated the program's eighth Ivy League Championship, and fourth under head coach Kerry Carr. Carr opened the night by presenting her players with rings, and framed team photos to honor their accomplishments in 2009. Following the presentation of the rings Carr also announced the winners of the annual team awards, which are voted on by the players and coaches.

Senior Ashley Hawkins received the Volleyball Award for Excellence. It is an award which is given as a tribute to the Penn volleyball player who most nearly typifies the tradition and attitude in the sport of volleyball for Penn.

Freshman Ellyn Barkley was awarded the Claire Rauscher Acheivement Award. It is given to the player who has demonstrated in practice and competition the most improvement in play during the year, from pre-season through the final match.

Senior Natalie Drucker was named the winner of the Outstanding Service Award. It identifies the behind the scenes effort and activities of an individual that have been significant for the advancement of the Penn volleyball program.

Freshman Lauren Martin was the recipient of the Rookie of the Year award. It is given to the first year who demonstrates the best all-around skills and natural ability to succeed in the game of volleyball and help advance the Penn athletic program.

Senior Elizabeth Semmens was named the winner of the Most Valuable Player Award. The award serves as recognition for her personal achievements, and outstanding performances throughout the 2009 season, as well as her competitive drive in leading Penn to the 2009 Ivy League championship.

The final award given out on the night was the coaches' award, decided solely by the coaches based on their own criteria. This year Carr, and assistants Ryan Goodwin and Luke Reichel gave the award to senior Mary Russell. Russell received the honor for her stellar play throughout the season and willingness to play any role which the coaches asked of her.

Penn begins defense of their 2009 title when they open the season in September.