Seventeen kills against Princeton, 15 against Brown and 21 against Yale. In the last two weeks, freshman hitter Lauren Martin has put up some stellar numbers for the Penn volleyball team.
Martin — whose performance earned her Ivy League Freshman of the Week honors — and the Quakers will take to the road this weekend, first visiting Dartmouth tonight and then matching up with Harvard tomorrow afternoon.
“Lauren is what we call our ‘hot hitter,’” Penn coach Kerry Carr said of her freshman phenom. “We are pleased with how well she has integrated within the team … and [helped to create] a more balanced attack with our other hitters.”
Coming off of a sweep of Brown and a victory over last year’s Ivy champion Yale, the Quakers (12-4, 3-0 Ivy) head into this game feeling “cautiously confident.”
“We know we can beat anyone if we are playing well,” Carr said.
Dartmouth (7-7, 3-1 Ivy) has already defeated Harvard twice this year. During those games the Big Green held the Crimson to a .067 attack percentage.
The Big Green’s other Ivy league win came against Columbia and their only conference loss has been to Cornell.
Dartmouth has a star underclassman of its own in sophomore outside hitter Madeline Baird. She recorded back-to-back double-doubles last weekend against Columbia and Cornell. Baird is ranked third in kills in the League, while Martin is ranked second.
Even though Harvard (6-9, 2-2 Ivy) hasn’t had success against Dartmouth — it was swept 3-0 in both meetings this season — Penn isn’t discounting the Crimson’s ability.
“Both Dartmouth and Harvard are two very different teams but don’t let it fool you that Dartmouth beat Harvard twice,” Carr said. “Harvard has the stronger offense … and Dartmouth is stronger defensively.”
The Crimson’s strongest offensive threat comes from sophomore Anne Carrol Ingersoll, whose 2.98 kills per set is good for ninth in the Ivy League.
Harvard, which is coming off back-to-back Ivy wins over Cornell and Columbia, will play Princeton tomorrow before hosting Penn.
Regardless of the opponent, Penn libero Madison Wojciechowski will surely be a major factor in these conference games. The junior’s 338 digs thus far on the season gives her a total of 1306, putting her on pace to shatter the program record of 1525.
“[These are] two widely different teams that we have to attack very differently in one weekend without a practice in between,” Carr said.
“Instead of focusing on [a] game plan we want to concentrate on what we already do well and try to do that even better.”
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