October 24, 2007

Slow Start Proves Fatal for Red

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Sometimes winning isn’t everything. Cornell’s volleyball team traveled to Syracuse last night for a game against its slightly more yellow in-state rival. Although the Orange was bigger than the Red and won the match in four games, 3-1, Cornell actually came away from the match feeling better about it’s next contest — Ivy opponent Princeton.
“It was a decent night,” said head coach Dietre Collins-Parker. “But we started off slowly, and in Game 1, we really didn’t play well.”
Syracuse jumped out to a quick lead in the first game of the match, and won easily, 30-13. But Collins-Parker said that the final points total wasn’t a good indicator of how well Cornell played at times, if not consistently, over the course of the entire game.
“We weren’t seeming very tough,” she said. “And they were in control early. Even though we fought back at the end, the deficit was just too deep to overcome. [The score] may look bad, the [the game] really wasn’t.”
In the second game, Cornell battled back with a 30-23 game win.
Despite a late surge by Syracuse toward the end of the game, Cornell did not fold under pressure. Collins-Parker praised her team’s poise, especially while playing on the road.
“We really hung on to win that game,” Collins-Parker said.
The next game saw Syracuse put back in most of its starting lineup, in an ultimately successful attempt to squash a possible Cornell comeback. But that is not to say the Red was completely overmatched in that game either.
“I think it was a game we could’ve won,” Collins-Parker said.
Collins-Parker said she thought Game 4 was a pretty evenly played contest, with both teams trying to step their game up a level.
“By this time, they had all their starters in,” she said.
Although Collins-Parker had mentioned perhaps using the Syracuse match as an opportunity to rest her own starters, she decided against this as the game went on.
“I only rested one player. I played my regular line-up,” she said.
Syracuse finally overpowered Cornell in the end of Game 4, winning 30-28 to take the match.
“They are definitely a lot more physical than we are,” Collins-Parker said. But we played with them the whole time.”
Junior middle blocker Emily Borman had a good night in the center for Cornell, hitting .452 percent while tallying 13 kills. Sophomore blocker Juliana Rogers also kept the middle defensively solid, adding nine kills of her own while hitting .353.
“The middle did a good job hitting and blocking,” Collins-Parker said. “We got into trouble passing, though, and that hurt us. We didn’t get to do a lot of things offensively, and the outside was struggling as well.”
On the whole, the team is feeling better about itself following last night’s match than it was after last weekend’s losses to Brown and Yale.
“We played much better tonight compared to the weekend,” Collins-Parker said. “That makes me happy. Princeton lost to Syracuse as well. I think that we could do well this weekend.”