October 10, 2007

Opponents’ Sweeps Send Message

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With the success of its first Ivy League victory fresh in its minds, the volleyball squad headed off for a league double-header, with the hopes of returning to Ithaca with a 3-0 record and a leg up in the race for the title championship.
Yet, both Penn (10-8, 2-1 Ivy) and Princeton (11-3, 3-0) swept Cornell (4-8, 1-2) over Fall Break, dropping the Red’s record to 1-2 in Ivy play.
“I thought that we played Ok at times,” said head coach Dietre Collins-Parker. “I’ve been harping on the fact that we’re inconsistent, but this time our good was better.”
Penn and Princeton both swept the Red, with Penn winning by scores of 30-20, 30-25 and 30-23, while Princeton defeated Cornell with scores of 30-28, 30-24 and 30-26, respectively.
In the first game of the Penn match, Penn held an early 15-10 lead, which Cornell never overcame. The second game followed the same pattern. The third game was a better contest, with both teams battling it out for points and Cornell eventually drawing even at 20. But Penn then pulled ahead, to put the game away and take the match.
“It’s not that we can’t play at their level,” Collins-Parker said. “We just didn’t play at their level long enough to win the match.”
Freshmen outside hitters Erin McCarthy and Katie Marshall led the team with nine and ten kills apiece, while junior setter Hilary Holland racked up 27 assists and sophomore libero Meghan Mushovic added 21 digs for the defense. Sophomore middle blocker Juliana Rogers also contributed three aces and four block assists.
The first game of the match was an easy win for Princeton, as it led early and never lost the point advantage before taking the game by a ten-point margin.
The Red put forth a stronger effort in the second game, coming up with its own early lead, but Princeton fought back for a tie and then the ultimate victory. The Tigers then rode their momentum from the second game all the way to the match victory, winning the third and final game with a comfortable seven-point lead.
Marshall led the team with three kills, Rogers added five blocks and Mushovic accumulated 11 digs. While not happy with the losses, Collins-Parker maintained that the team had not played as badly as it might appear on paper.
“I don’t think that the scores are an indication of how we played at all,” she said. “We started a little slow, but it wasn’t like they completely ran over us. 3-0 can mean that there were three good games. I think that [Princeton] had to worry sometimes [that we would come back].”