Michael Suguitan/Sun Staff Photographer

Senior co-captain Kara Rogers (pictured above) landed eight kills against Lamar, helping propel Cornell to a quick sweep of the Texas-based team and its first win of the tournament.

September 10, 2018

Volleyball Splits Texas Tournament, Improves Overall Record to 4-3

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The Red headed to Houston to compete in the Flo Hyman Invitational, where it went to 2-2 on the weekend and improved its overall record to 4-3.

Cornell kicked off the tournament on a strong note Friday morning, sweeping Lamar University (2-6) in three sets (19-25, 12-25, 22-25).

Eight kills from freshman Madison Baptiste, seven from junior Samanta Arenas and senior co-captain Kara Rogers, and six from senior co-captain Carla Sganderlla propelled the Red to a suffocating .359 hit rate.

Supporting their blistering effort, junior setter Katie Randolph recorded a career high 24 assists, while senior Natalie Danenhauer tallied four service aces en route to Cornell’s sweep.

The Red took to the court again Friday evening to take on Texas powerhouse University of Houston (11-1), but failed to replicate its previous dominating performance. Cornell won the first set 35-33, but Houston was unphased as it claimed the next three straight sets on the way to besting the Red, 3-1 (35-33, 25-18, 25-18, 25-23).

Though Cornell was unable to ultimately notch a victory, Sganderlla put on a show in front of her hometown Houston crowd to score a whopping 16 kills, while Arenas added 11 of her own.

On Saturday morning the Red faced the University of Texas, San Antonio (7-2), where it quickly put the previous night’s loss in the rear view mirror. Powered by junior Jenna Phelps’ 12 kills and five block assists, along with freshman Jillienne Bennet’s 11 kills, Cornell trounced San Antonio to put an end to the Roadrunners four match winning streak.

Sganderlla once again continued to impress as she tallied 10 kills and matched a career high 20 digs. Junior Lily Barber also had 11 digs, while junior setter Katie Randolph and sophomore setter Zoe Chamness contributed 27 and 24 assists, respectively, to the winning effort.

Cornell squared off against Houston Baptist (5-4) Saturday evening in the tournament’s fourth and final match. Bennett posted an outstanding game, recording a career high 17 kills, while Phelps and Sganderlla each added 11 kills of their own. Despite their performance, the Red could only win the first set, as the Huskies rallied back to take the next three and defeat Cornell 3-1 (25-22, 14-25, 22-25, 24-26).

“It was a great tournament with teams that are very similar to what we will see in the Ivies. We learned a lot about our team and what works,” said head coach Trudy Vande Berg. “We need to execute better in tight situations and to trust our teammates in those situations. It will come, we have only been practicing for three weeks and it is coming together nicely.”

The Red will hit the road again this weekend as it heads to Valparaiso, Indiana to compete in the Crusader Classic.