The volleyball team got off to an 0-3 start to this season and was still seeking its first victory just over one week ago. Yet, following that opening weekend in California, the Red has rolled off six victories in a row — including three on Friday and Saturday at the Binghamton Invitational. In all three of the matches this weekend, the Red did not lose a single game.
“We played well,” said co-captain Kelly Kramer. “We were able to bring everything together that we have been practicing.”
Sophomores Elizabeth Bishop and Kate Rademacher were named to the all-tournament team, and Bishop also earned tournament MVP honors. Bishop averaged 4.5 kills and 2.17 digs per game, in addition to hitting .351 for the weekend. The sophomore only played six of the team’s nine games, as head coach Deitre Collins was able to mix in a lot of the Red’s younger players. “It was definitely a team effort,” Kramer said. “We were able to play a lot of people and it was really fun to see the depth of the team.”
On Friday, the Red defeated the tournament host Bearcats, 3-0 (30-23, 30-25, 30-28). Bishop led the Red in kills and digs, tallying 14 and eight respectively. Rademacher added 11 kills of her own and junior Hayley Grieve finished with 10 kills and six digs. As a team, Cornell was able to record a hitting percentage over .200.
On Saturday morning, the Red began with a victory over Fairleigh Dickinson (30-22, 30-24, 30-13), out-hitting the Knights .392 to .104. The .392 hitting percentage was the highest mark the Red has attained this season, helped in part by junior middle blocker Heather Young’s .643 mark. Young also led the team with eight block assists (the Red finished the match with 10). Bishop again led the team in digs with 13, marking the sixth time in nine matches this year that she has done so.
In the late match on Saturday, the Red wrapped up the tournament with a commanding 3-0 (30-19, 30-22, 30-22) sweep over St. Francis. Junior Rachel Adomat and freshman Amy Gordon contributed 15 kills and 40 assists, respectively. The win over the Terriers gave the Red the tournament victory — its second in as many weeks. St. Francis was only able to muster an .076 team hitting percentage.
“The first weekend was the hardest competition we have faced thus far, but we are also starting to gel as a team,” Kramer said. “Practice is one thing, but the game-day chemistry is coming along as well.”
Next Friday, the Red will begin its Ivy League schedule against Columbia. The match will be at Newman Arena and serve as the team’s home opener.
“I think it is going to be the most competitive year [in the Ivy League] yet,” Kramer siad. “A lot of teams have had really competitive pre-seasons. Three or four of the teams went out to California and the others were playing the top regionally ranked teams. All of the teams will definitely be ready.”
However, Kramer remains confident that the Red can end the year on top of the league.
“I think we are right in the middle of everything,” she said. “We have the potential to be one of, if not the strongest team in the league. We just have to stay focused and not look past anyone.”
Archived article by Bryan Pepper
Sun Staff Writer