Volleyball faces Delaware in last prep game before Ivy play

Quakers begin league play Saturday against Princeton

· September 18, 2012, 8:08 pm

Jing Ran | DP

Junior Dani Shepherd is No. 1 in the NCAA in digs per set with 6.48. She will pose a big challenge for Delaware tonight. However, the Blue Hens have beaten Penn in each of the past two seasons, sweeping the Quakers in three sets last year.


The Quakers have only one more match to prepare for their Ivy season, which gets underway this weekend against Princeton.

Penn (4-5) will play Delaware (3-9) Wednesday in its only midweek match of the season.

After a 1-2 showing at the West Penn Invitational at the Palestra, this will be the last chance for the Red and the Blue to work out the kinks before the wins and losses really begin to count.

“We have our focus on Saturday,” coach Kerry Carr said. “We will probably treat the match like one of our practices.”

Carr plans to try out different offensive systems, as the Quakers have been alternating between using one setter, freshman Ronnie Bither, and a combination of two setters.

The Quakers will also look to strengthen their blocking and cut down on errors.

Penn made several mistakes last weekend, recording nine attack errors and three service errors in the fourth set against Radford alone.

With the Ivy season just around the corner, it is crucial for the Quakers to figure out which lineup can bring back their Ivy League crown.

And Delaware may prove to be the perfect final test. Both teams have almost the same number of kills, offensive errors and assists.

The Blue Hens are not unlike what Penn will face in its Ivy League opponents.

“I know we’re matched evenly and that’s the same thing with the Ivy League,” Carr said. “We’re matched very evenly across the net in the Ivy League. It’s the perfect midweek match to test us.”

The Blue Hens have defeated Penn in each of the past two seasons, last year sweeping the Quakers in three sets.

Despite the past success, Delaware’s season has been off to a disappointing start, falling in 3-0 sweeps in eight of its nine losses.

The Blue Hens will also have to contend with junior Dani Shepherd, who ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in digs per set with 6.48.

“We’re not resting before our match,” Carr said. “If by Wednesday our statistics go up, and we win, then we accomplished our job in practice. If we don’t, we have two more days to get it done.”

SEE ALSO

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Penn volleyball hosts West Pennsylvania Invite at Palestra

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