October 20, 2006

Spikers to Welcome League Foes

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At 7:00 tonight, the Cornell volleyball team will check out of the Heartbreak Hotel and turn its focus to two critical Ivy League games at home. Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Colgate was a heartbreaker, but then again, “Elvis ain’t dead. He just went home.” Cornell may not be the Men in Black, but these women in Red are ready to bounce back as they take on Dartmouth tonight and Harvard on Saturday.
[img_assist|nid=19090|title=Flying high.|desc=Senior outside hitter Alex Dyer (left) takes aim for one of her team-high 17 kills in a 3-2 loss to Colgate Wednesday night. (Jeff Slosberg / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=left|width=82|height=100]
Cornell (9-8, 4-2 Ivy) is 3-3 in its last six contests, so tonight’s match-up against Dartmouth ought to be a momentum swing one way or the other. Cornell’s last two Ivy results were a 3-1 loss to Princeton and a 3-0 rout of Penn both on the road. Senior Elizabeth Bishop is currently fourth in the league with 4.28 kill per game while seniors Joanna Weiss and Alaina Town are third and fourth in the league with their hitting percentages of .386 and .336. After this up and down streak for the Red, head coach Deitre Collins-Parker hopes that her team will find a more consistent level of play.

“Lately, we have been having to respond after a loss,” Collins-Parker said. “So we have been doing a good job of that. Hopefully, that will continue to where we don’t have any more losses.”

Dartmouth (9-7, 3-3 Ivy) has won three of its last four against Ivy League competition. Those three W’s included 3-0 routs of Princeton, Penn, and Brown all at home. In its last contest, Yale emphatically put a stop to Dartmouth’s three match winning streak courtesy of a three game sweep in Hanover, N.H. Leading the way for Dartmouth is senior Nadine Paris and junior Frances Samolowicz with hitting percentages of .323 and .310, respectively. Those numbers are good enough for fifth and sixth in the league. In addition sophomore Jess Thomas leads the league with 0.59 service aces per game.

“I think that physically, we should be more dominant, but we’re gong to have to play good volleyball,” Collins-Parker said. “They are very consistent and disciplined in their game, so we need to elevate our game and play good volleyball.”

Harvard (8-9, 2-4 Ivy) is currently on a four game skid with all four losses coming courtesy of Ivy League teams. Katherine Kocurek for the Crimson is second in the league with 4.49 digs per game, so it would be wise for the Red to keep the ball away from her area of the court when going for the kills.

“Even though Harvard is on a losing streak now, they did manage to beat Dartmouth twice in back-to-back nights,” Collins-Parker said. “So they are obviously capable of playing well. If we just play disciplined volleyball and are able to get our middles involved in the game and then have seniors Elizabeth Bishop and Alex Dyer have good nights, I think we will do well.”