The women’s volleyball team has one goal for this weekend’s matches: reduce unforced errors.
On Saturday, the Red (15-8, 4-3 Ivy) will host Saint Francis and SUNY- Albany in the Big Red Invitational. Fortunately, the Red will most likely come out with two more ticks in its win column. On the down side, these two teams are far from Ivy caliber.
“We know we are going to beat them, they aren’t any competition for us,” junior outside hitter Jennifer Borncamp said. “I kind of wish we were playing harder teams, but its good because we can start with the basics and play a solid game with less errors.”
“This is the time for us to really work on our game, our side of the court and carrying over what we learned in practice,” senior middle blocker Robin Moore expressed.
St. Francis heads to the East Hill with a semi-respectable 9-21 record and a .136 team mark in hitting. After taking its season opener, the Red Flash was a victim of an early 12-match losing streak. In its last eight games, the Flash has posted a 6-2 record and regained some of the respect it lost in its September swoon.
The Flash is captained by senior outside hitter Tina Miller, who leads the team with 371 kills and a .207 hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitters Beth Robinson and Amanda Walter have also contributed this year. Robinson has assumed a setter’s role and sparked the offense with 624 assists. Walter has put up 189 kills and is second on the team with 370 digs.
This weekend marks the Red’s third meeting with Albany this season. In its two previous matches, the Red handily beat the Great Danes in four games.
Albany is not really fooling anyone with its 3-19 record. Notably, in its 19 loses, the Danes were sent home without winning a game in 14 of them.
Snapping a six-match losing streak on Wednesday against Marist, Albany is lead by senior captain and outside hitter Julie Arbitman. In Wednesday’s victory, Arbitman helped the team with 15 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore setter Alissa Gibbs also put up good stats and lead the team with 17 kills and 13 digs.
Error reduction is Cornell’s resounding goal for this weekend.
“This whole week we have been working on [reducing errors]. For the offense we have been working on doing [trick] shots into the court,” Borncamp reported. “If we get stuck in tight situations, we don’t have to swing the hardest possible, we can give a little trick shot and they’ll go down.”
Despite this week’s matches, the team is always thinking about the looming Ivy League tournament.
“For the Ivies we have been working on new things in practice,” Borncamp said. “Instead of working on all the old things that Princeton and Brown have already seen, we have been trying new plays [and] things that will surprise them.”
“We have started preparing [for the tournament], but not specifically. We know we are going to play Brown in the first round, but we haven’t really mentioned what they are going to do because we have a pretty good idea already,” Moore elaborated. “We played a five-game match against them, and they didn’t switch anything in that match, so we are all pretty confident [Brown] is not going to pull out anything new. We just have to play a little bit better against them.”
“We are really excited to get to the [tournament] and beat the teams that we haven’t beaten yet,” sophomore defensive specialist Mary Margaret Moore said. “It’s nice to say that we have a third-place ranking, but when we get to the [tournament], it doesn’t really matter. All the teams are equal. It’s who shows up to play. Third is nice, but we have got to play.”
The Big Red Invitational will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow with the Red facing St. Francis. Cornell will be back in action at 7 p.m. to wrap up the tourney with its match against Albany. The matches will be held in Newman Arena.
Archived article by Katherine Granish