November 3, 2006

Volleyball Looks to Stay Atop League Standings

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The volleyball team will try to make it seven wins in a row as it makes its final road trip of the regular season today with lots at stake. Tonight, Harvard will be on the agenda for the Cornell spikers as the women will try to stay on top of the Ivy League with their 8-2 conference record. Tomorrow afternoon, Dartmouth will try to play the role of spoilers as it will look for revenge over Cornell after being swept 3-0 a couple weeks ago at Newman Arena.

Currently, Cornell (14-8, 8-2) sits on top of the Ivy League standings with Yale (13-6, 8-2). Yale this weekend will face Princeton and Penn both on the road as it looks for some separation between Cornell. Princeton (17-2, 7-2) is only a half a game back of both Cornell and Yale and, in addition to Yale, Princeton will also be facing Brown this weekend at home.

[img_assist|nid=19555|title=vball|desc=Senior Katie Rademacher (3) and junior co-captain Amy Gordon (8) go for a block during last Friday’s 3-1 victory over Yale.|link=none|align=right|width=71|height=100]
With that big picture of the Ivy League standings, one can clearly see that Cornell really has no margin for error this weekend. Luckily for the women in red, they already have had success against both Harvard and Dartmouth this year. Two weeks ago, Cornell defeated Harvard, 3-1, at home with the help of aggressive play and lots of enthusiasm from the crowd. Even though the women had a third game letdown, head coach Deitre Collins-Parker stresses that the loss was totally mental. Junior co-captain Amy Gordon and sophomore Hillary Holland carried the load during most of that match as they recorded 29 assists each and put the Crimson away after the third game loss.

In Cornell’s last match against Dartmouth, the women’s 3-0 victory was courtesy of them not letting Dartmouth get too many strings of points together. Senior Joanna Weiss led the team with 13 kills in that match, while senior co-captain Elizabeth Bishop and classmate Alaina Town each contributed 10 kills.

For now, Collins-Parker believes that the team has to forget about its recent success against Harvard and Dartmouth and just focus on what lies ahead.

“I think we need to put two good days together playing on the road,” Collins-Parker said. “We’ve had a lot of success at home, and we’ve kind of been up and down on the road. We want to definitely play two great matches on the road and hope for the best.”

Going into this road trip, Cornell leads the league with a .257 hitting percentage, while Harvard and Dartmouth hit .201 and .197, respectively. Weiss is second in the league with her .415 hitting percentage, while Town rests fourth with a solid .328 percentage. Bishop leads the team and is fourth in the league with 4.37 kills per game while Weiss and senior Katie Rademacher are one and two in the league with 1.45 and 1.32 blocks per game. Freshman Megan Mushovic rests fifth in the league with 4.43 digs per game while Gordon is fifth in the league with 9.78 assists per game.