The bigger crowd doesn’t always mean the better result.
With its most fans in attendance all season, Penn volleyball faced off against Harvard, losing in four sets. The Red and Blue rebounded against Dartmouth on Saturday as they beat the Big Green, 3-1.
Against Harvard, the Crimson (10-6, 5-2 Ivy) started off strong in the first, going up 8-4. With the crowd behind them, the Red and Blue (9-9, 3-4) quickly found themselves back in the game going on a seven-point run to go up, 11-8. However, Penn ultimately fell in a tightly contested set, 28-26.
The second set was much of the same, as Penn fell behind early before dropping the set.
“We got a little bit frustrated, and we got out of it mentally, and we did have some good runs, but it was just a little too late,” senior captain Kristen Etterbeek said.
The third set played out differently as the game was within striking distance for the Quakers throughout with the largest lead of the set being three points. The Quakers pulled it together for a six-point run to win the set, 25-22.
The fourth and final set began just as the first two did. The Red and Blue went down 0-4, and Harvard held them off for the entire set, never letting the Quakers take a lead.
“They had too many hitters who were on their game, and we would get going in one certain direction, and they would throw it back to another direction we weren’t ready for,” coach Kerry Carr said. “They had too many guns rolling, and we only had a few wheels.
“They are not better than us. They beat us and that’s a huge difference.”
With the loss to Harvard fresh in their minds, the Quakers showed up Saturday in a dominant showing against Dartmouth (9-10, 2-5).
After the first set, it seemed as though the Quakers were in for a repeat of the night before, falling to the Big Green, 26-24, and not leading the entire set.
But those thoughts were quickly put to rest in the opening of the second set when the Red and Blue caught fire with a six-point run to put them ahead 7-1.
They finished the set off as they started, this time with a five-point run to win the set. The third set was exactly like the second — the Quakers were strong from start to finish, winning, 25-16.
“I gave them an even more complex game plan [for Dartmouth],” Carr said. “It wasn’t as simple as Harvard, but sometimes it helps with these Ivy League athletes to give them more ownership.”
The fourth set was the only back and forth set of the night, but Penn finished off the win, 25-18.
With dominating performances from Alexis Genske, Arielle Winfield, Jasmine DeSilva and Etterbeek, the Red and Blue had no problem at all finishing off Dartmouth. The four combined for 61 points, showing what the Quakers can do when they are firing on all cylinders.
“I’m still not sure how to get them to believe that they can beat any team out there, but they can.” Carr said. “I hope that us coming right back from a loss and spanking a team that beat Princeton the night before will give them the confidence to come out and say we can do this any night, any play, any set.
“We can turn this around.”
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