A few short days after a tough nonconference loss to Delaware, Penn volleyball will get a shot at No. 1.
This weekend, the Quakers will travel out west to compete in what looks to be their greatest challenge of the year: the Stanford Tournament in Stanford, Calif., hosted by the top-ranked team in the country.
The Quakers (2-2) are coming off of a tough loss in the nest of the Blue Hens, losing in three sets on Tuesday.
This weekend, the Red and Blue will look to get back on the right side of the .500 mark. However this will not be an easy task, as they will first face a strong Santa Clara team. The 6-1 Broncos’ only loss of the season came at the hands of a familiar foe to Penn, Ivy rival Harvard.
The Quakers will hope to start the tournament with a win, and as absurd as it sounds, Santa Clara is just a warmup in comparison to the other foes Penn will be going against on Saturday.
On Saturday, the Quakers will have an early — 11 a.m., to be specific — matchup with the No. 1 Cardinal (4-0). Penn will have to bring its absolute best if it wants to make Stanford’s stay at the top a short one. The Cardinal earned their No. 1 ranking only after beating previously unbeaten Penn State in five sets last Friday.
A few hours later, the Quakers will take on No. 20 Duke to close out their Saturday doubleheader. The Blue Devils (5-1) have won three out of their last four matches.
Though the performances of junior setter/rightside hitter Alex Caldwell and junior outside hitter Alexis Genske have been superb this season, the Quakers learned against Delaware on Tuesday that one stellar performance is not enough to secure a victory, as 32 team errors overshadowed Caldwell’s 12 points.
Penn will need to be firing on all cylinders to have any hope of defeating the Broncos, Cardinal and Blue Devils this weekend. Such an effort would erase the bad memories of Tuesday — and then some .
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