November 15, 2010

Volleyball Finishes 2010 With Pair of Home Losses

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The volleyball team put up a good fight against both teams it faced this weekend, but came up short against Brown last Friday evening and Yale Saturday afternoon. Cornell (4-20, 2-12 Ivy) got solid contributions from seniors Erin McCarthy and Alessa Cekauskas in their last games, but it wasn’t enough against the tough Ivy opponents.Junior Kelly Hansen led the Red with nine kills the first game and then 12 kills in the second game. Junior setter Jordan Reeder finished with 27 assists each for both games. Libero Taylor Nieman had 17 digs to lead the Red in the first game and McCarthy led the team in digs with 12 against Yale.Against Brown, the score was close early with a 7-7 tie, but Brown was able to go ahead with a 6-0 run. Hansen’s kill ended the run to give Cornell a shot at making its own run, but Brown just went back to scoring with a small 5-2 run. With the score at 18-10 the Red did not give up and pulled to within two with a score of 23-21, but Brown finished off the set with two straight points won.In the second game, Brown had a lead early with a score of 9-4 and kept adding to this lead until breaking things open with 10 straight points won. The Red did have a late run to come back but ended up falling, 25-18. Brown went up early again in the third game, jumping out to an 11-6 lead, but Cornell rallied back to tie the score with a 5-0 run. The teams then traded points until the score was again tied, 14-14, when Brown put the game out of reach by going on a four-point run and then cruising to a 25-20 victory. The Red battled in each game despite the leads but ended up short on each of their rallies.“We didn’t come out and play our game,” McCarthy said in an email. “We were lacking energy and making too many unforced errors.”In the final game of the season, the Red came out strong by challenging the strong Yale team with three lead changes and nine ties. However, Yale scored five straight points to go up, 21-16, and never looked back to finish, 25-20. The second set was also very close as the score went back and forth, with the Red trailing by one, 7-6. Yale then went on an 8-3 run to go up by six points, but the Red did not give in by slowly working its way back to a 21-20 deficit. Yale finished out the victory using two kills, a service ace and a Cornell error. Yale jumped out ahead, 6-2, in the third set and never had a lead less than three points as the Red fought to survive and try to win the third set. The Bulldogs put the game away to guarantee at least a share of the Ivy League crown.“We battled and played well against Yale, but they are a good team and they capitalized on any error made against them,” McCarthy said.Cornell was again a victim of early deficits and was forced to rally back. The team stayed in many of the games, but was not able to close it out in the end.“We battled in a lot of long rallies, but both teams were in a system more than we were and that allowed them to be more aggressive,” said junior co-captain Meagan Tatum via email. “I think the team feels the pressure of being down a little too late and … we had given them too much of a lead.”The seniors — McCarthy and Cekauskas — will be missed next season, as the Red will have to move on without their contributions.“The seniors have made such an important impact on the team as players and people. They are great role models and friends and it will be really hard to see them go,” Tatum said. “What they have done for this team will not be forgotten.”However, the Red will be prepared to move forward to a bright, new future featuring the younger players. Next season holds more hope after a well fought, but frustrating campaign.“There are a lot of returning key players next season, and I think the potential for this team is immense next year,” McCarthy said.

Original Author: Wankyu Lee