After a weekend of mixed emotions, the women’s volleyball team (12-6, 4-2 Ivy) will try to bounce back from its loss at Yale (8-5, 3-2 Ivy) tonight when it plays Syracuse (17-5, 2-1) at home. The Red had several highlights this weekend, including its sweep of Brown (5-10, 2-2 Ivy) and Kelly Kramer’s school-record tying 36 digs against Yale on Saturday. However, Cornell was unable to knock off Yale due to inconsistent play, causing the Red to fall to the Elis in an up-and-down five game battle.
‘I think we all agree we just lost focus,’ head coach Deitre Collins said.
After focusing solely on Ivy play on the road the last few weeks, the Red will finally get a break from the Ancient Eight against the Orange at home tonight. However, the Orange is extremely dangerous, boating several players with their names in the Syracuse record books. Senior Morgan Jones and junior Kristin Conway both passed the 1,000 kill mark this past weekend. Conway has played an outstanding season, posting huge numbers in kills (3.68 per game) and a solid .232 hitting percentage. In addition, junior Kelly Duan is tenth on Syracuse”s all-time aces list. Duan is averaging 0.42 aces per game in 2004.
The Orange has also done a great job neutralizing opponents as a team. Syracuse has out-blocked opponents handily, averaging 2.65 blocks per game relative to opponents” 1.92 blocks per game. The Orange”s hitting percentage of .218 is more than one and a half times that of its opponents” .139 hitting percentage.
In their most recent meeting, the Orange beat the Red, three games to one. Additionally, Syracuse is on a 13-match winning streak against Cornell, dating back to 1988.
Tonight, the Red will look to play to its myriad of strengths. Kramer has had an outstanding defensive season, highlighted by her most recent performance. In addition, sophomore Liz Bishop has demonstrated tremendous consistency. In Cornell”s last game against Yale, Bishop posted a double-double with 22 kills and 17 digs.
She also ranks first in the Ivies in kills and ranks second in aces per game.
As a team, the Red has also proven itself a force to be reckoned with. Cornell ranks close to the top of the Ivy League in practically every team category, and leads the conference in hitting percentage (.234), assists per game (13.91), kills per game (15.18), blocks (2.74), and service aces (2.22). The Red is third overall in the Ivy League standings, trailing Harvard (4-1) and Princeton (5-1), whom it plays this weekend.
Tonight”s match is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Newman Arena.
‘We”re just glad to be coming home,’ said Collins.
Archived article by Mike Pandolfini
Sun Staff Writer