Even though Cornell and Colgate are not in the same conference, a rivalry has emerged between these two volleyball teams since their first meeting in 1973. Today, they will face each other for the 74th time, as the Red looks to improve its 51-21-1 head-to-head record against the Raiders.
Cornell (9-7, 4-2 Ivy) is coming off a loss to Princeton last Friday and a victory against Penn the next day. The girls have played their last-five contests on the road, so today they will welcome the team’s first home match in two weeks with open arms.
Head coach Deitre Collins-Parker is quite relieved that the long road trip is over, but still would love to see her girls get a “W” against a non-Ivy opponent.
“We’d love to have a great match against Colgate,” Collins-Parker said. “We also know that we’ve got to rest some people. We might not be at full strength, so we still hope to get a win.”
Colgate (10-10, 3-4 Patriot) is coming off of a three-game sweep against Navy last Saturday. Overall, Colgate is a solid team and Collins-Parker definitely realizes that the Raiders have played much better than in past seasons. Still, she believes that Cornell’s height advantage should play a key role in tonight’s match.
“We are a little bit taller than Colgate, so we hope we can use that to our advantage,” Collins-Parker said.
Last year, Cornell defeated Colgate 30-20, 30-19, 30-14. Tonight, the girls will take a deep breath and play its first of two, final non-conference games remaining on Cornell’s schedule.
Cornell’s one-two punch of seniors Elizabeth Bishop and Joanna Weiss will lead the charge tonight for coach Collins-Parker. In Cornell’s match last Friday, Bishop contributed 25 kills off of .393 hitting while Weiss added 13 kills with an attack percentage of .500.
To counteract her, Colgate’s Katrina Zawojski, a sophomore, leads the Raiders’ offense with 4.15 kills per game. teammate and junior Erin Kanetzke is fourth in the Patriot League with a .318 hitting percentage.
Even though Bishop and Weiss have been playing well down the stretch thus far for the Red, Collins-Parker believes that the team really plays well when seniors Alaina Town and Katie Rademacher are making things happen on the court.
“I think the one thing that I’ve said all along is that when Town and Woodbury are playing well, it gives us a chance to take the pressure off of Bishop and Weiss,” Collins-Parker said. “We are hoping in this match to get more people involved offensively. I think our best asset is how we’re able to play together. We’re not such a dominant team offensively or defensively where we can have one person just take over. The better we play as a team, the better our chances of winning are. That’s why we need to balance the offense and block well. That’s the way we need to play as a unit.”
Even though the Red is only 3-2 in its last-five contests, the teamfeels that its last match against Penn gave the squad momentum in the right direction.