The Mavericks may be hot now, but two weeks ago members of the Cornell men’s club volleyball team were the ones heating things up in Dallas. Competing in the 2002 Collegiate Volleyball Sport Club Championships, Cornell captured second place in the silver medal bracket and finished No. 18 overall in the national Division II rankings.
The odyssey began on Thursday, April 18. Cornell opened play in Dallas with a four-team round robin which included the likes of Oregon, University of Wisconsin-Stout and Arizona. Clobbering Oregon in two, and overcoming Wisconsin-Stout in three, the men’s march to victory was eventually halted by Arizona. Still, winning two games was enough to keep the team in the tournament and send them to the Friday challenge round.
Facing Loyola early on Friday morning, the men won easily in two matches, advancing them into the upper half of the Division. In the afternoon, pool play was again used to determine the medal brackets. Having already won their way into the top 32, had the team won at least two more games, they would have had the opportunity to play in the gold medal bracket. However, after suffering three straight pool losses to Dayton, Millersville, and Bethel, the men would have to settle for silver.
On 10:30 a.m. Saturday, trying to erase the stigma of the previous day’s losses, Cornell started its silver medal bracket play against Bowling Green. Sweeping it in two matches of 25-22 each, the men went on to win their next two matches and land themselves a spot in the silver medal final. Unfortunately, Cornell’s winning streak ended here with two losses to Miami (Ohio) — the same team that blocked Cornell from the silver medal final in 2001.
“I was excited we had done so well, but disappointed the season was over,” said senior Jon Hill. When asked for his thoughts on the group’s accomplishments this year, Hill was to the point. “The team we had this year was very dedicated. There wasn’t one star, it was just a complete team effort,” he responded.
Competitors representing Cornell’s club volleyball team included Tim Clauss, David Poh, Jon Hill, Kory Reed, Eli Rosofsky, Mike Cook, Joe Medendorp, Paul Martorano, Anton Peng, and Dan Fishman. Finishing No. 18 in the national rankings was a step up from last year for Cornell, which finished the 2001 season at No. 21.
The Cornell men’s club volleyball team was formed in 1992 when the men’s varsity team was disbanded. Since then, it has been one of the most successful club teams at Cornell. In 2000 it finished ninth in the national tournament. 2000 was also the year that Cornell started placing third in the unofficial Ivy League men’s standings, a feat that it has continued to accomplish for the past three years.
Sporting a 20-man roster, the club volleyball team faces off against a slew of regional opponents including Cortland, Geneseo, and Ithaca. The team also travels to various tournaments throughout the year, including the annual national championships.
Archived article by Matt Janiga