After being beaten once again by Rutgers, the Penn volleyball team will have no time to lick its wounds. The Quakers head to the Georgetown Classic this weekend to face stiff competition. Rutgers snapped the Quakers' four-game winning streak with a 15-9, 15-1, 16-14 victory this past Tuesday. Penn, which usually loses 3-0 against Rutgers, was hoping that its huge recruiting class would fare better against the Scarlet Knights, but it was more of the same for the Red and Blue. Penn will open weekend play with a match today against Maryland-Baltimore County. The real test for the Quakers will come tomorrow, when Penn faces off against a talented Georgetown lineup. The Hoyas (6-5) are a much better team than their record indicates and will be a handful for Penn coach Kerry Major's young squad. "I think that all the teams in Georgetown will be pretty good, but Georgetown will be really tough," freshman Heather Janssen said. "They're a tall team, so we'll need to play great defense because it will be tough to block them at all." Penn need look only as far as its last game to see what can happen against a significantly taller team. Rutgers, which had a sizable height advantage over the Quakers, held Penn to only two total blocks. Against the Scarlet Knights, junior Stephanie Horan led the Quakers attack with seven kills and a .250 hitting percentage. Junior Kelly Szczerba also played well, tallying five kills, no errors and an impressive hitting percentage of .454. Despite some bright spots for Penn, Rutgers was better than the Quakers at almost everything. Rutgers had seven players with a hitting percentage of over .250, as compared to only three for the Red and Blue. The Scarlet Knights easily led Penn in all major categories in a match that was highlighted by a 15-1 drubbing in the second game. "Georgetown is probably better than Rutgers, so that tells you something right there," Major said. "But it's important that we go into the game with the right attitude because when we played our best in the third game against Rutgers, we almost won." In that third game, Penn made a valiant effort to steal one from Rutgers after nearly being shut-out in the previous game. Penn's mini-victory over the Scarlet Knights seems to have given the team confidence that they can hang with the likes of Georgetown. "We think that we can beat these teams by wearing them down," Szczerba said. "If we have the right attitude, we will compete and do just fine." Even with the right attitude, going against Georgetown could be a bit much for a Penn squad that has an abundance of youth and inexperience. The hope for Penn is that playing higher-caliber teams early on will pay off later in the Ivy League season and tournament. "I think this tournament will be great preparation for the league season because we get to see good teams and hopefully gain some confidence by competing with them," freshman Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan said. For the Quakers to have a chance to beat Georgetown, they will have to get over any kind of intimidation factor. Playing an away match against the Hoyas should be quite a test for a team that has shown much promise early on this season. "I think that some people were a little bit intimidated against Rutgers just because they always beat us 3-0," Janssen said. "We definitely have to come out confidently and worry about ourselves if we want to succeed."Comments powered by Disqus
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