October 29, 2008

Bearcats Jump Out to Early Lead, Sweep Red

Print More

Not even the blistering cold winds could cool off the fiery Binghamton attack last night at Newman Arena as the Bearcats dropped Cornell, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19. Binghamton has been victorious in seven of its last eight matches, and was led by sophomore hitter Michelle McDonough, who recorded 17 kills, eight digs and four blocks.
“I thought [Binghamton] ran a pretty fast offense and they really [handled] our blocks,” said head coach Deitre Collins-Parker. “That really hurt us because blocking is something that we used to do pretty well. As a coach, I need to make some changes [starting with] our blocking scheme. It’s been a trend over the last couple of games and one of the assistant coaches brought it to my attention that maybe what we’re doing doesn’t work well for us.”
The Red (7-12, 6-2 Ivy) registered only four team blocks while the Bearcats (11-12, 5-1 American East) scratched out 7.5. Junior libero Megan Mushovic paced Cornell with 21 digs and senior Emily Borman, who was recently named Ivy League Player of the Week, tallied a team-high eight kills. Binghamton used an early 14-2 run in the first set to coast to a 25-17 victory.[img_assist|nid=33096|title=Dig!|desc=Junior libero Megan Mushovic (left) goes for a dig during the Red’s 3-0 loss to Binghamton last night. Fortunately for Cornell, the game did not count in the Ivy standings.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“I think we need to work on defense and blocking for the weekend, but we also kind of need to work on our consistency,” said senior captain Hilary Holland. “This has been a common theme. It was like a rollercoaster in some of those games and we just need to play better this weekend.”
The second set was a back-and-forth battle, as neither team was able to establish a lead larger than four points. A late rally from Cornell knotted the set at 22 before Binghamton ultimately prevailed with a smash from senior outside hitter Ashley Allen to secure a 25-23 victory.
“We definitely had the momentum,” Holland said. “I definitely thought we were going to pull it out. There were some unlucky calls at the end [of the second set] that didn’t go our way. In the third set, we still had the momentum, I thought, but they did a good job of countering that and we didn’t really counter back.”
Any momentum the Red had in the third set was erased when the Bearcats clawed out a 7-1 run to end the contest. Binghamton capitalized on four kills and three attack errors by Cornell to close out the match.
The Red can take solace in the fact that this was a non-conference loss and thus has no bearing on the Ivy League landscape. However, that is the only positive that came out of last night’s defeat according to Collins-Parker.
“I think because we had a preseason that wasn’t so good, our focus has been on the Ivies,” she said. “So, I guess in some ways it doesn’t matter [as much], but it matters because we didn’t play well.”
“It’s definitely different,” Holland said. “Sometimes, it’s hard to get the same intensity against non-conference teams as opposed to Ivy opponents, but we were prepared. This was our third [midweek game] of the year, so we knew what we had to do. We just didn’t get it done.”