Records have been set and milestones have been reached, but a second straight Ivy League championship still hangs in the balance for the Quakers.
Penn heads into today’s match against Princeton knowing that its title hopes are hanging in the balance. And while other teams may crack under pressure, the Quakers appear calm and collected.
“We’re not doing anything different because what we have been doing for the last several weeks on the road has really been working for us,” junior defensive specialist Logan Johnson said.
In their first conference contest this year, Penn (15-10, 11-2 Ivy) lost to the Tigers in a grueling five-set match.
However, Penn has lost only one Ivy match since and is currently in a two-team race against Yale for the Ivy League title, while Princeton (13-11, 8-5) comes in having lost its last three matches.
“I think we know we didn’t play our strongest match that first game against Princeton,” coach Kerry Carr said. “But what happened from that loss is we became a stronger team and we’re doing a lot of things differently than we did back in that match.”
Much of this midseason improvement can be credited to the work of the seniors, who will be looked upon to make sure Princeton does not get to play the part of spoiler.
The class of 2011 has made a significant impact on this program during their time, amassing an impressive 40-12 record, a 23-win season and an Ivy League title, all while breaking several program and Ivy records along the way.
Particularly of note are libero Madison Wojciechowski, setter Megan Tryon and outsider hitter Julia Swanson, who have their names splashed across the record books.
“They’ve been great leaders throughout the Ivy season and are extra devoted to our success,” Johnson said.
Wojciechowski, a first-team All-Ivy selection, holds the Ivy record for digs in a career with 2,067 while Tryon, also a first-team All-Ivy player, holds the program record for assists with 3,652.
Not to be overlooked, Swanson recently became only the third Quaker to surpass 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs, an accomplishment that Carr described as “a big feat for any player across the nation.”
While Carr acknowledges that these numbers are worthy of recognition, the Quakers are about winning first.
“I think that’s a tribute to how hard they’ve played from start to finish,” Carr said in reference to the broken records.
“But they also know that all the individual accomplishments in the world don’t mean anything without an Ivy League championship record behind it.”
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