The Penn volleyball team failed to capture its first Ivy win at Princeton. Penn volleyball coach Kerry Major summed it up in one sentence: "My team did not pass." The Penn volleyball team lost a match at Princeton last night that it could have won. The Quakers were disposed of in three games, 15-4, 15-12, 15-3. All season players and coaches have stated that the team's passing game would be key in any victory, and when Penn did not pass, they would not win. "We simply did not pass well enough to run our offense from the middle," Major said. Co-captain K.C. Potter expanded on her coach's thoughts. "A good pass leads to a good set which leads to a good kill. We didn't accomplish the first part, so there's no way we could have expected to accomplish the third part," Potter said. The statistics back the player's sentiments -- Penn had a paltry 1.2 passing statistic, meaning the Quakers could do very little with the ball when it was passed. Last weekend that same statistic was 2.4. What made the loss even more heartbreaking was that for the first time in years, the team truly believed they had a great chance of beating the rival Tigers. Once the match began, however, the Quakers' confidence dipped. "Mentally, we couldn't keep up," Major said. "The team that played Princeton was not the same team that showed up last weekend." Before the loss, the Quakers had won four in a row, including weekend victories against Drexel and Colgate, a team to which Princeton had lost. A big part of Penn's mental block in the match was a communication break down. "Our confidence collapsed when we stopped communicating," Potter said. "Two people would call for a ball; both would hesitate and the ball would drop in between them. It's hard to win when we don't talk to each other." At the very beginning of the match, it looked as if Penn would win. "Princeton started out timid, so I thought we were in good shape," Major said. After that, however, little went right for the Quakers. Quickly after the Tigers' slow start, the Quakers passing woes began. Princeton rapidly gained confidence and started feeding the ball to its outside hitters, the primary component of the offense. Penn's downward spiral ended in a first game loss. The Red and Blue began the second game solidly, winning the first few points. But the mental errors soon kicked in. "In game two we picked up momentum, and for a while we thought we could win," junior Kristel Weaver said. "But then we let down and they made some pretty good plays." Game three was never in doubt for the Tigers. The Tigers didn't help the Quakers cause at all in that it ran its offensive scheme almost to perfection. Princeton's strategy was to pass the ball to its outside hitters, Rose Kuhn and Sabrina King. These players were so skilful that they were able to hit the ball directly off the tops of the Penn blockers hands. Although Major was very disappointed with the team's performance, she did see one bright spot. "When we did run our offense through the middle as planned, we scored. We just didn't do it enough," she said. Despite this loss, the Quakers must look forward seeing as they have another Ivy League match Thursday against Brown and one this weekend versus Yale. "We have a huge week ahead of us, so we have to move on," Major said. "I hope we can."Comments powered by Disqus
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