Last fall, the volleyball team made quite a splash around the Penn community, winning the Ivy League title and reaching the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program’s history.
One year later, the Quakers are ready to capture the attention of the entire Philadelphia region — and fans won’t have to leave their couch to see the team in action.
The Quakers’ season opener on Sept. 3 against Temple will be broadcast around the Philadelphia region by the Comcast Network.
While cameras are a familiar presence — the team’s games are frequently webcast — being on television adds a whole new level of intensity.
“I think it heightens the excitement of our first home game for everyone involved,” said head coach Kerry Carr.
The contest is billed as a major showcase game for the Big 5 Tournament, which, in its second year, is already drawing attention to the area’s volleyball talent.
“Four of the five [member] schools have top Division I volleyball teams … they’re not just basketball schools,” Carr said.
After beating Temple, 3-2, last season en route to a perfect 3-0 record at the tournament, the Red and Blue should have the upper hand if their attack performs up to its ability. According to Carr, the team boosts “some great hitters that will absolutely put the ball on the floor.”
But having lost six seniors to graduation, this season’s Quakers are a very different team from last year.
The team returns All-Ivy selections Megan Tryon, Madison Wojciechowski and Lauren Martin, and Carr will be adding several new faces to the mix.
Freshmen recruits Dani Shepherd, Kristin Schoonover, Kristen Etterbeek, Brie Trotter, Taylor Permenter and Susan Stuecheli all may see playing time early on in the season.
The team is still trying to find its stride, and the players have dedicated extra time in the gym to be in peak physical condition as their slate gets under way.
“I think the girls are just most excited that it’s our first game, and that it’s against Temple, and that it’s on our home court, and that we’ve been training so hard for it during preseason,” Carr said.
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