Two more matches, two more wins. The results seem to indicate what has become an ordinary weekend of Ivy League play for the Penn volleyball team.
But for one player, last weekend was anything but ordinary.
On Saturday, Penn senior outside hitter Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan broke the school record for career kills, surpassing the old mark of 1,129 set by 1990 graduate Melissa Ingalls.
Needing 28 kills going into the weekend to match Ingalls, Kwak-Hefferan notched 15 kills in the Quakers' 3-2 victory over Harvard (4-12, 3-3 Ivy). The 2002 first-team All-Ivy selection then added 16 more in Penn's 3-0 defeat of Dartmouth (8-9, 1-5) and etched her name in the program's history books.
But the team's wins, not her individual record, was the focus of this weekend.
"I wasn't really even thinking about it," Kwak-Hefferan said. "We concentrated on beating our opponents. The record was more of a nice extra thing to have."
Kwak-Hefferan was eager to deflect the glory associated with the feat to her teammates.
"It's an individual record, but in some ways it shouldn't be, because the rest of the team made it possible for me," Kwak-Hefferan said. "I couldn't have done it if I didn't have fantastic setters, great defense, great passing and just a great team that has supported me. It's kind of unfair that it's just my name on there."
The rest of the Ivy League is likely finding Penn's recent dominance of the league unfair. With the wins, the Quakers (12-4, 5-0) extended their Ancient Eight winning streak to 16 matches.
Penn's first victory of the weekend was a 30-17, 23-30, 31-33, 30-27, 15-7 defeat of Harvard at the Malkin Athletic Center in Boston.
Leading the attack for the Quakers was senior right-side hitter Lauren Carter, who had a match-high 21 kills. Penn senior middle hitter Heather Janssen added 19 kills and hit .516.
Defensively, the Quakers held Harvard junior standout Kaego Ogbechie to 15 kills and a .167 hitting percentage.
"We practiced having our assistant coach Keith [Lui] hit straight down at us," Kwak-Hefferan said. "He's about 6'2" or 6'3", so that give us a little taste of what we were in for."
Harvard's other main offensive weapon, junior outside hitter Nilly Schweitzer, recorded 16 kills and hit just .193 for the match.
Although Penn dominated almost every major statistical category, it was plagued by problems on serve. The Quakers had seven aces against 17 service errors.
"The whole idea against Harvard is to take them out of their game by serving tough," Penn coach Kerry Major Carr said. "We did that, but we also had a lot of errors. That really let Harvard back in it."
The Quakers followed up their win against the Crimson with a 30-22, 32-30, 30-24 victory over Dartmouth at Leede Arena in Hanover, N.H. It was Penn's fifth straight 3-0 defeat of the Big Green, which have lost six of their last seven matches.
Another highlight of the weekend was Penn's offense overall. The Quakers hit an above-average .260 against Harvard, then posted a dominating .368 mark against Dartmouth.
"We've really been working on our offense in the last two years, and I think it's finally showing," Carr said. "Because we don't have one person that shines every match, our offense is tough to contain, which makes our offensive hitting percentage go up."
That team mentality is reflected in the team's 12-4 record. And after Kwak-Hefferan's 1,130th kill last weekend, it's embedded in the school's history books as well.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.