What a finish to an amazing season.
Senior middle blocker Robin Moore was named the Ivy League’s Player of the Year last week, the highest honor bestowed upon an Ivy volleyball star.
Moore’s star never flickered this season as she led the Red from last year’s eighth-place conference finish to tournament runner-up this season.
During the regular season, Moore emerged as an MVP candidate with solid play during key Ivy matches against Harvard and Dartmouth. In a huge come-from-behind win against the Crimson and a Big Green slaughtering, Moore helped substantiate the Red as an Ivy powerhouse.
Her outstanding effort in tough losses to Penn and Princeton paved the way for her to step into the Ivy spotlight.
The Red’s post-season performance could be called “The Moore Showcase.” Posting 49 kills (3.77 kpg), 62 digs (4.77 dpg), and 13 blocks (1.00 bpg) over three matches, Moore refused to let the Red nose dive in its contests. In the championship round, she led Cornell in an effort that gave Princeton its toughest win of the season.
Moore had a match-high 19 kills against Penn and added 13 more against Princeton. Her best match came against Brown when she put up 17 kills and 28 digs. She posted a double-double in all three matches, and ended with a .273 hitting percentage on the weekend.
Moore was named tournament MVP, an especially notable honor considering the MVP often comes from the overall tourney winner.
Her career numbers speak for themselves. She owns the Cornell record for kills in a match with 32 and the season record for kills per game, which she claimed last year, with a 4.18 mark. She is also the all-time kills leader with 1,190 and has the career record for kills per game with 3.11.
For the season, Moore found herself among the league’s statistical leaders in many categories. She averaged 3.50 kills per game and 2.84 digs per game while accumulating 106 blocks and setting the career kill record.
For those who followed the volleyball team this year, Moore’s nomination as Player of the Year comes as no surprise. She clearly stood out as the best performer among the league, and her leadership was an invaluable part of the Red’s ascent through the league ranks.
In most sports that name award winners at the completion of the post-season, the MVP comes from the champion. Moore was undoubtedly the MVP of the tourney, but it came as a surprise to her.
“I was pretty excited,” Moore laughed.
After she was named tournament MVP , one had to consider the possibility that the coaches were holding out to honor a Princeton player, perhaps last season’s Player of the Year Sabrina King, for the big award. Again, Moore could not be topped and the coaches rightfully gave the most deserving woman the designation.
“For us to come in second and for me to get it, that’s a real honor. I’m honored that the coaches would think of me that way. For this award, your coach can’t vote for anyone on your team, so the nominations have to come from the other coaches. Maybe that makes me have a little more respect for the other coaches,” she chuckled. “It makes me feel good that the other coaches really look around and see what other players have.”
Moore was ecstatic, not only because she won, but also because she fulfilled her ultimate goal.
“I remember sitting down my freshman year with the coach who recruited me, and her asking me what my personal goals were,” she said. “I told her I wanted to be the Player of the Year by the time I graduated. So, the award is really special.”
Although Moore was a little taken back by the nomination, head coach Christie Jackson knew she had it all along.
“I’m really glad Robin won, but I definitely expected it. She deserved it and I was glad that the people in the league voted for her,” Jackson commented. “I wasn’t surprised because she is the best player in the league.”
Jackson acknowledged that this award is bittersweet for the senior.
“I know she would trade that for the championship any day, but she deserved it. She has worked really hard,” she said. “I am just happy that she is happy. I’m very proud of her.”
Moore was an unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection, and was joined by several teammates in the league’s recognitions. Junior outside hitter Jennifer Borncamp was selected to the second-team along with freshman middle blocker Debbie Quibell. Freshman setter Rachel Rice was also acknowledged as an honorable mention.
Borncamp contributed on the offensive and defensive end this year, recording a 3.48 kills per game mark and a team-best 3.31 digs per game average. These numbers were good enough for seventh and fifth in the league.
Quibell had a team-high 3.77 kills per game and finished the year with 400 overall kills, just shy of a Cornell season record. She was third in the league with her kill mark, and first with 48 service aces.
Rice was the Red’s offensive catalyst as she accumulated 1,280 assists and 11.95 assists per game, which led the league the entire season. Both numbers give Rice Cornell season records.
The contributions of all four players helped the Red slam a new school season record for team kills with 1,656 total and a record 15.05 kills per game.
Moore will be sorely missed next season, but the legacy she has left on and off the court will continue to motivate the Red in years to come.
Archived article by Katherine Granish