Coming off a 3-0 victory against Colgate, the women’s volleyball team was looking for its first tournament championship of the season. In what seems like eons ago, the Red competed in a four-team tourney at Kent State over the weekend of September 7-8. Posting a 1-3 record on the weekend, Cornell did not see action again until last Tuesday, due to the cancellation of a tournament at Georgetown, when it successfully faced Colgate on the road.
This weekend, the Red hosted its yearly event, the Big Red Invitational. Over the course of Saturday and yesterday, Cornell (5-4, 0-0 Ivy) faced Fairleigh Dickinson, Manhattan, St. Francis, and Stony Brook in a round-robin format. In its first home match of the season, the Red used its momentum from the week’s earlier victory to shut down Fairleigh Dickinson in three straight games, 30-20, 30-22, 30-27. Sophomore outside hitter Debbie Quibell continued her over-powering play by posting her third double-double of the season with 11 kills and 20 digs. Cornell out hit Fairleigh Dickinson with a rather low .184 percentage to an even lower .072 mark. Both teams showed signs of rustiness with each committing a more than usual number of mistakes. Cornell fumbled 23 times while Fairleigh Dickinson botched 22 attempts over the course of the match.
Later in the evening, Cornell faced the eventual tournament champion in Manhattan. The Red again came on strong, taking game one 30-19 but losing a nail-biting second game 25-30. Cornell rebounded in game three with a 30-16 win, but ran out of gas to lose the fourth and fifth games 30-16 and 15-10, respectively.
Senior outside hitter Jennifer Borncamp rang up a match-high 23 kills, and Quibell was her usual stellar self. Putting up another double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs, the sophomore also contributed with seven blocks and four aces. The teams were matched evenly in terms of hitting and errors. Cornell was successful .110 percent of the time hitting and committed 34 errors on the night. Manhattan was not much better with a .135 hitting mark and 33 errors committed.
With a new day, the Red hoped to improve against St Francis yesterday morning, and improve it certainly did. Along with posting a .252 hitting percentage, Cornell took the match in three straight games, 30-20, 30-21, and 30-25. While knocking in a total of 57 kills over the course of the match, the Red also limited the Red Flash to a meager 27 over the same period of time. The weak point of the match for Cornell was again in the error department as it committed 25 to St Francis’ 15. Borncamp and Quibell again headed up the effort with the junior posting team-highs in kills (14) and digs (9). Quibell was solid with 11 kills and a team-high .350 hitting percentage.
In the nightcap, Cornell ended the weekend with a match against Stony Brook. In fine fashion, the Red silenced the Sea Wolves in three straight sets, 30-24, 30-17, 30-24. Posting a season-high .262 hitting mark, Cornell limited its opponents to a .115 average in the same category. Slowly improving, the Red committed 19 errors to Stony Brook’s 20. Quibell and Borncamp again led the offense with 15 and 14 kills, respectively. Senior setter Jaimee Reynolds, who stepped up to fill in for sophomore Rachel Rice, was outstanding over the weekend. A lacrosse player in the spring season, Reynolds tallied 43, 45, 44, and 39 assists in the four matches.
Ending the weekend with a 3-1 record, Cornell was crowned the tournament’s runner-up. Moreover, Borncamp was named the MVP after averaging 3.93 kills over the four contests. Not to be forgotten, Quibell joined the senior captain as a member of the all-tournament team.
Cornell will be in action again next weekend as it competes in a four-team tournament in the Wagner Invitational. Friday, the Red will face the host school, followed by Long Island University and Boston College on Saturday.
Archived article by Katherine Granish