The Penn volleyball team looks to improve on their passing game tonight against the Pioneers. Just like Major League Baseball, the Penn volleyball team has its own wild cards -- passing and communication. When the Quakers (2-5) pass solidly and communicate well, they win -- when they don't, they lose. The Red and Blue hope these two key factors will swing in their favor today when they face Sacred Heart (1-5) at the Palestra. "Passing is key. As we become better at it, I believe everything else will fall into place," senior middle blocker Sue Sabatino said. Co-captain Katy Stock agrees, stating, "As long as our passing is consistent and our defense is there, things really come together. They were both there as we beat Navy and played well against Georgetown." Last weekend, all aspects of Penn's game were working. The Quakers stood tough against Georgetown (15-3, 17-15, 15-3), ranked No. 3 in the East, and played their best match of the season when they defeated Navy, 3-0 (15-5, 15-8, 17-15). "We played really well this past weekend," Stock said. "Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the Sacred Heart match and beyond." Sabatino also believes that the Georgetown tournament was a turning point for the team. "I think as a team we pulled together to get the win against Navy. We've seen the level of play we need to be playing at, and I think we know a little better how to get there." Despite the positive team atmosphere, Penn knows it still has a long way to go. During this week's practices, the team has been working on offensive strategies including blocking. "Because our passing and serving was so good against Navy, our concern is offense," Penn coach Kerry Major said. "Spotting the opposing team's blockers and hitting around them has been a main focal point this week," Stock said. A strong offense will be especially important against Sacred Heart, a team who is strong defensively, according to Major. "They just keep coming back with balls and they stay deep for the hard hit balls," Major said. To Major, however, the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team aren't as important as those of the Quakers. "It's one of those games where we really have to concentrate on ourselves," Major said. "They don't do anything real flashy or tricky, we just have to hit positive, pass well and serve well." Communication will also be important. Last week against Loyola, the Quakers failed to communicate at key times during the match -- a factor that led to the loss. This weekend, the communication skills were much better. "We can always work on communication," Stock said. "Against Navy, from the very beginning, we started off communicating and kept it up throughout the match." "I think we communicated a lot better (against Navy)," Sabatino said. "But I still don't think it's at the level it needs to be at." Tonight, if the Quakers pass and communicate well, the Boston Red Sox won't be the only wild card winners.Comments powered by Disqus
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