Alumni weekend for the women’s volleyball team was not a complete success, but the Red managed to salvage it with a big win against Brown. Cornell (4-9, 1-2 Ivy League) lost in straight sets to Yale (6-5, 2-0 Ivy) on Friday night, but came back strong on Saturday afternoon to defeat the Bears (3-9, 0-3 Ivy) in four sets.
“Our goal in any Ivy League weekend is to not lose both games,” said captain junior outside hitter Kelly Marble after Friday’s lost. “Hopefully we can use this loss to fuel us for tomorrow’s game.”
Cornell certainly came out strong in front of the faithful fans and alumni winning the first two sets of Saturday’s match, 25-13, 25-20. Marble, especially stepped up, with arguably her best game of the season with 20 kills and four errors for a .341 hitting percentage. She also recorded 12 digs, two aces, and one block.
Overall the Red had its best hitting nights of the season with a .277 hitting percentage while holding Brown to just .167. Cornell stormed out to the lead with a 9-1 run to end the first set led by junior middle blocker Rachel D’Epagnier’s serving ability.
The second set was close until at 20-18 until freshman hitter Breanna Wong had back-to-back kills to close out set number two. The third set was a back and forth affair and tied at 25-25 until Brown was finally able to win two consecutive points to win the set. The fourth set was tied late, until Marble stepped up again with two consecutive kills leading Cornell to 6-1 run to end the fourth set and the match.
On Friday the Bulldogs controlled most of the match winning 25-21, 25-14, 25-14. Yale sustained a small lead in the first set, but were able to extend that lead to 24-19 before junior libero Sierra Young had three impressive serves leading the Red to cut the lead to 24-21. However, Yale called a timeout and was able to get the final point of the set. In the following two sets, Yale jumped out to big leads and was able to hold on without much resistance from Cornell. The Bulldogs were led by the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, Kendall Poland, 14 kills, 21 assists, and 17 digs, volleyball’s equivalent of a triple-double.
“We came out strong in set one,” Young said. “We just have to stay consistent and stick to our game plan throughout the entire match.”
“A common theme of our season is just about us and fixing our mistakes,” Marble said after Friday’s loss. “Yale did a good job getting by our blocks, but I think for next time we just have grind it out with them. They play very well as a team.”
The Red plays Yale and Brown next on the road during the weekend of October 26 and 27. Cornell will continue its Ivy League schedule with a weekend road trip to Penn and Princeton on October 5. Penn owns a 37-23 record against Cornell. Princeton has historically dominated Cornell with a 45-17 record including its last match together in straight sets.