Welcome to the Ivy League, Katie Schumacher-Cawley.
In her first-ever Ivy League match as Penn's coach, Schumacher-Cawley and Penn volleyball lost in straight sets to a tough Princeton opponent.
The Red and Blue (5-4, 0-1 Ivy) kept the scores close throughout all three sets, yet the Tigers (8-3, 1-0) were able to pull through and come out on top each time. The first set ended with a score of 27-25 and the last two ended 25-18.
Despite the loss, Schumacher-Cawley was still impressed with some of the plays she saw from her players.
“Opening up at Princeton with those crowds...I don’t think it gets any better than that," Schumacher-Cawley said. "We had moments of great play but too many strings of points that Princeton was able to separate to take over the match.”
Both of the first two sets were hotly contested in the early goings with Penn actually holding a lead for the first several points of the second set. The Tigers were able to adjust quickly, though, reminding Red and Blue that they were last year's Ivy League champions for a reason.
“I wish we would have played better at points of the match because it could have changed a couple points here and there,” Schumacher-Cawley said. “But it’s about learning and moving forward, so we will get back to work on Monday.”
“The team is disappointed because we had a great week of practice and I think we prepared well. We just came out flat in some areas but they are errors that are fixable,” she added.
In some ways, it can even be consider good that Penn's first Ivy loss came against Princeton. The Tigers are favored to win the conference once again, and it gave the Red and Blue a chance to see what it need to improve on the most against stiff competition.
“Things we can work on are not having back-to-back missed serves or back to back errors,” Schumacher-Cawley noted. “It happened to us multiple times and it’s a two point set that turns into four or five due to unforced errors.”
Looking ahead, things don't get much easier for the Quakers as they are to set take on Yale in New Haven. The Bulldogs lost only three games in the Ancient Eight last season, and swept Penn in both of the teams' matchups.
Whether Schumacher-Cawley will be able to claim her first Ivy win remains to be seen, but Penn is hoping the lessons it learned against Princeton will help at Yale.