To say that the volleyball team took care of business against Dartmouth and Harvard this past weekend would be an understatement. Friday night, Cornell used its big hitters early and defeated Dartmouth, 3-0. On Saturday afternoon, the Red played aggressively the whole match and defeated Harvard, 3-1.
Cornell (11-8, 6-2 Ivy) used the home court in Newman Arena to its advantage this weekend as over 150 people attended each of its matches. The win over the Green came after the Red won consecutive games by scores of 30-26, 30-24 and 30-20. Against Harvard, the final line read 30-28, 30-13, 24-30 and 30-17 for Cornell’s win. Senior Joanna Weiss was certainly happy with the turnout and, overall, was just glad to be back at home on the weekend.
“I feel like we were very excited to be at home,” Weiss said. “We’ve been on the road for a few weeks now and we are just gunning to keep this season in our control. We knew that Harvard and Dartmouth were going to want to play their best games against us and they certainly did.”
Against Dartmouth, head coach Deitre Collins-Parker believed her team played smart volleyball and, as a result, did not allow Dartmouth to get any momentum towards the end of the games.
“We played with a lot of enthusiasm and didn’t let Dartmouth get too many strings of points,” Collins-Parker said. “We played aggressively. I thought we made adjust ments in the second and third games to make the points much easier for us.”
Dartmouth erased a 17-11 deficit in the first game and tied it up at 18 apiece. Cornell then made some great attacks and got the score back to 26-22. From there, Cornell went on to win the game, and made the necessary adjustments to win the final two games.
[img_assist|nid=19131|title=vball|desc=Sophomore Kathryn Woodbury (16) had eight kills in the Red’s win over Harvard Saturday afternoon.|link=popup|align=left|width=67|height=100]
Senior middle blocker Joanna Weiss led the Red with 13 kills while hitting .632. She also tallied five of Cornell’s 12 team blocks. Classmate and co-captain Elizabeth Bishop recorded a match-high nine digs while adding 10 kills with a .391 hitting percentage.
Another notable performance in the Dartmouth match was senior Alaina Town. The outside hitter had 10 kills, hit .562 and posted five blocks. Town was pleased with the team’s effort in the Dartmouth match and was hoping that the victory would give the Red a swing of momentum in the right direction.
“We did very well in the Dartmouth match,” Town said. “I thought we played as a team, which is something we’ve been looking to do and the results are good. I think this will help with our confidence and we know we can play like this every game, so we’re going to.”
Against Harvard, Cornell looked very comfortable right from the get-go. In the first two games, the Red fired away to early leads and never looked back. In the third game, Harvard turned the tables and jumped out to a 6-1 lead on Cornell. Once the Crimson had a 26-24 advantage on the Red, the visitors ran off four points in a row and won the game 30-24.
But then, AC-DC’s “Back in Black” reverberated throughout Newman Arena and the rest was history. In the final game, the Red dominated to take the game 30-17.
“I think when you win 30-19 and 30-17 in two of your games that things are going pretty well,” Collins-Parker said. “I thought what was most impressive was that our setters ran the offense well. We got big plays at crucial times and that was really good.”
Sophomore Hilary Holland and junior Amy Gordon were the setters running the Red’s offense. The pair contributed 29 assists and one kill, while Holland also added eight digs on defense.
“I thought Hilary’s defense at crucial times was really good,” Collins-Parker said. “And I think Hilary and Amy set a good game, so that was important.”
Gordon was especially proud that the Red played as a team throughout the whole match and did not let the third game letdown affect its performance in the fourth game.
“I thought we played really well,” Gordon said. “I thought we bounced back really well after the third game and won the fourth game decisively. I thought this weekend was really important for us because we just really came together as a team and everyone played well at every position. I think we’re really excited for the rest of the Ivy League. We’re halfway done now and we’re ready to win the rest.”