She is a cornerstone of Cornell volleyball’s recent successes. She is poised to become the first player in school history to reach the 1000 kills-1000 digs mark. She is Jennifer Borncamp, senior outside hitter for the Red.
Borncamp, a human development major from Encino, Calif., is coming off an outstanding season which saw her earn second team All-Ivy league honors while playing a pivotal role in the Red’s run to the Ivy League title game. Despite these impressive exploits, Borncamp remains modest about her contributions to Cornell’s volleyball program.
“I hate praising myself,” she admitted. “I just work really hard and love the game. That makes everything so much easier.”
Borncamp’s love affair with volleyball began in junior high, and by ninth grade, she was playing at the club level. As the captain of her high school team, she was twice named its most valuable player. After playing part-time as a freshman at Cornell, she burst onto the Ivy League scene as a sophomore, averaging 3.27 kills per game.
Last season, she upped that average to 3.48 while leading the team in digs with 3.31 per game. Now playing in her final year for the Red, Borncamp is determined to sign off her Cornell career in style.
“I’ve been waiting four years for an Ivy League championship!” she exclaimed. “We have the heart, and we have the skill to do it.”
Last November, Borncamp and her teammates finished with a 20-9 record and were narrowly edged out by Princeton in the Ivy League tournament final. Borncamp was instrumental in leading the Red to the title game, posting a career-high 28 kills against Brown.
“We came so close,” she recalled. “It hurt so bad not to finish it off.”
On an individual level, Borncamp is eager to match the accomplishment of Robin Moore ’01, who graduated this spring after being named last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year.
“I want to be first team All-Ivy, and I want to be one of the best players in the Ivy League,” she said.
There’s no doubt that she would also want to reach the 1000 kills-1000 digs mark, a feat that would surely cement her place in Cornell volleyball history.
However, Borncamp is adamant that such individual goals are second in importance to the team’s success.
“I don’t want to be selfish,” she said. “I’ll do whatever the team needs.”
The team will clearly need her experience, and her ability to rise to the occasion, as it attempts to make another run for the Ivy League title. With Moore’s departure, Borncamp is one of four seniors who will be expected to lead by example.
“You look at the seniors to finish off the play,” she said. “I have to be positive and confident because others look up to me.”
While Borncamp is optimistic about her team’s chances this fall, she is less enthusiastic about the rule changes which have come into effect for the 2001 season. The new rules call for rally scoring and also allow for serves to hit the net but still remain in play.
“I have mixed feelings about the rules,” she said. “I don’t like the new serving rules at all.”
With some two months left to go in a stellar college career, Borncamp pondered on life after university and volleyball.
“I might go to grad school,” she revealed. “I also want to work with elderly people. I just love old people!”
And will there still be time for volleyball in her life?
“I want to continue playing volleyball for fun, but not go pro or anything.”
Cornell volleyball will undoubtedly miss her greatly, but Borncamp maintains that the future is in good hands.
“Our coach [Christie Jackson] has made a huge impact, and we have a lot of great recruits coming in next year.”
It will be up to those recruits to carry on the legacy that Borncamp will leave behind come the end of the season.
Archived article by Soo Kim