Most students look forward to fall break for sleep and relaxation. The Cornell women’s volleyball team may get to sleep this weekend, but relaxing will definitely not be on the agenda.
Diving into Ivy league play, Cornell is facing two formidable opponents in Brown and Yale, today and tomorrow, respectively.
Coming off the most intense weekend of the season, the Red recorded a notch in the win and loss columns. That notch in the win column has given the team an edge going into the second half of the season.
Cornell faced St. Peter’s College last Friday, a 1-9 team going into the match. Easily overlooked due to its dismal record, St. Peter’s came on strong and took the first two games of the match. Cornell bounced back in the next two games to force a fifth game tie-breaker, but was unable to hold on and lost 13-15.
The match saw excellent play from junior outside hitter Jennifer Borncamp, who lead the team with a .306 hitting percentage. The offense was again lead by freshman setter Rachel Rice, who posted 56 assists on the day.
The next stop was New York City, where the Red was set to challenge Columbia. Going into the match, the Lions had a 12-2 record, and Cornell was faced with the very real prospect of waking up Sunday morning 0-2.
In the first two games, the Red tamed the Lions, handily beating them 15-7 and 15-6. The Lions came roaring back and stole the next two games 16-14 and 16-14. In the final round, the Red refused to lose and rallied for a 15-11 TKO with a .364 team mark in hitting.
Borncamp again proved invaluable with 12 kills and a team high 20 digs in the match. Rice also displayed her veteran-like talent and contributed 55 assists and led the team in hitting with .500. Among other things, Cornell outhit Columbia .173 to .107 in the matchup.
The Red’s success this year can be attributed to a lineup of quality players. Borncamp, a player whose skill has been taken for granted in the past, is stepping up as a key contributor on the court. Rice is a welcome offensive addition, and her 11.63 assists/game average is the best in the Ivies.
Senior middle blocker Robin Moore is invaluable on the court and currently leads the team with 141 digs and 43 blocks and is second with 162 kills. Freshman outside hitter Debbie Quibell is second to Moore with 123 digs, leads with 178 kills, and her 3.96 kill/game average is second best in the Ivy League.
Today, the Red heads to Brown for its second Ivy match of the season. The Bears are also 8-4 on the year, and have not faced an Ivy opponent.
The Bears bring a wide range of talent to the court. The team is led by junior setter Laura Wells who has 100 digs and 132 assists for the year. Sophomore Jessie Cooper leads the team with a .306 hitting percentage and has 83 kills. Freshman outside hitter Diane Schneider has broken onto the college scene and leads the team with 145 kills.
The key to the Bears’ success is that no one player dominates the statistics. Although the team is predominantly underclassmen, the team has won because if one player goes down, there is an equally talented player to replace her.
Tomorrow, the Red heads to New Haven to face another Ivy foe in Yale. The bulldogs have a 10-3 record this season, and also have not faced an Ivy opponent.
Yale is led by senior setter Aileen Daly with 251 assists. Senior right side Stephanie McMahon, who has 110 digs and 92 kills this year, along with junior outside hitter Vanessa Herald, team leader with 120 kills and 131 digs, were both named to the all-tournament team in the Quinnipiac Invitational last weekend.
The Bulldogs are marching right along with a current seven-game winning streak. During this streak, Yale has beaten all of its opponents 3-0.
Cornell will play the Bears tonight at 7 p.m. and will face the Bulldogs tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Archived article by Katherine Granish