Midway through its Ivy League schedule, little has changed for the volleyball team. It remains atop the conference standings, it’s 14-match win streak remains in tact, and school records continue to fall on what seems like an every game basis.
Little has changed, yet everything has changed. The Red will put its landmark season to the test this weekend, when it visits perennial Ivy League frontrunners Princeton and Penn for a pair of conference matches.
“It’s two pretty tough teams, and I think we’re better physically and in terms of talent,” said head coach Christie Roes, downplaying any concerns of an unfavorable matchup against these teams. “If we control our side of the court, then we should be able to get two wins this weekend.”
Princeton will play host to the Red tonight in Dillon Gymnasium in Princeton, N.J. The Tigers enter the game coming off a sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend. Though they have had some trouble thus far this season, the Tigers have always posed a significant challenge for Cornell, having won 11 of the last 12 meetings, including the last three.
The Red visits defending Ivy League champion Penn tomorrow night at The Palestra in Philadelphia. Penn has been on a roll, as it is the only team in the league besides Cornell still undefeated in league play. The Quakers also swept Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend, led by senior Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan, who set the Penn career kills record of 1,132.
Cornell enters the weekend confident and ready to extend its win streak, its longest since the NCAA moved to a best-of-five format in 1989.
“The team has this calming confidence about themselves,” said Roes. “They think that can get it done.”
Senior middle blocker Ashely Stover echoed Roes’ sentiments.
“The way we’ve been playing this year, I don’t think they can stop us,” she said.
Meanwhile, the team is not minimizing the impact this weekend could have on the season’s overall success.
“It gave us more of a high to beat these teams,” said Stover.
“I think that we’ve worked hard the past four years,” Roes said. “I’m really happy that everything is coming together so easily, but I’m not surprised.”
The Red inches ever closer to matching the school-record of 20 consecutive victories, set in 1983. Out of Cornell’s last 14 wins, seven have come in straight games. That streak ended in a 3-1 win over Harvard on Oct. 17.
Archived article by Owen Bochner