The Quakers seem to have a habit of busting streaks.
For the second straight weekend, Penn volleyball split its weekend road trip, winning in straight sets at Brown after a four-set loss to defending Ivy League champion Yale. In doing so, the Quakers snapped Brown’s three-game winning streak and Yale’s streak of 20 consecutive sets won in Ivy League games.
Even in their loss to Yale (11-3, 5-0 Ivy), the Quakers (8-8, 2-3) still put forth a very strong effort.
“We actually played well both nights,” coach Kerry Carr said. “Yale is a very strong team on their home court. They’re undefeated and playing extremely well right now. I think we actually played them better than anyone has played them so far.”
The second match of the weekend saw the Red and Blue sweep through Brown (7- 9) who still possesses one of the best conference records at 3-2. The Quakers hit much more efficiently in the second game of the weekend, improving to a .220 hitting percentage, well above their season mark of .168.
“The girls played very well and bounced back from a loss at Yale,” Carr said. “They put everything together to get a win against Brown on their home court.”
“I think the mentality we had today was a lot better. From the start of set one, the energy was much higher,” senior captain Susan Stuecheli added. “Our entire team was into it and cheering and aggressive. It made the biggest difference.”
Stuecheli had an especially impressive weekend for the Quakers, contributing 25 kills on a .575 hitting percentage, both team-high marks for the weekend.
“We learned how resilient we can be and how much every single member of this team can impact whether we win or lose,” Stuecheli said.
The Red and Blue also benefitted from standout performances from sophomore setter Alex Caldwell, who assisted on 42 kills this week- end, and senior captain Dani Shepherd, who led the team with 35 digs.
And the Penn squad as a whole contributed to the strong
“The key this weekend was the energy from the bench, generated from every single member of our team,” Stuecheli said. “There was a kind of energy, a kind of encouragement, and that really helped me this weekend.”
The success this weekend seems likely to translate into future success for the Quakers, who are beginning to find a rhythm after being plagued by early season injuries.
“We just keep getting better every time we go out there and play,” Carr said. “Mixing up lineups and using our whole roster during these games — that’s something that we tried to do again tonight, and it was successful.”
The Quakers return home next weekend for visits from Harvard and Dartmouth after spending nearly a month on the road. Penn will remain at home for the next three weekends, with matches ahead against Princeton, Cornell and Columbia.
“Harvard’s on a roll, and Dartmouth just got their first [conference] win,” Carr said. “Anyone can beat anyone on any given night. That’s what the week shows.”
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