Volleyball comes out on top against Penn, falls to Princeton
Following the split weekend, the Big Green stands 6-4 in the Ivy League.
Courtesy of Emma Engstrom
This weekend, the volleyball team hit the road to continue Ivy League play, facing the University of Pennsylvania followed by Princeton University. Coming off a 3-0 home win against Harvard University, the team swept Penn before losing to Princeton 3-0.
The Big Green played Penn for the first time this season at Leede Arena on Oct. 2, in which Dartmouth came away with a 3-1 win. As the Big Green drove to Philadelphia to face Penn for the second time, head coach Gilad Doron said that the team planned to bring the same energy that aided their success in the first game.
“One of our goals was to get the first program win at Penn since 1999 and we were able to gain control midway through the first set and never let down, which was great to watch,” Doron said.
Not only did the Big Green sweep Penn, it also proved dominant in most aspects of the game. The Big Green led the game in points, kills, aces, blocks and assists. Amelia Gibbs ’24 and Bomi Ogunlari ’24 led the team in kills with 12 each.
In addition, the Big Green came out with a total of six aces — two from Emma Engstrom ’25 and one each from Makenzie Arent ’23, Ali Silva ’23, Karen Murphy ’24 and Ellie Blain ’24. Engstrom also kept the momentum going for the Big Green with her 18 digs.
“The team fought hard and we were able to come away with a sweep,” Engstrom said. “The first set score was 30-28 and we came back from being down, stuck with it and showed our grit as a team.”
The following two sets against Penn were less close — the Big Green took the second set 25-15 and the final set finished at 25-21.
“[Beating Penn] was a testament to the work everyone is putting into practice,” Taite Ryan ’23 said. “We are continually improving with each game this season and it is fun to see the dots finally connecting.”
After a sweep against Penn, the Big Green boarded its bus once again to travel to Princeton, N.J. to take on the Tigers. Although the Big Green did not come away with the win, Doron said he was proud of the team’s defensive performance.
“I felt we played Princeton tough the first two sets and will continue to work to get better so if we get a third chance at them in the championship we will be ready,” Doron said. “Our blocking and defense was much better this past weekend and that will be a key for us going into the last two weeks of the season.”
Against Princeton, the Big Green fell 25-22 in the first set, 28-26 in the second and 25-12 in the last. Although the Big Green lost some steam at the end, the team continued to show their technical ability: Blain had a total of 11 kills, Engstrom came away with 15 digs and Ogunlari got four blocks.
After the weekend away, Doron said that he is excited to see how they continue to play as the season progresses.
“Our chemistry on and off the court continues to grow, as well as the trust between players, and it is noticeable,” Doron said.
The Big Green is currently in a strong position and is continuing to fight through Ivy play in order to make it into the championship and end the season on top. Right now, the team stands at 14-6 overall and ranked fourth with a 6-4 record in the Ivy League.
“We know we have to keep this momentum and focus going into the next two weekends to put ourselves in a good spot to continue our season,” Ryan said.
Next weekend, Dartmouth is back at home and will take on Cornell University at 7 p.m. on Friday and Columbia University at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be held in Leede Arena.