PROVIDENCE, RI – The Brown volleyball team (5-11, 1-5) fell to Penn (9-8, 4-2) in four sets (21-25, 15-25, 25-23, 20-25) on Friday evening at the Pizzitola Center. Brown was led by junior Amanda Nickel (Corona Del Mar, CA) and sophomore Brittany Link (Hinckley, OH), who each had 10 kills, while Link had a team-high .226 hitting percentage.
In the first set, the Bears overcame a 6-0 match-opening run by the Quakers to come back to within two points, 14-12, on a kill by senior Katrina Post (Pasadena, CA). Penn responded with a 4-0 run to go up, 18-12, and after the teams went back-and-forth, Brown closed the gap to 23-21 with three straight points; an error by Penn, a kill by sophomore Maddie Lord (La Jolla, CA), and another error. The Quakers earned the final two points to take the first set, 25-21.
Penn dominated the beginning of the second set, building a 16-4 lead, before Brown reeled off three points to come to within 16-7. However, every time the Bears went on a run, Penn would go on one of its own, taking a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-15 win.
Brown forced a fourth set by winning the third, 25-23. The two teams traded points early, as neither team held a lead of more than two points through an 8-6 lead for the Bears. Brown led by as many as three points four times, and then stretched its lead to four points, 14-10, on an ace by junior Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, CA). From that point on, the teams continued to battle back-and-forth until a Brown attacking error gave Penn a 22-21 lead. With the Quakers leading 23-22, Brown won the final three points of the set to force the fourth set.
Again, the two teams battled back-and-forth, all the way through 16-16. Brown would go up, 17-16, on one of Link's 10 kills, but a 5-0 Penn run, gave the Quakers a 21-17 lead, forcing Brown to call a timeout. The Bears came out of the timeout and won the next point, another kill by Link, but Penn answered with three more points to take a 24-18 lead. An attacking error by the Quakers and then a kill by Nickel brought Brown to within 24-20, but that was as close as the Bears would get.
Brown's defensive efforts were led by four players, who all had at least 15 digs – Freshman Rachele Killian (Laguna Beach, CA) led the way with 18, while Rieckhoff and sophomore Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, CA) each had 17. Freshman Shannon Frost (Santa Ana, CA) added 16. Killian earned 17 assists to post a double-double, while Rieckhoff also had a double-double with 13 assists.
Brown continues action tomorrow afternoon when it hosts Princeton in a 4:00 p.m. match.
Pictured: Brittany Link '15.