October 20, 2011

Volleyball Hopes to Salvage Season

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Some say that developing amnesia is the best way to keep going forward, which could not be more true for the 2011 Cornell volleyball team. After posting a 3-16 record in a first half characterized by missed opportunities, close games that almost always resulted in losses and careless mistakes, the team feels as though its results do not represent the talent on the squad.

Although a league victory against Harvard last weekend was a bright spot in a particularly grim season, the Red knows it lost to many teams it should have defeated.

“It’s frustrating — I feel as though we are a much better team than what our record indicates,” said senior setter Jordan Reeder.

From the beginning of the season, Cornell could not develop any momentum, as the Red began the 2011 campaign with just two wins in its first 14 games.

Although the team was competitive in games against national powerhouses like Dayton and George Washington, the Red never shut the door on opposing teams. Often, the Red saw opponents stage dramatic comebacks to win in the last or second-to-last sets.

While the team admits it has not fulfilled its potential, several individual players — especially freshmen — have registered outstanding performances, according to Reeder.

“The freshmen have been phenomenal,” she said of Sarah Hunt, Sarah Okey, Kelly Reinke and Natasha Rowland. “They came into this season with a great attitude, and have really brought a ton of energy to both games and practices.”

With an outstanding freshman class and upperclassmen who are tired of losing, where does the team go from here?

“We are going forward,” Reeder said. “It’s not like we haven’t improved at all. The only thing we can do from here is forget the past and move forward. I know we can finish this season strong and come out of it feeling good about ourselves — we just need to do it.”

The path to redemption looks favorable for the Red, as the team plays four of its last seven games at home. First, though, Cornell opens up the second half of conference play in New York City against Columbia on Friday at 5 p.m.

Although the Red has dominated the series in the past, the Lions have a winning record this year, and are looking to add another win to their impressive record (11-6).

Original Author: Nicholas Rielly