After a great showing at the Stetson Invitational last weekend, the Cornell Volleyball team returned to Ithaca this weekend to face-off against stellar competition from around the country.
Unfortunately, the Big Red fell in all three of its matches but improved steadily throughout the weekend. Going up against this level of competition should help the squad down the stretch when it vies for the Ivy League title.
Going into the tournament with a 4-0 record, the Red brought momentum into the Cornell Invitational. However it ran into a deep Kent State squad.
In a grueling five-set match, the Big Red came up a little short, falling 15-17, 15-7, 15-9, 9-15, 11-15. Freshmen standouts Debbie Quibell and Rachel Rice had good opening games with 18 kills and 63 assists respectively. They were aided by captain and middle blocker Robin Moore and outside hitter Jennifer Borncamp who added 16 kills a piece.
In the second match of the tourney, the Red went up against Northeastern. This match proved to be quite one-sided as the Red fell 15-4, 15-6, 13-15, 15-5, and suffered from many of the setbacks that it faced last year, mainly scoring points.
The offensive highlight was again freshman Quibell, who led the way with 17 kills. The Big Red, however, was outkilled 61-49 by Northeastern.
In the final match of the tourney, the team faced off against the Aztecs of San Diego State. Once again, the Red was defeated in four sets by a score of 15-7, 15-17, 15-6, 15-11. For the third straight match, Quibell led the Red with 15 kills and 11 digs.
After dropping the first game, and falling behind in the second one by a score of 8-3, the Red came roaring back and tied the game up with a kill from Borncamp. The Red then gained a 14-12 lead before going on to win the set 17-15 after a Quibell kill and an Aztec error. However, this momentum would not carry the team to victory as it fell in the third and fourth sets.
Rice paced the offense with 46 assists and Borncamp added 12 kills and 14 digs.
There were some positive aspects of the tournament. Most importantly, head coach Christie Jackson got some important contributions from the freshman class. It held its own against some tough national competition, and Moore was named to the All-Tournament team for her actions throughout the weekend.
Next on the schedule for the Red will be the Siena Tournament on Friday and Saturday in Loundonville, N.Y. Boasting a 4-3 record, the Red will hope to go into this tournament, and get back on the winning track.
Archived article by Peter Bernstein