Casey Leads Women's Volleyball Past Penn, 3-2, for First Ivy Win

Kristen Casey registered a career-high in both kills (19) and digs (22) to lead the Crimson past Penn Saturday (Gil Talbot).

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Led by Kristen Casey's 19 kills and 22 digs, the Harvard women's volleyball team picked up its first Ivy League win of the year with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Penn. The win improves the Crimson to 3-3 in five-set matches this season and was the team's third straight five setter.

Harvard (8-5, 1-2 Ivy League) battled back from an 11-7 deficit for a 15-13 victory in the fifth set. A 5-0 run which included two blocks by Sandra Lynne Fryhofer gave the Crimson a 13-12 edge and Casey put the match to bed with back-to-back kills for match point. Casey scored four kills in the deciding frame as Harvard combined to hit .417.

The Crimson was also forced to play from behind in the opening set after Penn opened a 7-1 lead. Harvard eventually tied the score at 15 on an Olivia Staffon ace and took its first lead 19-18 on an ace by Fryhofer. A 4-0 spurt gave the Crimson a 23-19 edge before Casey tallied set point, 25-21.

Penn again jumped out to a big lead in the second set and held as large as a seven point advantage over Harvard. The Crimson came back to take a 19-18 lead late in the frame but the Quakers were able to hold on this time for a 25-20 win.

The teams found themselves tied at seven in the third set before a 9-3 stretch allowed Harvard to pull out to a comfortable 16-10 margin. The Crimson led by as many as eight points, 20-12, following a Penn error and earned set point on a Teresa Skelly kill, 25-21.

The Quakers forced the fifth set after leading from start to finish en route to a 25-20 win in the fourth.

Casey's 19 kills and 22 digs both mark new season-highs for the freshman, who also added five blocks while tallying her fourth double-double of the year. Casey had previously recorded 17 kills and 14 digs versus Dartmouth on Sept. 24.

Skelly notched 12 kills and five blocks while Fryhofer chipped in seven kills and eight blocks. Harvard combined for 13 blocks on the night, its second-highest total of the year, and held Penn to a .167 hitting percentage. Five Crimson reached double-digits in digs including Natalie Doyle who registered 44 assists and 17 digs for her second straight double-double and the fourth of her career.

Harvard will continue its four-match road trip Oct. 7 at Brown. The Crimson conclude the trip the following day at Yale.