After earning a hard fought win against Brown last weekend, Cornell volleyball traveled through New England this weekend to play Harvard and Dartmouth. On Friday in Cambridge, the Red didn’t have enough momentum to beat the Crimson and dropped the match, 3-0. The three set match ended 25-16, 25-9, 26-24.
After an outstanding performance last weekend with a personal record for hits, freshman Carla Sganderlla remained consistent, adding five kills for the Red in only three sets. Junior Macey Wilson also led way, earning eight kills for a .333 kill percentage. All the numbers were lower, playing two sets fewer than in the Brown game, but some Red players still managed to work together and get some numbers on the board. Sophomore Emily Wemhoff had a .364 kill percentage while junior setter Alyssa Phelps and freshman Lauren Donnelly put up 30 assists together. Sophomore libero Chelsea Sincox had 11 digs.
“Throughout the first two sets at Harvard the whole team agreed that we weren’t playing Cornell volleyball,” Sganderlla said. “We have improved so much since the beginning of the season, and we were not going to take steps back from all the hard work we have put in. As a team, we decided to go back to playing Cornell volleyball. We all knew what we had to do for that to happen.”
The Crimson entered this weekend tied for second in the Ivy league standings and this win solidified Harvard’s spot at the top of the league. All Ivy contender Sindhu Vegesena once again had an outstanding performance for the Crimson putting up big numbers defensively with double digit digs. It was the ability of the Crimson front line to close down on blocks that stifled the Red’s strong front line hitters, according to Sganderlla.
The next day the Red traveled to New Hampshire to play Dartmouth and the pattern repeated itself. After getting shut down in the first set, the Cornell squad dug in and, although they pushed the third set to a 27-25 score, the team couldn’t muster a victory. The Red dropped the match, 3-0. Aside from more strong performances from Phelps and Sincox, sophomore Kit McCarty led the team with a .333 hitting percentage with six kills and only one error while freshman Sganderlla had nine kills.
Dartmouth superstar Emily Astarita led both teams with 14 kills while two other Big Green players both reached double digits in kills as well.
After this weekend Cornell now has a 6-16 record overall, including 2-10 in the Ivy League, putting the team at the bottom of the standings, despite going head to head with the strongest players in the league and pushing them to five sets many times this season.
This weekend Cornell will play its last two games of the season and, on Saturday, the players will honor their lone senior, Brittany Kalepa.
“This weekend is our last weekend for the season, which is scary to think that it’s coming to an end,” Sganderlla. “The team agrees that we need to go out there this weekend and take care of business for each other and especially for our senior, Brittany.”