Volleyball Comes Back to Beat Cornell, 3-2

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PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania volleyball team came back to win the fourth and fifth sets on Saturday night at The Palestra, defeating Cornell 3-2 for the Quakers’ first Ivy League win of the season.
 
Penn improved to 2-13 overall and 1-4 in Ivy play. Cornell fell to 3-11 and is also 1-4 in conference action.
 
Quaker Notemeal
*Penn’s win snapped an 11-match losing streak that dated back to September 3.
 
*Penn doubled up Cornell with 10.0 blocks (1s/18a) to the Big Red’s 5.0 (1s/8a); it marked just the second time this season the Quakers reached double digits across the block columns.
 
*Penn tied a season low with just 17 attack errors on Saturday but did so across 158 attacks; compare that to the other two times they had 17 errors, against CSUN (100 attacks) and Princeton (85 attacks).
 
*Sophomore Ella Green once again led Penn with 14 kills, her second straight double-figure night in that category and her fourth such game in the last seven outings. The 14 kills were two shy of her season/career high.
 
*Senior Autumn Leak had 13 kills, giving her 21 for the weekend, and she hit .250 in the match on a team-high 40 attacks.
 
*Freshman Claire Deller had eight kills—hitting .294 on the night—and also had the Quakers’ only block solo as well as five block assists.
 
*Junior Emerson Flornes had seven kills, including the match-winner, and hit .312 on the night. She also had four block assists, three digs, and a service ace.
 
*Senior Madeline McGregor had another stat-stuffing night with seven kills, a team-high six block assists, nine digs and three assists.
 
*Freshman Anna Shohfi went the distance at setter and finished the night with 40 assists. She also tied classmate Abigail Reid for team-high honors with 19 digs.
 
*In addition to her 19 digs, Reid led Penn and tied for match-high honors with three service aces and dished out three assists.
 
How It Happened
Penn won the first three points on Saturday and built that out to an early 7-3 lead that eventually expanded to 11-6. However, the Cornell attack went to work at that point, four kills serving as the impetus to a five-point run that tied things at 11. A Leak kill ended the run, and the teams traded points for several sideouts after that. Penn was up 19-16 when the Big Red rattled off another five-point run that bridged a Penn timeout and put the guests in front, 21-19. Penn scored the next three points, a McGregor kill sandwiched between two Cornell errors, then had a pair of set points following a Cornell ball-handing error. However, a pair of Penn attack errors brought the Big Red level, and then after a pair of Eliza Konvicka kills were matched by Green and Deller Cornell finally pulled out the set 28-26 with a Joanna Chang kill and a block by Konvicka and Sydney Moore.
 
The second set was close to the midway point, when Penn used kills by Green, Green and Shohfi to take a 14-10 lead. Cornell scored the next two points but kills by Deller and Leak spurred another three-point Penn run and a 17-12 lead. The Big Red got as close as three at 19-16, but Penn reeled off the next three points and pulled away for the 25-18 win. Green had six kills in the set, hitting .455, while Leak had four kills on six attacks for a .667 set.

Cornell blew it open early in the third, scoring four of the first five and nine of the first 12 points. The Big Red were content to essentially trade points the rest of the way, the lead ballooning as high as nine on a few occasions as they cruised to the 25-17 third-set victory.
 
The fourth set featured nine ties and five lead changes. Penn led by as many as five, at 16-11, but Cornell roared back with a 6-2 run that got the Big Red within one at 18-17. The Quakers’ head coach, Meredith Schamun, called timeout but no matter—Cornell got a service ace out of the stoppage to tie things at 18-18, then took its first lead since 3-2 on a Konvicka kill. However, a Deller kill tied it back up at 19, then a Reid service ace put Penn back in front. Cornell answered with a kill and a service ace to go up 21-20, then traded points for a 22-21 lead. A McGregor kill tied it one final time, at 22, and then a controversial out call gave Penn a point and a 23-22 lead. Another Cornell attack error gave Penn set point, and while they handed one away with a service error they closed it out on a Green kill to send the match to a fifth.

Penn scored the first points in the fifth on a McGregor kill and they would never trail (although Cornell did tie things up six times). The Quakers’ lead was 10-7 when Cornell scored two in a row to get within one, then after a Big Red service error put Penn up by two the guests scored twice more to tie things at 11-11. Schamun took a timeout at that point and her charges settled down. A Shohfi kill was followed by a Chang error, putting Penn up 13-11, and then Leak followed a Cornell kill with one of her own to put the Red and Blue at match point. Flornes then put it to bed.

Up Next
Penn goes back out on the road next weekend, traveling back to New England to take on defending champion Brown (Friday at 7 p.m.) and Yale (Saturday at 5 p.m.).
 

#FightOnPenn

 
 




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