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Penn Clinches Outright Volleyball Title

Monday, November 16, 2009


Courtesy: Penn Athletic Communications

PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers clinched the Ivy title and a trip to the NCAA Championship with a 3-1 win against Dartmouth on Saturday.
The victory gives Penn its first Ivy League championship since 2003 and is the program's eighth Ancient Eight crown. It is also the fourth Ivy title for head coach Kerry Carr.

Penn won by scores of 26-24, 25-17, 22-25 and 25-16 to take down a pesky Dartmouth squad. The Red and Blue outhit the Big Green .250-.178 and also recorded 20 more kills (68-48) than its opponent. Senior Elizabeth Semmens led the Quaker attack with 22 kills and also added seven digs, while freshman Lauren Martin hit a team-high .548 with 20 kills and a career-high five total blocks.

In the first set it was Dartmouth who came out hitting, jumping out to a 6-2 advantage. Penn came back to tie it at ten, but a 5-0 run by the Big Green prompted a timeout. Julia Swanson had a kill after the break to make it 15-11. The kill sparked a 9-3 run which left the Quakers on the right side of a 20-18 score.

Dartmouth tied it back up at 21, but a kill by Swanson and a Big Green attack error put Penn in front 23-21. A Red and Blue attack error and an Ashley Hawkins kill made it 24-22, however two straight strikes by Morgan Covington evened it up at 24 forcing another Penn timeout. Elizabeth Semmens put the Quakers back up 25-24 and ended it with her second kill in as many points.

The Red and Blue opened with a 6-3 run in the second set before Dartmouth came back to tie it at nine. Penn didn't allow the Big Green to take the lead, going on an 8-2 streak to push the advantage to six at 17-11. Dartmouth wouldn't get any closer than six the rest of the way as the Quakers won it 25-17.

The Big Green wouldn't go down quietly, taking a 6-2 lead to open the third set. Penn was unable to get even with Dartmouth, getting only as close at one at 10-9. The deficit continued to hover between four and two as the Big Green maintained the lead for the remainder of the set, finishing with a 25-22 victory.

In the final set, the Quakers wouldn't be denied as they scored the first four points and seven of the first nine. A run by Dartmouth put them within three at 11-8, however a 6-1 run by Penn made it 17-9. The Red and Blue upped its lead to 20-10 and then traded points with the Big Green for the remainder of the set, finishing with the 25-16 win.

Dartmouth senior Morgan Convington was the leading hitter for the Big Green with 12 kills and a .414 attack percentage, while sophomore Madeline Baird had a team-high 21 digs. The Quakers out dug the Big Green 78-73, behind 28 from junior Madison Wojciechowski and 14 from fellow classmate Julia Swanson. Swanson also hit .300 and added 15 kills in the victory.

Penn improves to 21-5 and 12-1 in the Ivy League with the win and finishes regular season play on Wednesday with a match against rival Princeton at 7 p.m.