Cornell volleyball remained perfect in Ivy play as it downed Harvard and Dartmouth this past weekend on East Hill. The last home weekend of the season was highlighted by senior libero Kelly Kramer’s record-breaking 1,272nd career dig, shattering Jen Strazza’s ’92 benchmark which had stood for 13 years.
The Red (18-3, 11-0 Ivy) dominated Harvard (3-19, 0-12) on Friday night, winning 3-0 (30-19, 30-19, and 30-13) amidst a noisy 623 people in Newman Arena. Junior Elizabeth Bishop notched a team-high 17 kills and committed only two errors while junior Joanna Weiss added nine kills. Seniors Whitney Fair and Kristen Hughes tallied team-highs of 30 assists and 15 digs, respectively.
“I don’t think Harvard played nearly as well as they did when we played them [earlier in the season] at Harvard,” said Cornell head coach Deitre Collins. “We didn’t play at the level we can be at, but then again at the same time, if you beat a team 30-13, that’s pretty encouraging. Every win puts us closer to our goal.”
The game reached its most exciting point midway through Game 3 when junior Thais Mirela electrified the crowd with her jump serves. The Brazilian brought the Newman faithful to its feet, as she served the Red to 10 consecutive points, including five by way of service ace.
“I really don’t know how to explain it,” Mirela said. “It felt awesome. It just came from inside me.”
Saturday night proved to be Kramer’s afternoon, as she broke the school’s dig record in game one of the Red’s victory over Dartmouth (11-11, 4-8). Cornell won 3-1 (30-21, 26-30, 30-20, and 30-26). The game was also highlighted by the play of the five seniors – Kramer, Fair, Hughes, Rachel Adomat, and Heather Young – all of whom played their second to last regular season match in Newman Arena. The five were honored with their parents in a ceremony before the game.
“It was so sentimental out there,” Bishop said. “Having all the seniors out there just got our emotions going.”
Fair handed out a match-high 36 assists while Young shut down the Green attack with 10 block-assists. Hughes recorded 12 digs and Kramer posted 16. Adomat notched nine kills, which was third to Bishop and Weiss’ totals of 19 and 14.
“We went four [games] with Dartmouth last time,” Collins said. “They play good defense and they did a good job. We came away with the win but it was a battle. By no means was it easy.”
Cornell is now set to face Columbia (6-16, 4-7) tonight at 5:30 p.m. The match will close out the Red’s home schedule. A victory would secure a share of the Ivy League title, as Cornell has a two-game cushion atop the conference standings over second place Yale (18-3, 9-2).
“We’re happy, but we still don’t feel like we’ve played our best volleyball yet,” Kramer said. “Right now what is going through our head is that we have another game against Columbia. They’ve been knocking people off and we’re going to be ready.”
Bishop’s 19 kills against Dartmouth moved her into second place all-time for career kills, giving her a total of 1,196 in only her third year of action. She needs only 17 more to eclipse Debbie Quibell’s ’03 mark of 1,212. Bishop has recorded 17 or more kills 12 times this season.
Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Staff Writer