On Friday, Cornell travels north to face Dartmouth before taking on Harvard the next day in Cambridge. After successfully brushing off a loss to Princeton with a close victory over Binghamton, Cornell will look to even their Ivy record coming out of the weekend.
Cornell (7-8, 1-4 Ivy) has not played an Ivy League contest since it lost to Princeton 0-3 at home Oct. 8.
“Princeton is a very good team and they exposed and took advantage of some of our weaknesses,” said head coach Trudy Vande Berg. “We have worked and focused on them this week and executed well in our win vs. Binghamton.”
The last time the team traveled to an Ivy League contest was on Sept. 24, when they lost 2-3 to Columbia in New York; Cornell hopes to assert itself as a team that can win when it matters, seemingly unaffected by the lack of home court advantage.
“We have many players who have been to Dartmouth and Harvard a few times and they know what to expect,” Vande Berg said. “It’s still volleyball and that’s what we will focus on.”
Dartmouth (6-0, 0-5 Ivy) is the first of the two opponents. The Big Green has struggled against Ivy opponents this season, dropping every single game. No team wants to be the first one to let up a win to Dartmouth, but coach Vande Berg does not have that on her mind.
“We don’t look at that,” Vande Berg said. “We know that we could have a very different record right now if just a couple of points had gone our way.”
A showdown against the Crimson (4-10, 2-3 Ivy) will not fail to produce emotions and passion. This weekend’s contests will culminate in a game against Harvard, hopefully with the Red in rhythm from the previous night’s matchup. The fans should expect a heated event.
“[Expect] A battle,” Vande Berg said. “[Harvard] will be defending their home court and we want to beat them on it for the first time in a few years.”
The wear and tear of the road can get the best of even the most talented of teams. Cornell will have to face the challenge of playing back to back road games.
“We actually like being on the road,” Vande Berg said. “We are all together, play some games, watch some bad movies on the bus. It’s a good time to relax and catch up on some sleep.”
With a busy weekend ahead, Cornell volleyball looks to head into enemy territory and snatch a pair of wins to improve to 3-3 against Ivy competition on the season.