Coach Meredith Schamun's first season at the helm for Penn volleyball has been full of ups and downs. The Quakers entered this weekend looking to finish off their season on an upswing with two home wins at the Palestra.
Penn (8-15, 5-9 Ivy) did just that this weekend, sweeping Ivy rivals Cornell (7-15, 3-11) and Columbia (5-19, 2-12), neither of whom were able to win a set against the Quakers.
In Friday night's matchup with Cornell, the team's on-court chemistry and communication helped them take down the Big Red.
“I think we worked really hard in practice all week...a lot of the things we worked on at practice happened tonight,” senior middle hitter Daniela Fornaciari said. “We’ve been practicing together all semester...The communication just kind of comes easily to us, we work on it everyday."
The Quakers were lighting it up on the court with 38 kills to Cornell’s 32 as well as 120 total attacks. Fornaciari was a big part of Penn’s success, as she added 11 kills throughout the three sets. Senior Margaret Planek and junior Autumn Leak also added nine kills each to lift the Red and Blue to victory.
“I think we just came out tonight and really executed the things we worked on in practice,” Schamun said. “We spent so much time this week taking care of the things we knew Cornell was really good at, and I think we executed that.”
Penn played with confidence and made relatively few mistakes compared to Cornell, who struggled to get much going offensively.
“We really kept our composure…and we just at no point ever had any doubt,” Schamun said. “We had a good team effort with a lot of people coming in off the bench making big plays for us.”
After beating Cornell, Penn looked to finish their season off strong with a win over the Lions. After the Quakers won three straight sets, they emerged undefeated in their final Ivy weekend of the season.
The team sent its seniors off with victory and ended Schamun's first year with a pair of confidence-building wins that will propel the team into its offseason.