The volleyball team (13-9, 5-5 Ivy) returns to action this weekend, as it hits the road looking to snap a three-game road losing streak against Yale (10-9, 4-5) and Brown (8-13, 4-5). Last weekend, the Red found itself in unfamiliar territory. For the first time this year, Cornell dropped both of its weekend league matches against Ivy foes, Penn and Princeton. The Quakers used a smothering defense to sweep the Red, while the Tigers managed to squeak out a victory even though Princeton was outplayed for most of the match.
Previously, the Red had stayed alive for the conference title by splitting most of its weekend matches. These two losses in particular hurt Cornell, as it has now fallen four games behind Harvard and Penn in the Ivy standings with only four games remaining in the season. Undaunted, however, the Red will look to these next few games to keep its championship hopes alive.
Tonight, the squad will look to take revenge on the Bulldogs, which swept the Red earlier this year at Newman Arena.
“We didn’t show up to play. We didn’t do the little things, we had some control but then we lost it,” said junior setter Rachel Rice of the previous match.
Cornell will need a more focused effort if it is to stop a red hot Yale team that has won three of its last four matches. Jana Freeman leads a balanced offense with 4.00 kills per game for an offense that is averaging 15.00 kills per game and hitting .210 as a team. Setter Jacqueline Baker, who was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week this past week, is averaging 11.78 assists per game, while defensive specialist Jessica Kronstadt averages a team-best 3.39 digs per game.
Against Brown, Cornell will look for the series sweep of the defending Ivy League co-champions. The Red defeated the Bears 3-1 in the previous engagement.
“Against Brown, each person stepped it up and helped one another out,” said Rice. “We had a lot of enthusiasm and stayed in our system.”
The Red will look for a repeat of that effort on Saturday.
Jessie Cooper leads Brown in kills at 3.27 per game on .252 hitting for an offense that is averaging 14.83 kills per game and hitting .170 as a team. Senior captain Angela Dunn, who is coming off Ivy League Player of the Week honors, is another dangerous weapon in the Bears’ arsenal. At setter, Leigh Martin is averaging 12.00 assists per game, while Ceneca Calvert and Kim Highlund are among the conference’s leaders in digs at 3.81 and 3.57 per game, respectively.
The Red will continue too look for most of its offensive production from outside hitters, senior Angela Barbera and junior Debbie Quibell. Quibell, who recorded her 1,000th career kill against Princeton on Saturday, is within striking distance of moving into third on the career kills list and is one service ace from joining the top 10 in that list as well.
Cornell will also look to blockers juniors Ashley Stover and Jamie Lugo to be strong at the net. Rice will likely start at setter, splitting time with freshman Whitney Fair. Meanwhile sophomore Kathryn Conrad, who has seen a lot of playing time recently, should start at the libero position.
Cornell will finish up its regular season next weekend as it hosts Harvard and Dartmouth.
Archived article by Chris Callanan