Unfortunately for Penn, lighting occasionally strikes twice.
On Friday beneath the lights of Jadwin Arena, the Quakers suffered another tough loss to Princeton in a four set grudge match, 3-1 (17-25, 25-21, 19-25, 19-25). With the victory, the Tigers swept both matchups with Penn on the season.
Despite the defeat, coach Kerry Carr remains confident in her young team's ability, stressing the importance of focusing on the process rather than expecting immediate results from the Quakers (6-13, 3-5 Ivy).
“We can't blame the results on us being a young team,” she said. “We just have to get older faster.”
Junior Alex Caldwell spearheaded the Red and Blue’s offensive success with an impressive 14 kills, 19 assists, and 10 digs on the night, recording another triple double. Junior Ronnie Bither showcased the selfless volleyball Carr mentioned in her game plan, supplying her hitters with 27 assists throughout the game.
After an initial slow start, the Quakers were unable to level the score throughout the first set. Going up 8-3 early in the set, the Tigers maintained their 5-10 point advantage before claiming the opening set with a kill, 25-17.
Unfazed by the first set, the Red and Blue began playing inspired volleyball. Bounding to an 11-5 lead after a fusillade of kills, the Quakers sustained their resolve and secured the second set, 25-21.
The Red and Blue continued their tough play in the third set until the score was tied, 19-19. However, the Tigers stepped it up and won six consecutive points to end the all-important third set, winning, 25-19. The Quakers experienced similar misfortune in the fourth, losing the final set by the same exact margin.
When asked about their adjustments for the remainder of the season, Carr reflected her belief in her squad.
“When we get back, we're going to work as hard as we did these past few weeks,” she said. “It's not about what just happened, but what happens next.”
Penn currently stands tied for fifth in the Ancient Eight along with Columbia and Brown. The Quakers will analyze their performance before continuing their campaign against Cornell — a squad that Penn defeated earlier in the year — on Friday. The Quakers will then face Columbia on Saturday, a team that Penn will try to get redemption against after losing at the Palestra to the Lions.
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