September 24, 2004

Bearcats Meet Red At Upstate Invite

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After the complete turnaround that was last weekend, the Cornell volleyball team (3-3, 0-0 Ivy) will play its last tournament before the start of Ivy League play this weekend at regional rival Binghamton (5-7). The host Bearcats are coming off of two major losses to fellow New York schools Hofstra and Syracuse. The Red will also see action against Fairleigh Dickinson (3-6) and St. Francis (0-10).

The Red is coming off of an incredible weekend at Bucknell, where it swept the entire tournament field with shutout wins over Niagara and Bucknell, and a 3-1 win over Duquesne. Junior middle blocker Heather Young had a monster of a weekend, leading Cornell with a .355 hitting percentage. Other notable performances came from junior libero Kelly Kramer, whose 4.00 digs per game earned all tournament honors, and junior outside hitter Hayley Grieve, who had 20 kills and a career-best five aces against Niagara. In addition, junior Whitney Fair tied her career high for assists with 63 last weekend against Duquesne.

On paper, Binghamton presents the biggest challenge to the Red this weekend, and the Bearcats are also the first squad that Cornell faces in the tournament. The Bearcats have had consistency from senior middle blocker Anne Crocus, who has a .337 hit percentage, 4.21 kills, and 1.67 blocks per game. Crocus leads the America East conference in all these statistical categories.

In addition, sophomore setter Ashley Meffert is second in the conference with 11.09 assists per game.

The Red next faces Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday. The Knights have struggled this season, and most recently were 1-2 at the Cranberry Classic, which was hosted by Rider last weekend. Freshman outside hitter Elena Schmidt will pose a threat, having earned Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week last week after picking up 58 kills and 41 digs in the Cranberry Classic. In addition, outside hitter Sharon Becker is fifth in the NEC with 3.89 dpg.

In what will be the first match ever between these two teams, Cornell faces St. Francis last tomorrow. Few players manage to stick out for the Terriers, as this is a squad that has only won two sets all season. Junior libero Lucyna Halys is seventh in the NEC with 3.81 kpg and junior setter Megan Lundquist is seventh in the NEC in assists with 6.53. Junior Lydia Ann Harris is third in the NEC in service aces with 0.53 per game.

The strong showing last weekend by the Red was the major key in getting Cornell back on track and garnering that critical first win for new head coach Deitre Collins. Facing three teams with losing records, the 3-3 Red will look to make itself into a winning squad before its Ivy games begin.

Archived article by Michael Pandolfini
Sun Staff Writer