With losses to the Brown Bears (5-14, 3-6 Ivy) and Yale (13-5, 7-2) still fresh in the minds of the members of the volleyball team, taking on the same teams just two weekends later seems to be rehashing bad memories a little too quickly. However, Cornell is not stuck in the past and is anxious to show both teams that no one can come into Newman Arena without expecting a fight.
“We get to seek revenge pretty quickly on Brown,” said senior captain Amy Gordon. “We won the first two games against them and lost the last three and that was really difficult because we kind of got the feeling that we already beat this team and they came back and beat us so it was heart breaking. So we are really excited to play them on Friday and really show them that we are the better team because I truly believe that we are.”
The Red may suffered its most difficult loss of the season to Brown on Oct. 20. Leading two games to zero, the Red sensed victory just a mere game away from its grasp. Whether it was overconfidence or just an unusual surge by Brown, the Bears went on to win three straight games, snatching the win from the Red in an upset. This weekend, with Brown heading to Ithaca for the rematch, the Red isn’t indulging in feelings of bitterness or humiliation. On the contrary, the squad is aiming for a hard-fought victory over a team it feels it should have defeated two weeks ago.
“We lost a match that I didn’t feel we should have,” said head coach Deitre Collins-Parker. “We had them at match point and we did not put it away and we gave Brown momentum. So now it will be more difficult with Brown coming in thinking they can beat us because they have. But I still think that Brown is a team that we are capable of beating. Everybody was disappointed losing that match so that just helps us be that much more motivated.”
There’s no doubt that Yale is one of the top teams in the Ivy League, as it heads into this weekend on a five-match winning streak. However, as talented as they are, the team is not unbeatable. Second only to Princeton in the Ivy League standings, it trails the Tigers by two games. A loss for Yale this weekend could kill its hopes for an Ivy League championship.
“Cornell and Yale have had a long standing rivalry and I think over my four years they are one game ahead of us in head-to-head matches, so I would love to even that out on Saturday.” Gordon said.
For the Red, already out of the race for the Ancient Eight championship, this weekend is not about ranking so much as it is about learning from its mistakes. Having played both of these teams already, the squad was able to see, firsthand, how both Brown and Yale succeeded in capitalizing on the Red’s untimely errors. Armed with a little knowledge and lot of determination, the Red is prepared to show its home crowd at Newman Arena how far the squad has come this season and how much it has improved.
“We just have to play better,” Collins-Parker said. “We’re not changing anything other than improving our game. We hopefully will take advantage that we’re at home and hope that putting everything together gives us a chance to win.”