NEW YORK – The Columbia volleyball team couldn’t stop a late-surging Penn team in Philadelphia Friday night, as the Quakers came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Lions in a 3-2 thriller (30-28, 20-25, 20-25, 25-12, 15-9). With the loss, the Lions are now 15-9 overall and 9-4 in the Ivy League.
The two teams played closely throughout the night, a trend that started with the first set. Columbia battled back against three set points to stay in it, while Penn also kept the fight going. Penn was up 24-23, when Columbia used a kill from Caitlin Brenton
to tie it up at 24. A kill from senior Cindy Chen
gave the Lions set point, 25-24, but a Penn kill made it 25 all. From there, a block by the Quakers gave the Red and Blue set point again, 26-25, but a kill from junior Megan Gaughn
evened the score and play continued. Brenton notched a kill to give the Lions the edge, 27-26, but again, Penn was there to tie it up. Another block gave the Quakers a 28-27 lead, but again, Brenton notched a timely kill to even the score. But Penn took advantage of a set point given to them by a Columbia attack error, and a Quaker kill ended the first set war, 30-28 in favor of the hosts.
In the second set, when the Lions took the lead, they didn’t give it back up. Tied up at 7-7, a Penn attack error gave Columbai the edge, 8-7, and a kill from Madeline Rumer
made it 9-7. From ther,e the Lions went on a run, using a service ace from Rumer to widen the lead to 13-8. Though Penn kept it close, back-to-back kills from Gaughn ended it, 25-20 in favor of the Lions, and the match was tied up at one set apiece. Set three was more of a battle, as the stanza was tied up back and forth until 17-17, but the Columbia pulled away. A bad set by the Quakers opened the door, and junior Heather Braunagel
pushed it open with a kill, putting the Lions up 19-17. A kill from Gaughn was followed by a block from Kelsey Musselman
and Braunagel, and Columbia had a 22-17 lead. Penn scored three more points, but a kill from Braunagel ended it, 25-20, putting the Lions up 2-1 overall.
But the Quakers surged, and dealt the Lions two quick losses in the fourth and fifth sets to win the match. Penn took the fourth set 25-12, before beating Columbia 15-9 in the fifth. The Quakers won the match 3-2, handing Columbia its second straight loss.
The Lions are now 15-9 overall and 9-4 in the Ivy League. Up next for Columbia is a battle with the Princeton Tigers on their home court in New Jersey, Saturday, November 12 at 5 p.m.