Over the weekend, volleyball picked up a pair of wins in San Francisco, where it competed in the USF/St. Mary’s Tournament.
The team started on Friday with a tight game against St. Mary’s College, which ultimately ended in defeat. Cornell was ahead at the end of the third set, having won two in a row. St. Mary’s increased its aggression to take the last two sets, clinching the win.
“St. Mary’s is a great team,” said head coach Trudy Vande Berg. “They make it to the NCAA tournament regularly and play in a tough conference. We played great but need to clean up some of the little things.”
“[The loss] was all in our hands,” said junior setter Zoe Chamness. “We had the lead in the fourth game, but it just came down to the mental side of things. They stepped up and were the aggressor at that match.”
Outside hitters senior Samanta Arenas and freshman Joanna Chang led the team in kills during this game, getting 13 and 11, respectively.
On Saturday, Cornell first swept Utah State University with a 3-0 defeat. They won 25-13, 25-21, and 25-11 in each of the three sets. Sophomore outside Madison Baptiste and senior middle blocker Jada Stackhouse had 12 and eight kills, respectively.
“Jada is playing so well. She brings energy and confidence to the team when we need it and is doing everything we need her to do in a match. I’m incredibly proud of how she’s performing right now,” said Vande Berg.
Stackhouse was a force defensively at the net as well, successfully carrying out six blocks.
The Red dominated the University of San Francisco on Saturday, winning 3-1. Sophomore outside Avery Hanan and sophomore right side Jillienne Bennett were leaders on the court, adding 12 and 11 kills each.
These were the team’s first away games of the season. The Red’s players have been working with a sports psychologist since last year to improve their mentalities during away matches — the team’s work culminated in its success this weekend.
“I think our biggest focus was going out and being aggressive. We were excited to be in a place with a lot of big teams, so just focusing on our mental aspect and being aggressive,” Chamness said. “We’ve been doing some routines before every game.”
The team has one more weekend before Ivy games start on Sept. 28. Cornell will be playing in the Buffalo Invitational next weekend and take on Canisius College, the University at Buffalo and Saint Francis University.