The volleyball team (11-6, 4-2 Ivy) returns to action this weekend, as it hosts Ivy League rivals Brown (7-10, 3-2) and Yale (7-8, 1-4) at Newman Arena. The Red finds itself currently in third place, a half game behind Penn. It will look to these two games as an opportunity to move up in the standings.
On Friday at 7 p.m., the Red will face off against the defending conference co-champions Bears, who are coming off a split last weekend against Penn and Princeton. The Bulldogs, whom the Red will challenge on Saturday at 4 p.m., are losers in four of their last five games.
“Both teams are not better than us,” said head coach Christie Jackson. “Brown is not a very good blocking team. They have not been earning many points on their own. Yale is the same way. We need to execute our game plan and keep serving and blocking errors to a minimum in order to win.”
The squad had some difficulty last week, as it had to rally to slip past last place Dartmouth 3-2, and was overpowered by Harvard 0-3 the following day. The Red faced chronic problems from the service game all weekend, giving up more than five points per game on missed serves, as well as suffering from poor passing, blocking, and ball handling. It will look to improve upon all these aspects this weekend.
The team did have several notable performances, however. The middle-blocking tandem of juniors Jamie Lugo and Ashley Stover had a strong day against the Green, with Lugo registering 15 kills and nine blocks and Stover recording 16 kills and five blocks. Joining them in double-digits for kills was senior Angela Barbera and junior Debbie Quibell, who both had 14. Barbera and Quibell also reached double-doubles in the Harvard game.
This week, the Red hasn’t adjusted anything in its game plan for Brown or Yale.
“We just need to play better,” said Jackson.
Cornell will need to shut down Brown’s Jessie Coopert, who is averaging 3.20 kills per game and is carrying a .259 hitting percentage for the season. Brown is hitting .170 as a team. The Bears have also had strong defensive play from Ceneca Calbert and Kim Hinglund, who are among the league leaders in digs.
Yale has a balanced offense led by Jana Freeman with 3.94 kills per game that will try to score against a tough Cornell defense. The Bulldogs are averaging 14.70 kills per game and are hitting .209 overall.
These two games will mark the halfway point for the Ivy League season. The Red will have six remaining games in the league after this weekend and will need a strong performance if it wants to have a chance at an Ivy championship and NCAA tournament berth.
Archived article by Chris Callanan