The women’s volleyball team is headed away from the friendly confines of Newman Arena this weekend to face a pair of polar opposite rivals. Dartmouth has yet to earn a league win, while Harvard is the sole unbeaten team in the conference.
If Cornell comes away with two wins, it will gain at least a share of first place in the league.
Tonight the Red (10-5, 3-1 Ivy) squares off against the Big Green (4-12, 0-4 Ivy) which is currently riding a five-game losing streak and is tied for last place in the league with Columbia.
Of the 14 Ivy games it has played, Dartmouth has won only two of them and has yet to force a game five. A pair of those losses came against Harvard, with the other two coming in matches with Yale and Brown.
Dartmouth has relied on the younger and more inexperienced members of its squad this year, which has no doubt contributed to its struggles in the league. Sophomore outside hitter Anna Jenkins leads the team with 3.30 kills per game with a .211 hitting average that is good for second. Freshman middle blocker Nadine Parris has 1.89 kpg and a team-high .254 hitting percentage.
Junior outside hitter Kainoa Fialkowski, who was Dartmouth’s representative on the Ivy honor roll this week, has 2.11 kpg and 3.35 digs per game. Against Yale and Brown last weekend, she combined for 16 kills and 39 digs.
Cornell will face Harvard (8-7, 4-0 Ivy) tomorrow night.
While the Crimson’s record is impressive, its wins have come against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth. It’s untested against last year’s dual champs, Pennsylvania and Princeton. However, it has still performed well in its Ivy matches and never needed a fifth game to pull out a win.
Harvard is led by senior captain and setter Mindy Jellin, who is averaging 11.12 assists per game and 2.83 dpg. She was also named to the Ivy honor roll this week. Junior outside hitter Allison Bendush is second on the team with 3.02 kpg and 2.97 dpg.
Sophomore outside hitter Kaego Ogbechi is leading the team with 4.24 kpg, which is third in the league overall, and has 2.17 dpg with a .286 hitting average. She is also averaging 1.10 blocks per game.
Just as it has had to concentrate on in its last two weekends of Ivy play, Cornell will have to give its full attention to Dartmouth tonight and put Harvard in the back of its mind till tomorrow. Although the Big Green has not won a league match as of yet, it will no doubt give the Red a challenge in this evening’s contest. Since the regular-season record determines the league champion, Cornell cannot afford to lose any match and should not take Dartmouth lightly.
If its past performance against Columbia at the beginning of the season is any indication, Cornell should be well prepared to come out firing against Dartmouth.
Archived article by Katherine Granish