September 7, 2001

Volleyball Heads to Kent St. Invite

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What will you be doing this weekend?





The women’s volleyball team will not be doing any of these. Well, homework might be on the agenda, but it is doubtful much will get done considering the team will be playing four matches in Ohio.

To start off its season, the Red is headed to Kent, Ohio, for the Kent State Invitational.

Today and tomorrow, Cornell will face LaSalle, Kent State, Robert Morris, and Memphis, all teams that are at least three games into their seasons.

This weekend is significant not only because it is the beginning of the season, but also because it is the first time the Red will experience several key rule changes.The Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) made alterations over the last year that it believes will add excitement by making the game faster and easier to understand. Under the old set of rules, a team could only tally a point if it was serving. Now a point is issued on every rally, regardless of who is serving. Incidentally, games will now be played until 30 points are reached, instead of 15 as in years past.

The other major change is the allowance of the let serve. When the ball hit the net on a serve, it used to be an automatic dead ball, even if it landed on the receiving team’s side of the court. If the ball hits the net this year, it is still in play. While a server will not intentionally aim for the top of the net, it is likely that the ball will make contact and go over at some point in the match.

Within the Ivy League, the athletic directors agreed to eliminate the season-ending tournament in favor of doubling the number of regular season matches, thus heightening the importance of each conference bout.

LaSalle University is the Red’s first competitor this afternoon. Boasting a 3-1 record on the year, the Explorers finished second in their own tournament last weekend.

The team is lead by senior outside hitter Kristen Russo, who leads the team with 2.60 and 3.73 averages in kills per game (kpg) and digs per game (dpg), respectively.

Freshman right side Alexis Sorich heads the rookie squad averaging 2.27 kpg and 2.07 dpg. Both were named to the All-Tournament Team in last weekend’s action.

The Explorers should be a strong team out of the starting gate, if last year is any indication. After posting a 9-5 record opening the year, LaSalle tanked in its final 20 contests, winning just three of them and dropping its last 10.

Immediately following the opener, Cornell will face host Kent State. Coming off of a 3-0 weekend in Syracuse’s Orange Invitational, the Golden Flashes should be tough competition. Junior middle blocker Jennifer Dreyer leads the offensive attack with a .529 hitting percentage and averaging 3.20 kpg.

Senior setter Stephanie Doran rounds out the defense with a 13.10 dpg average, also hitting .458% of her attempts.

The Golden Flashes held a decent 15-15 record in the 2000 season, going 11-7 in conference play. Last year, Cornell faced Kent State in its annual tournament on the East Hill, coming up on the short end of a five-game match.

Tomorrow, the Red will battle Robert Morris. The Eagles are coming off a successful weekend in their own tournament, emerging with a 3-1 record. Last year, the team posted a 12-29 overall record and placed last in its division with an 0-5 mark.

Cornell will finish the weekend against Memphis. In the UNC Asheville Tournament, the Tigers feasted on its opponent’s blood, playing the absolute minimum number of games necessary to end the slaughtering with a 3-0 record. The team did not lose a single game over the entire weekend.

Leading the way offensively for Memphis, senior outside hitter Ginger Garrett posted 34 kills and 37 digs in the three matches. Senior setter Arnie Hamiliton impressively averaged 11 assists per game (apg) and tallied 15 digs. Additionally, Hamilton was named the MVP.

In 2000, the Tigers ended with a sub-par 13-19 record. Comparatively, Cornell posted an amazing 20-9 mark overall in 2000 and went 4-3 in league play to finish the season tied for third. In the Ivy Tournament, the Red blew away its skeptics in the championship match, losing in five games to defending crown-holder Princeton.

After the Kent State Invitational, Cornell will head to Georgetown for a three-match tournament.

The Red will play its first home stand in the Cornell Invitational during the weekend of September 22.

Archived article by Katherine Granish