PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The heart of Ivy League play continues as the Brown volleyball team hosts Princeton on Friday at 7 p.m. and Penn on Saturday at 5 p.m. to wrap up a four-match home stand at the Pizzitola Sports Center. After grinding out a pair of five-set Ivy League wins in as many days last weekend, the Bears stand at 6-8 overall and 2-1 in conference play – just one win shy of matching last year's win total in either category.
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DERROUGH GRABS SECOND PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
After a flurry of dominant offensive performances, senior outside hitter Thea Derrough (La Jolla, Calif.) earned Ivy League Co-Player of the Week honors for the second time this season, it was announced by the league office on Tuesday. Derrough once again shared the nod as the league's top performer with Yale sophomore Jesse Ebner.
Derrough led Brown to a 2-1 week with a trio of double-digit kill performances, including a career-high 20 kills in Saturday's five-set win over Harvard. She totaled 42 kills and 10 block assists while hitting .371 over three matches. Saturday's offensive showing with a .421 attack percentage marked the first time a Brown player has reached the 20-kill plateau since Katrina Post notched 21 kills against Cornell on Oct. 28, 2011.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
The Tigers of Princeton are 6-7 overall and 2-1 in Ivy League play after securing a 3-1 win at Columbia last Saturday. Freshman Cara Mattaliano took home Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors with 27 kills over two weekend matches, and currently leads all freshman in the conference with 3.08 kills per set.
Only Kendall Peterkin, the top attacker in the Ivy League, provides more offense than Mattaliano for the Tigers. The sophomore leads the conference in kills per set with 3.69 and is closing in on 500 attack attempts as one of the league's most aggressive hitters.
Up front, Nicole Kincade protects the net with 1.25 blocks per set to rank second in the Ivy League, while Sarah Daschbach commands the back row with the league's third best average of 3.96 digs per frame.
Princeton has won 12 straight matches versus Brown, last relenting to the Bears on Oct. 20, 2006. Last season, the Tigers prevailed in straight sets in both meetings en route to a second-place finish in the Ivy League standings.
SCOUTING THE QUAKERS
The Bears catch Penn on the tail end of an extended string of road games. The Quakers have not played at home since hosting three games in the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational on Sep. 15, and stand at 7-7 overall after seven straight away contests. The Quakers cap the home hiatus at Yale on Friday and Brown on Saturday before returning to the Palestra for five consecutive home Ivy League tilts.
Penn delegates its offense fairly evenly, with three players averaging over 2.00 kills per set. Kristen Etterbeek and Jasmine DeSilva are neck and neck for the top scoring position with 2.56 and 2.48 kills per set, respectively, while Alex Caldwell adds an even pair of kills per set to give Penn a league-leading 761 kills on the season. Expect the Quakers to come out firing, as the squad has rattled off 2,151 attack attempts this year - over 200 more than the closest competitor.
The Quakers have defeated Brown in three straight meetings, last falling to the Bears in five sets in Philadelphia after Derrough, then a sophomore, posted a then-career-best 19 kills on Oct. 14, 2011.
LAST TIME OUT
Brown closed the book on its third straight five-set affair and second straight victory by knocking off Harvard at home last Saturday. Derrough's 20 kills gave her double digits for the team-best sixth time this year, while junior Maryl Vanden Bos (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.), sophomore Rachele Killian (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and freshman Sarah Lucenti (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) teamed up for a combined 56 assists.
The Bears hit the road for the first time since Oct. 2 when they head to the Empire State for Ivy League contests at Columbia on Friday and Cornell on Saturday.