Cornell (9-4, 2-0 Ivy) will return to action this weekend as it hosts two league foes: conference powerhouse Princeton (7-2, 0-1 Ivy) today and defending Ivy League champions Penn (9-3, 1-0 Ivy) tomorrow. The Red hopes to ride the momentum it built up last weekend, when it swept a two-game series against Columbia, including an impressive come-from-behind victory in the second match. After winning the first match on Friday 3-1 (30-23, 17-30, 30-24, 33-31) here in Ithaca, the Red had more trouble with the Lions on Saturday when they faced Columbia at its home court. Falling behind 2-0 in the match, Cornell rallied to win the next three games to triumph in the match, 3-2. The squad was led by senior outside hitter Angela Barbera, who recorded 24 kills and 15 digs during the match. For her efforts she was named the Ivy League Player of the Week.
“The team really did a great job last week coming from behind. We really needed the experience, as we had not played in a five-match game before. It proved that we could come from behind and that the team has the personality to continue to push and attack and go hard every point,” said head coach Christie Jackson of the team’s effort.
Princeton comes into the match looking for its first league win of the season after falling to the Quakers last week. The Tigers are led by Kellie Cramm, who is currently leading the Ivy League in kills at 4.95 per game and holds a .323 hitting percentage. Jenny Senske, Marissa Becker and Kerry Song are also dangerous weapons for Princeton. Their offense is averaging 15.00 kills per game and is hitting .285 as a team.
“We have been preparing for Princeton all week,” commented Jackson. “They are a team that has very good ball control.”
Pennsylvania has also been very dangerous this season, currently riding an eight-match win streak. Erin Kwak-Hefferan and Stacey Carter are both averaging at least three kills per game for an offense that is averaging 15.72 kills per game and is hitting .232 as a team. Last year’s squad made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance with an 18-7 overall record and an 11-3 Ivy mark.
“Penn has a complex offensive scheme, but I think we have better blocking,” indicated Jackson. “Both are good teams and we match up well against them.”
The Red will look to strong performances from Barbera as well as junior Debbie Quibell on the outside, juniors Ashely Stover and Jamie Lugo andfreshman Heather Young in the middle, and senior captain defensive specialist Mary Margaret Moore and junior setter Rachel Rice in the backcourt. Quibell has been one of the most productive members on the team so far this season, recording seven double doubles in 13 games, including 15 kills and 28 digs in the comeback against Columbia. Lugo, (.93 bpg), Stover (.84 bpg) and Young (.66 bpg) have helped Cornell rank second in the league in blocks. Moore and Rice have been leading the team in the backcourt, with Rice directing the offense.
The Red will hit the road next weekend, as it continues its pursuit of an Ivy title against Harvard and Dartmouth.
Archived article by Chris Callanan