Despite struggling as a team this season, two Penn volleyball players earned postseason individual accolades.
Sophomore outside hitters Raven Sulaimon and Parker Jones, who is also a sports reporter for The Daily Pennsylvanian, each earned honorable mention All-Ivy honors after providing most of the offensive spark for the Quakers this season.
This is not the first time Jones has received All-Ivy honors. As a freshman, she was placed on the All-Ivy second team after leading the conference in total kills with 319. This season, Jones could not break the 300-mark, but she still put up an impressive 229 kills, good for second on the team behind Sulaimon. The Lafayette, Calif. native also recorded 217 digs.
Jones’s classmate was possibly even more impressive this season. Starting 23 of 25 matches on the year, Sulaimon paced the team with 253 kills, including 183 in conference play, which placed her fifth in the Ivy League. When Sulaimon played well, the team performed likewise.
This was particularly salient in an Oct. 13 win against Cornell. In a 3-sets-to-1 victory, Sulaimon dominated the net, recording a career high 17 kills and playing a vital role in what would be one of three total conference wins this season for the Quakers (6-19, 3-11 Ivy).
With hopes of an Ivy League championship long gone, it was no surprise that Penn’s one-two punch of Jones and Sulaimon stepped up in the final weekend of the year. In its third and final conference win over Dartmouth on Nov. 9, the duo combined for 29 kills in the Quakers’ 3-0 blowout win. Jones tied Sulaimon’s career high of 17 kills while the Texas native added 12 of her own. Penn also received solid production from junior captain and libero Caroline Furrer, who had 17 digs.
The Red and Blue did not have the same fortune a day later against Harvard, which ended the season in fourth place in the Ancient Eight. Penn lost the match 3-1, dropping the final three sets after winning the first 25-23. Jones and Sulaimon paced the team in kills in that match as well, spiking 13 and 12 winners, respectively.
Even with this year's rough win-loss record, the future is still bright for Penn. With their two best players and a host of other starters returning, the Quakers could have a turnaround in 2019.