After winning its first three Ivy League matches this season, the volleyball team proved mortal on Saturday, as it lost to Harvard, 3-2. The closely-contested loss came after Cornell won, 3-1, at Dartmouth on Friday night. The Red swept all four matches against the two rivals last year. The team had its nine match-winning streak snapped with the loss to the Crimson. The Red’s record now stands at 9-4 overall, with a 3-1 mark in the Ivy.
The Red was favored in Friday’s match against Dartmouth, as the Green (3-9) had not defeated Cornell since 1999 and was still seeking its first league win this season. However, the Green jumped out to an early eight-point lead and held off a late Cornell charge to take the first game. But, the Red turned the match around quickly, rolling off three straight games to take the match. Sophomore Elizabeth Bishop and junior Rachel Adomat chipped in 27 and 14 kills, respectively.
“They came out really strong,” said junior co-captain Kelly Kramer. “Then our chemistry kicked in and we were able to take control.”
On Saturday, the Red suffered its first league loss at the hands of the Crimson, but kept the match very competitive throughout. After losing the first game, Cornell won two of the next three to force a game five. But, the Red fell a little short, losing the decisive fifth game, 15-13. Despite the 3-2 loss, Harvard only outscored Cornell, 125-124.
“They are definitely one of the top teams in the league,” Kramer said. “This year is crazy because the league is so close. The match went five games and they only won by two points. It was such as good game. It really could’ve gone either way and we just ended up on the wrong side of it.”
After falling behind two games to one, the Red battled back in game four, limiting the Crimson to a .500 hitting percentage. However, Harvard was able to return to form in game five, hitting .464.
“We definitely got to see everything they had,” Kramer said. “We will be prepared for the next time we play them. We feel it will be a huge advantage playing at home in front of our fans. It really fires us up.”
Cornell was led by Bishop and Adomat once again, as the tandem recorded 19 and 24 kills, respectively. Bishop also tacked on 19 digs. Junior Whitney Fair’s injured back limited her playing time, but Cornell did not miss a step, as freshman Amy Gordon filled in nicely with a match-high 62 assists. Kramer compiled a team-best 25 digs.
The Crimson improved its record to 9-5 on the season, staying perfect in Ivy League play. The Crimson had a very balanced attack, with five players reaching double-digits in kills. Freshman Laura Mahon led the team with 20 kills and 27 digs, while senior Nilly Schweitzer recorded a double-double as well with 17 kills and 18 digs.
Cornell will be on the road again next weekend, when it travels to Providence, R.I., to face Brown. Despite the loss to Harvard, the Red remains upbeat, as it continues with its Ivy League schedule.
“We definitely feel we can still take the league,” Kramer said. “We had practice on Monday and everyone was very ready and focused. We dropped one match, oh well. We are still looking ahead at what we can do. We still know we are capable of beating Harvard the second time around. We can’t wait to have another shot at them.”
Archived article by Bryan Pepper
Sun Staff Writer