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Penn volleyball will not play the final two games of its 2019 schedule after it was announced Wednesday that the team's season was cut short.

Credit: Christian Walton

The remainder of the Penn volleyball season is canceled, Penn Athletics announced on Wednesday. 

According to a Penn Athletics statement, the decision to cancel the remainder of the season was made following the administration's discovery of "vulgar, offensive, and disrespectful posters" in the team's locker room.

“These actions were in violation of team and Divisional policy and this matter has been referred to University administration for further review in accordance with University policy," the statement read.

“The behavior exhibited by our women's volleyball student-athletes is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Athletics Director M. Grace Calhoun wrote in the statement. “We expect our student-athletes to represent the University of Pennsylvania in a first-class and respectful manner at all times, and in this case, our volleyball student-athletes did not meet that standard. We have reviewed the matter with the appropriate University partners and will determine additional steps in the coming days and weeks."

Credit: Gary Lin

The team had two games remaining in the season: a weekend road trip to Yale and Brown. The team's final record will stand at 11-10. The most recent cancellation of a team's season is Harvard men's soccer in 2016. In that year, the two teams that were scheduled to play the Crimson played an additional game against each other to complete the season. 

This season, the Ivy League has decided to not count matches against Penn as within the conference. The resulting final standings will include 12 matches instead of the usual 14. Yale and Brown will play Princeton this weekend to complete their seasons.

The cancellation of the Penn volleyball season comes after a tumultuous year for the program in which several veteran players quit the team and eight players filed formal grievances against coach Iain Braddak citing a team-wide decline in mental health. 

Despite the concerns raised both by members of the team and alumni, Penn Athletics stood by Braddak throughout the conflict resolution process and through this season. Last spring, a large number of women on the team told The Daily Pennsylvanian that they had become frustrated with the lack of transparency of Penn Athletics and a broader lack of action.

Penn Athletics told both the DP and the Philadelphia Inquirer that the decision to cancel the remainder of the season was unrelated to last semester's grievances. 

The Inquirer published a separate statement from Penn Athletics on Nov. 14.

“We want to make it explicit that the decision to cancel the final two games was in no way connected to the grievances submitted last season by volleyball student-athletes," the statement read. “If this behavior had been exhibited by any of our 33 intercollegiate teams, there would be similar consequences.”

Penn Athletics' original announcement did not mention or refer to Braddak, the third Penn volleyball coach in as many years when he was hired in 2018.

Multiple athletes on the team did not respond to requests for comment.

This is a developing story. Please email papazekos@thedp.com with tips. Last updated on Nov. 14, 6:44 P.M.

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