Volleyball Has Streak Snapped in 3-0 Loss to Penn
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman setter Sarah Lucenti (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) posted a double-double with 11 assists and 11 digs but the Brown volleyball team had its three-match win streak snapped by way of a 3-0 loss (25-19, 25-19, 25-21) to Penn in Ivy League play at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Saturday. The Bears slide to 7-9 overall and 3-2 in Ivy League competition, while the Quakers improve to 8-8 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
Junior Maddie Lord (La Jolla, Calif.) knocked nine kills to lead the Bears and sophomore Rachele Killian (Laguna Beach, Calif.) dished out 15 assists to reach double-figures for the fourth time in five contests.
Penn's Susan Stuecheli unloaded for a season-high 15 kills on an air-tight .636 hitting percentage to power the Quaker offense that hit .220 on the day and struck for 41 total kills in the straight-set decision. Ronnie Bither handed out a match-best 24 assists to go with 11 digs, while Stuecheli got it done defensively as well with six total blocks.
The Quakers took the first two sets by identical scores of 25-19. Lord attempted to get the Brown offense off the ground in the opener with four kills, but the Bears hit just .129 to Penn's .219 and struggled to establish a rhythm. After falling behind early, senior Thea Derrough (La Jolla, Calif.) twice tied the game with kills at 13-13 and 15-15, but Meghan Connolly spun a pair of aces for Penn to initiate the closing 10-4 charge that ended the set.
Penn managed to all but shut down the Brown offensive scheme in the second set, holding Lord scoreless thanks to tireless defense in the back row by Alexis Genske, who finished the set with eight digs. Stuecheli stayed hot with another five kills, one of which opened up a 20-13 lead that eventually swelled to seven points twice (21-13 and 24-17) as the Quakers held off the Bears despite a kill and a block from Derrough facing set point.
Brown mounted a valiant rally in the late going of set three after falling behind 17-12, but Stuecheli hit steady with another five kills to match Lord's five in the deciding frame. The Bears refused to disappear as Lucenti and junior Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, Calif.) went to the floor for digs constantly to keep Brown alive, and although Derrough and Lord took strong swings for three unanswered points while facing elimination, Stuecheli fittingly finished what she started with the final kill and 25th point.
The Bears take to the road next week with Ivy League contests at Columbia on Friday and Cornell on Saturday.