Some good. Some bad. That is how the weekend went for Penn volleyball.
The Red and Blue dropped their first match against Yale on Friday, before bouncing back on Saturday to take down Brown.
In the win against Brown (5-9, 0-3), the Red and Blue (6-6, 1-2) dug out a five-set win against Brown (25-11, 15-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-6). It was an impressive effort in the second half of a back to back road trip.
The match saw Hayley Molnar, Raven Sulaimon and Parker Jones register double digit kills while the team posted a .221 hitting percentage. Sydney Morton had 42 assists to bring her average to 9.5 assists per set. Kendall Covington also had a good bounce-back game with nine kills and five blocks.
“I thought we had some great play this weekend,” Coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley said, “I was happy to see the team bounce back on Saturday and compete hard against a competitive Brown team.”
The result against the Bears should be encouraging for Penn and first-year coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley as it is the team's first Ancient Eight win in three tries.
As encouraging as the win against Brown was, things were not as pretty against Yale (8-4, 2-1) the night before. The Red and Blue simply did not have an answer for the Yale attack, falling in four sets (15-25, 22-25, 25-23, 13-25).
“Defensively we were a step slow against Yale,” Schumacher-Cawley noted. “Defensively we need to be quick aware of what is going on around us. They moved the ball well and finished plays.”
In the first set, the Red and Blue’s attack was balanced with kills from Courtney Quinn, Brook Behrbaum, Covington, Jones and Molnar. Despite the balanced attack, Yale exploited holes in the Quakers' defense and used a barrage of kills to pull away and take the first set.
The second set was a back and forth battle where both teams were largely unable to create much separation from each other. At 21-22, it looked like the Red and Blue had the momentum and might be able to steal the second set, but unfortunately for Penn, Yale struck back and won three of the next four points to close out the set.
Set three was the opposite story. After losing six straight points to fall behind 2-7 in the early goings, the Quakers managed to come back and steal the set. Kills from Quinn and Jones helped close the gap, and freshman Raven Sulaimon got in on the action as well, adding two kills of her own. A kill by Molnar gave the Quakers the late advantage at 24-22, and that was enough to propel them to a 25-23 win in the set.
The fourth set was less of a contest, as Yale overpowered the Quakers to close out the match.
The Red and Blue, in search of a more consistent showing, will be back in action next weekend, as they take on Harvard and Dartmouth at the Palestra.
"This team needs to continue to work every day.” Schumacher-Cawley said. “I am proud of what they have done so far. We will continue to push them to get the very best.”
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