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NEW YORK – The Columbia volleyball team returns to Levien Gym this weekend to begin its 2013 Ivy League home slate. The Lions will take on Penn on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. for a special GO PINK Night to support the fight against breast cancer, followed by a 5 p.m. showdown against Princeton on Saturday, Oct. 5.

Scouting the Quakers:
Penn (6-6), 0-1 Ivy League) reached .500 on the season following a non-conference 3-1 road-win at La Salle on Monday. The Quakers defeated the Explorers by scores of 21-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-21. Prior to that victory, Penn dropped its Ivy League opener on the road at Princeton, 3-2.

Leading the Penn attack is Kristen Etterbeek (2.69 kills per set) and Jasmine DeSilva (2.67 kills per set), while Alex Caldwell holds a team-high 5.85 assists per set.

Scouting the Tigers:
Princeton (5-6, 1-0 Ivy League) leads the Ivy League standings after edging Penn in five sets at home last Friday. The win helped the Tigers sweep the weekly individual Ivy League awards. Kendall Peterkin, the league’s kill leader, was named the Ivy League Player of the Week, while Lauren Miller earned Rookie of the Week honors.

The Tigers rank second in the conference averaging 12.54 kills, largely due to Kendall Peterkin’s league-leading 3.81 per set. Peterkin led all players with 21 kills in the win over Penn. She also added eight digs, two service aces, one block and one assist.

Miller earned Rookie of the Week honors after recording a career and match-high 59 assists to go with nine digs and four kills against Penn.

Scouting the Lions:
Columbia (2-8, 0-1 Ivy League) will look to snap its three-game losing skid after dropping its Ivy League opener at Cornell last weekend in a heartbreaking five-set battle. The New York rivals traded victories, 25-12, 22-25, 25-22, 26-28, forcing the deciding set, 8-15.

The loss was Columbia’s first to Cornell dating back to 2011. The Lions swept the Big Red for two straight years, including last season when Columbia posted its best finish in program history, tying for second in the Ivy League.

Killing It: A pair of sophomores lead the Columbia attack, paced by Bailey Springer’s team-high 3.46 kills per set, good for second in the Ivy League. Teammate Atlanta Moye-McLaren is close behind, ranked third in the league with 3.10 per set. Springer recently recorded back-to-back double-doubles against Binghamton and Seton Hall. She exploded with new career highs of 25 kills and 16 digs versus the Bearcats, and followed that performance with 22 kills and 12 digs in the Cavalier Classic against the Pirates. Moye-McLaren has been a double-double machine for the Lions, recording six so far this year. The outside hitter had one of her strongest matches of the season in Columbia’s win over Fordham, swinging at a .417 mark with 17 kills and 23 digs.

Block Party: First-year Kesi Neblett has been a strong asset defensively for the Lions, tallying 33 blocks on the season (1.06/set). Ranked third in the conference, Neblett made a career-high seven blocks (two solo) against Binghamton, followed by another six versus Seton Hall. Senior Savannah Fletcher has been solid at the net as well, registering 0.92 blocks per set this year.

No Diggity: The Lions are currently ranked 44th in the nation with 15.98 digs per set, led by a team-best 3.45 average by junior Molly Winger.

Jenny on the Block: First-year Jennifer Petrovich has been key in setting the Lions’ offense. She has already racked up five double-doubles on the year and currently leads the Ivy League with 8.91/set assists per set.

Join Columbia volleyball in the fight against breast cancer on GO PINK Night, Friday, October 4 at 7 p.m. when the Lions take on Penn. Admission to the match is free and counts as a student rewards night.

The first 200 fans will receive a FREE pink, Columbia volleyball t-shirt.

Donations will be collected at the door to benefit the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. In addition, Fairway Market will be donating $1 to breast cancer research for every fan that attends the match.

Other special features of the match will include an honorary first serve from a staff member at the Columbia Medical Center and an RA competition for Columbia University Resident Advisors.

Wear your pink and support the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center!