|Kills||Chichi Ikwuazom (18)||Courtney Quinn (11)|
|Assists||Grace Campbell (51)||Sydney Morton (35)|
|Digs||Cassie Wes (27)||Michelle Pereira (24)|
|Blocks||Chichi Ikwuazom (5)||Taylor Cooper (4)|
PHILADELPHIA — The Columbia volleyball team tied a program record with its ninth Ivy League victory on Friday, defeating Penn in four sets at The Palestra (23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-18).
Columbia (14-9, 9-4 Ivy) matched its 2011 and 2012 teams that posted 9-5 records. The Lions’ 14 overall wins are its most since 2012, when they ended the year at 14-9. The 2011 squad posted a record of 15-10, one shy of the program record of 16 set in 2000.
In victory, the Lions also earned their first season sweep of Penn (10-15, 5-8 Ivy) in series history, which dates back nearly 30 years to 1988. Columbia had defeated Penn on back-to-back occasions just one other time, but those meetings spanned the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Friday night’s victory was Columbia’s third straight over the Quakers at The Palestra.
Three Lions recorded double-doubles. Sophomore Natasha Kosowicz earned her third of the season, posting a career-high 20 digs to go with 11 kills and a .310 hitting percentage. Sophomore Lauren Wilkins notched her first career double-double with career-highs of 10 kills and 11 digs. First-year setter Grace Campbell set the offense with 51 assists and 13 digs.
Chichi Ikwuazom continued her impressive rookie campaign with match-high 18 kills, hitting an error-free .581 along the way. The New York City native also led all players with five blocks, resulting in a match-high 21.5 points. Ikwuazom entered the night already leading the Ivy League in hitting percentage and blocks per set, ranking top 20 in the nation in both categories. Ikwuazom, Kosowicz, Wilkins and sophomore Luciana Del Valle (11) all reached double figures in kills.
Senior libero Cassie Wes tallied a match-high 27 digs and inched closer to setting another Columbia record. Wes came into the weekend needing 48 digs through the final two matches to tie the single-season mark of 473 set by Ellie Thomas in 2009. She will head into Saturday’s season finale 21 shy of the mark. Wes, Kosowicz, Campbell, Wilkins and senior Sarah Gurbach all reached double figures Friday night, resulting in the Lions coming away with an even 100 digs for the match.
Columbia outhit Penn .305 to .167, chalking up a 63-49 advantage in kills and 8-5 edge in blocks.
The Lions return to the court tomorrow with a chance to break their program record for ivy League victories in the season finale at Princeton (12-1 Ivy). The Tigers wrapped up the Ivy League crown Friday night with a five-set victory at Cornell.