The regular season Ivy League title is an honor that has not been achieved by the Big Red volleyball team in a very long time. This coming weekend, the Red will have the opportunity to make this dream a reality. Before the games at Princeton and Penn next weekend, however, the Red took care of some remedial chores this weekend, defeating Albany, Stony Brook and Niagara at the Albany Invitational.
During the tourney, Robin Moore passed Becky Merchant on the all-time career kills list in Cornell volleyball history. She left the tournament with 1,075 kills, breaking the previous record of 1,052. Moore added this distinction to her kills in a game record of 31.
When asked about her accomplishment Moore said, “It wasn’t a team focus. This says a lot about the other members of the team. It is their efforts that helped me get to this point.”
Moore was also named tournament MVP for her stellar play throughout the weekend.
The Red opened with a 3-0 victory over Niagara on Friday. Freshman outside hitter Debbie Quibell led the squad with 11 kills. Moore and outside hitter Jennifer Borncamp had strong performances with nine kills each, and Moore added 14 digs. Overall, the Red compiled 48 digs in the match. Pacing the offense was freshman setter Rachel Rice with 30 assists in the Red’s winning effort.
“We still had a lot of unforced errors,” stated head coach Christie Jackson. “Our serving was better, we hit the zones more and had some aces.”
On Saturday, in its second match, the Red handled the host team Albany in convincing fashion, 15-10, 15-6, 15-7. Moore led the way again with 16 kills. Borncamp and Rice added 9 kills and 33 assists respectively, and the Red benefited from the strong performances of junior middle blocker Jaimee Reynolds, who recorded 6 kills, and defensive specialist Liz Condon, who added 14 digs.
Overall, this match enabled the Red to use its depth, as most of the bench players scored some playing time during day two of the tournament.
“We still had a number of unforced errors at crucial points in the match,” added Jackson. “One of our goals in matches is not to play down to our competition, and even though this is sometimes tough, I think overall we played well this weekend.”
Cornell hit .327 and had 47 kills, 38 digs and 8 blocks, while Albany was stifled with a .198 hitting percentage, 31 kills and 43 digs for the match.
In its final match of the weekend, the Red sealed the trophy with a 15-4, 8-15,15-5,15-5 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday. Moore was again dominant with 16 kills, and Borncamp followed her with 12. Borncamp also added a match-high 17 digs and Moore added 10. On the offensive end, Rice led the way with 39 assists at the setter position.
Once again, the Red played in a tournament that was not up to par with the competition it has faced in the Ivy League. Positively, it was victorious for its third tournament win of the season, a feat not accomplished recently.
Unfortunately, the Red is beginning to suffer the side effects of fatigue. Ashley Stover and Quibell are currently not 100 percent, and the rest of the team is tired after a long season. However, the Red will need to push itself to the limit and come together as a collective unit as it enter the home stretch of their already productive season.
“It is important to stay in good shape,” explained Moore. “Our team is physically strong, and we will have to use this to our advantage this weekend.”
Speaking of this weekend, the Red will be traveling to Pennsylvania and New Jersey to take on Penn and Princeton. The matches will decide the fate of the Big Red Spikers. With two victories the Red would emerge victorious in the Ivy League with the extra bonus of a number one seed in the Ivy postseason tournament.
The question remains, which team will show up this weekend? If the team that beat Harvard and Dartmouth on back-to-back days comes to town, the Quakers and Tigers are in for a long weekend.
“We are going to make sure that everyone is ready to play this weekend,” said Jackson, adding, “Our game experience is going to be a big help this weekend. The key for this weekend is to be relaxed and to play our game.”
Archived article by Peter Bernstein