The volleyball team placed second at its own invitational this past weekend, sweeping past Tulsa (14-3), Seton Hall (7-9) and Niagara (3-15) only to fall to eventual champion Wyoming (14-2) in its final match. Cornell moves to 7-4 on the season.
“We were trying to bring everything together this weekend,” said junior setter Rachel Rice. “We are getting better as a team, keeping our strengths up and building on our weaknesses. We used the tournament to help get ready for the season.”
The action started Friday afternoon as Cornell opened the tournament against Tulsa. The Red controlled the pace for most of the games and held off rallies by the Golden Hurricanes several times to win 30-27, 30-29, 30-28. Freshman Heather Young had one of her best performances in a Cornell jersey, recording an incredible .714 hitting percentage and double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs to lead the Red in scoring. Junior Jamie Lugo scored 10 kills of her own, while senior Angela Barbera and junior Debbie Quibell each added eight kills from the outside.
Senior captain Mary Margaret Moore, had 10 digs on the day to tie Young. Junior setter Rachel Rice recorded 27 assists for the match. Freshman Whitney Fair, who played most of the third game in the match, added 13 assists. Overall the Red out-hit Tulsa .245 — .178. Cornell also saw a strong defensive effort from junior Ashley Stover who had three blocks and Lugo who put down four blocks.
The Red controlled Seton Hall later that day to the tune of, 30-24, 30-28, and 30-23. Barbera led an overpowering Cornell offense with 18 kills and 9 digs. Quibell added 14 kills of her own. In the middle Stover and Lugo combined for 16 kills and seven blocks in the match. Rice directed the offense with 48 assists. Overall, the Red had a hitting percentage of .284.
“We probably played our best against Seton Hall,” commented Rice. “We executed the game plan that the coaches had designed for us, both in the general picture and in the little plays.”
On Saturday the Red opened up against Niagara. Though trailing in each game, Cornell was able to come from behind each game to end up sweeping the Purple Eagles, 30-28, 30-28, and 30-26. The squad had three members in double digits with Quibell scoring 12 kills (despite only playing two games), Young 11 kills, and Stover 10 kills. Rice and Fair combined for 49 assists on the afternoon. All told the Red hit .309 as a team.
Finally Cornell faced off against Wyoming in a battle of the two unbeaten teams in the tournament. Though the Red played well, the Cowgirls were too much, out-hitting the Red .396-.265. Tournament MVP Michele Rauter had 17 kills while all-tournament member Amy Doman had 42 assists to lead Wyoming in a 30-25, 30-25, 30-24 sweep. Stover led the Red with 12 kills and four blocks. Quibell also had a strong match, tallying 9 kills and 10 digs. Rice added 34 assists to the effort.
The Red returns to action next week as they open conference play against league rival Columbia.
Archived article by Chris Callanan