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9-3-2021-womens-volleyball-vs-bucknell-madeline-mcgregor-samantha-turner
Junior Madeline McGregor hits the ball towards the opposing Bucknell team members who are attempting to block it on Sept. 3rd. Credit: Samantha Turner

Penn volleyball was unable to curb its losing ways this weekend at the Temple University City Classic, as it closes out non-conference play on a six-game losing streak. 

The Quakers (3-6) dropped both contests in their weekend doubleheader. In the first match of the day, Penn opened with a 25-20 first set victory before Temple (4-6) rallied to win the next three sets, and ultimately the match. In the second contest, the Quakers won the opening set against Villanova (8-4) before dropping the final three sets to the Wildcats. 

Penn opened its matchup against the Owls with a senior Daniela Fornaciari kill. After exchanging points back-and-forth to open the set, the Quakers pulled away quickly, never letting Temple get within more than a few scores. 

It looked like the Red and Blue were going to pull away in the second set too, after they jumped out to a quick 8-3 lead. However, sloppy play down the stretch prevented Penn from holding off a late Temple comeback. Penn committed four attack errors and a service error in the set’s final moments, which allowed the Owls to emerge with a 28-26 set victory. 

Juniors Autumn Leak and Madeline McGregor led the Quakers’ offensive attack in the loss to Temple, with Leak totaling 24 kills and McGregor amassing 19. 

Despite the efforts of Leak and McGregor, the story was the same in the final two sets, as both the Red and Blue and the Owls traded points, keeping the set within reach of both teams. Then, Penn’s inability to come up with big plays down the stretch gave Temple the edge it needed to come away with the match victory. 

Penn entered the second match of its doubleheader hoping to clean up its play and turn the tide on its losing streak. The Quakers were unable to flip the script against the Wildcats, once again failing to hang onto their early lead. McGregor led the Red and Blue offensively in the loss to Villanova, totaling 16 kills. Leak, Fornaciari, and Margaret Planek also contributed in meaningful ways for the Red and Blue. 

The Quakers opened the season with three victories at the Sheraton University City Volleyball Invitational, which they hosted at The Palestra. Since that opening weekend, Penn has yet to return home for a match, with each of its six consecutive losses coming either on the road or at a neutral site. 

Penn will hit the road for one more match before returning home. This time, the Red and Blue will be making the trip to Princeton (6-2), where they’ll open conference play against a Tigers squad that shut them out in both of their 2019 contests. 

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