HANOVER, N.H. – Dartmouth volleyball fought back from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set, but ultimately fell to Penn, 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-23, 13-15) at Leede Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Big Green dipped to 8-13 and 1-9 in Ivy League play, while the Quakers improved to 10-12 and 5-5 in conference play.
Four players ended the match with double-doubles: seniors Danielle Glinka (21 digs, 11 kills) and Emily Astarita (24 digs, 15 kills), sophomore Zoe Leonard (21 digs, 35 assists) and freshman Maddy Schoenberger (14 digs, 19 assists).
“We saw improvement in games three, four and five,” head coach Gilad Doron said. “I thought we were playing aggressively after dropping the first two games. We incorporated different players, which gave us a chance, and it was fun to watch at times. We’ve got to keep learning how to finish. Penn came up with a win unfortunately, but hopefully we can learn from it and finish strongly in our last four matches."
The first set was evenly matched and neither team had a definitive lead until halfway through. With Dartmouth trailing by one (15-14), it went on a five-point run following three Penn errors and a pair of kills by senior Kaira Lujan to make it 19-15 in the Big Green’s favor. The Quakers had different plans, however, and went on to win the next points (21-19). Dartmouth held Penn at set point (24-21) while it got within one off an Astarita kill and a Quaker error, but a kill gave the first set to the visitors (25-23).
Penn dominated the early stages of the second set, winning 17 of the first 22 points (17-5). Dartmouth turned things around soon after to threaten a comeback. Still trailing by nine (22-13), the Big Green went on a 6-1 run following two errors by the Quakers and kills by Astarita, Lujan and Glinka to get within four points (23-19). A kill put Penn at set point, but kills by sophomore Samantha Bozoian and Astarita made it a 24-21 set. The Quakers got the kill they needed, however, to win their second set (25-21).
Dartmouth opened the third set well and never looked back. A four-point run early on gave the Big Green an 11-8 edge and they never relinquished the lead from that point on. With the score at 15-11, an 8-1 run courtesy of two Penn errors, kills by Astarita, Glinka, senior Molly Kornfeind and freshman Carly Tower and an ace by sophomore Sierra Lyle made it a 22-12 set. The Quakers would end up getting within five points at the end, but a kill by Glinka gave Dartmouth it’s first victory of the day (25-19).
Although the fourth set started off very much in the Big Green’s favor (6-0), the Quakers did not make it easy on them. Penn tied the score at 12-all and the teams traded points until the end of the set. When Dartmouth had a 22-20 advantage, two Green errors tied the score once again (22-22). A kill by Astarita and a Quaker error put Dartmouth at set point, but Penn got one point closer to threaten a lead change (24-23). Tower ended the set with a kill, sending the match to the fifth set (25-23).
The Big Green took an early 5-3 lead in the fifth set, but four in a row by the Quakers gave the lead to the visitors (7-5). There were three more ties, the last of which occurring at 13-all following three straight points by the home team, but two Dartmouth errors handed the win to Penn (15-13).
Next weekend, Dartmouth will head to New York to take on Columbia and Cornell. These will be the Green’s last road matches of the 2016 season.