October 20, 2000

Rise of the Spikers

Print More

Some stories are almost too good to be true.

Which makes them all the more exciting to watch unfold in front of your eyes.

So if you haven’t been to a volleyball match on East Hill yet this year, I suggest you go before the season ends.

Let me give you a bit of background, so you understand the magic of the situation.

Fall 1999: Team complete the campaign with a miserable 1-8 Ivy record, including 0-2 in the Ivy Tournament. On the year the team went 9-14, and was struggling to learn head coach Christie Jackson’s system.

Preseason 2000: Jackson feels that her team is improved from last year, and hopes senior captain Robin Moore can lead the team to the middle of the pack in the Ivy League.

September: Team opens 4-0 and wins Stetson Invitational with ease, but drops three straight at Cornell Invitational. Squad bounces back to win three matches and tournament title at Siena Invitational. Red drops a close 3-2 at St. Peter’s, but ends the month with a 3-2 victory over Columbia on the road. Record for month: 8-4, 1-0 Ivy

October: Jackson’s group opens month with a tough 3-2 loss at Brown, but comes back the next night to destroy Yale 3-0. Then plays its only home Ivy contests against Harvard and Dartmouth. After dropping the first two games to the Crimson, Cornell rallies to capture the third contest, and then went on to win the next two games against one of the preseason Ivy favorites. Moore becomes only second Cornellian to make 1,000th kills in a career. Then, the next day, the Red sweeps then-league-leading Dartmouth in three games to take first in the Ivies, and ensure a top-three finish in the regular season. After this emotional high, Jackson’s troops are unable to recover quickly enough for Tuesday’s match at Syracuse, falling 3-1 to the Orangewomen. Record for month: 3-2, 3-1 Ivy.

But the tale is not told in just this brief recap. This is a team on the rise and playing with confidence. When talking with Jackson after the Dartmouth match, she seemed excited, but not surprised.

Coaches often talk about how team has “gelled” over the course of a season, making it a better squad than at the start of the campaign. But rarely do teams which are not expected to win rise in the standings regardless of the chemistry of the team.

That’s another reason this team is so exciting. While sitting in the bleachers last weekend, you couldn’t help but get excited. Every Cornell player on the court was obviously thrilled to be playing the game with each other. What was even more impressive was that every player on the bench was standing and cheering on the six out on the court.

As the team wrapped-up the Dartmouth match, every person in Newman Arena was on his or her feet, applauding the effort this team gave during that match and the weekend.

And for those of us who remembered last year, we were applauding the determination and improvement this squad has made in the past 12 months.

Archived article by J.V. Anderton