The volleyball team dropped both of its league games this past weekend, falling to 13-9 on the year and 5-5 in the Ivy League. The Red was swept by Penn (17-4, 8-1), 30-25, 30-19, 30-24, on Friday and lost a close match to Princeton, (13-5, 6-3 Ivy) 3-2 (30-25, 27-30, 30-32, 30-24, 15-11), on Saturday. The two losses now place the Red fourth in the Ivy League with four games remaining in the season.
Despite the two tough losses, the Red saw one of its top players, junior outside hitter Debbie Quibell, reach a career milestone by recording her 1000th kill Saturday against the Tigers. She is the fourth player in Cornell history to reach this mark. If she continues at her current pace, Quibell will surpass former teammate Robin Moore ’01, who terminated 1,190 attacks in her four seasons.
In the Penn match, the Quakers gave a strong defensive effort which allowed them to take revenge for the loss the Red handed them earlier in the season. That loss was the only one that Penn has in the Ivy League this year.
The head coach of Penn, Kerry Major, said of the match, “We had to make different adjustments for each player, but we came out and executed perfectly. What we weren’t able to block, we put ourselves in a good position to dig. We worked really hard the last three weeks on our hitting tendencies and changed them to develop unpredictability on the court, which really worked for us against Cornell tonight.”
The Quakers held Cornell to a .098 and .082 hitting percentage in the first two games, respectively. By the time the Red got its offense going in the third game, it was too late. Penn outhit the Red .288-.143 overall in the match, including a solid .409 in the final game. Cornell was also outblocked 2-5 in the match.
Offensively for Penn, Erin Kwak-Hefferan led the Quakers with 14 kills, while teammate Heather Janssen added 12 of her own as well as recording a .611 hitting percentage.
Cornell was led by Quibell with 10 kills and junior middle blocker Ashely Stover with 12 kills in the match. Senior outside hitter Angela Barbera had nine kills for the match, including the 500th of her career. It was not enough to overcome the slow start for the Red.
At Princeton, the Red suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Tigers despite a strong performance from the whole squad. Though Cornell was leading two games to one, Princeton was able to rally in the last two games to claim the match. Princeton featured a balanced attack with four players recording double figures for the match. Michele Buffum and Abby Studer each had 17 kills to led the Tigers’ offense.
Cornell also saw production from many of its players. In addition to scoring her 1000th career kill, Quibell led the Red offense with 22 kills on an impressive .489 hitting percentage. She also had 13 digs and two blocks for the day. Barbera and Stover were also in top form with Barbera recording 21 kills and 11 digs and Stover adding 17 kills and three blocks. Sophomore Kathryn Conrad led the defensive effort with 21 digs, and freshman setter Whitney Fair directed the offense with 34 assists. Overall, the Red held the advantage in hitting, .286-.239, kills, 79-68, aces, 13-7, digs, 68-64 and blocks, 11-6. Despite all the advantages the Red held, it was still unable to come away with the victory.
The Red will hit the road again this weekend, as it will face off against league rivals Yale and Brown.
Archived article by Chris Callanan