After beating nationally-ranked IPFW this past weekend for one of the biggest victories in recent memory, the volleyball team will head to a smaller stage and face local rival Binghamton tonight in Newman Arena. However, Cornell is determined to maintain the same intensity in every contest, regardless of the opponent.
“We’re ready. We’re going to take everybody we face this year like [they’re] the same,” said senior outside hitter Rachel Adomat. “We definitely don’t want to go into a game and think that because they’re easier, we can take it easy. We want to play our best every game we go into.”
The Red (6-2) executed this strategy perfectly this past weekend at the IPFW Invitational tournament, beating Belmont and IPFW by identical, 3-1, scores.
Junior outside hitter Elizabeth Bishop, who is averaging 5.11 kills per game while hitting .245 this season, earned MVP honors at the tourney, and was also named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Bishop is not going at it alone, however, as she is surrounded by a deep and talented team. Four other players have been named to all-tournament teams this season, including senior co-captain Kelly Kramer, who had 20 digs against IPFW from her libero position.
“Binghamton is a decent team,” said head coach Deitre Collins. “We hope to go out and win. We try to be consistent, I expect them to come out like every other game.”
Cornell will look to repeat its success from 2004 against Binghamton (8-8), when the Red took three straight games from the Bearcats for the win. This was the first of three Cornell victories en route to the Red winning the Binghamton Invitational tournament title last year.
The Bearcats will come into Newman Arena with a few weapons of their own. The visitors have led the American East League in blocking for the past three years, and advanced to the postseason for the first time a year ago. Outside hitter Brianna Strong was named the American East Rookie of the Week on Monday after recording 3.83 digs and 3.17 kills per game over last week’s competition. Binghamton is coming off a second-place showing in the Courtyard by Marriott Yale Classic, notching 3-0 sweeps over Iona and Delaware, while falling to the hosts, 3-0. Outside hitter Katie Brody and middle blocker Jacki Kane earned all-tournament honors, and could prove to be dangerous threats for the Red.
“Last year, they played us pretty well. They lost one really good player last year, so they’re in a little bit of a rebuilding year,” Collins said. “It will be competitive, I’m sure. They’re starting their conference schedule just as we are. … We’re just trying to get well and get everyone back to 100-percent, so a couple people might not play.”
Tonight’s contest will be the Red’s final tune-up before it starts Ivy League competition this weekend with a match against Columbia.
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Assistant Sports Editor