Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Cornell is 7-2 after earning three wins in Buffalo.

September 23, 2019

Off to Best Start Since 2005 and Fresh Off Tournament Victory, Volleyball Gears Up for Ivy League Play

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Cornell volleyball travelled to Buffalo, New York to play in the Blue and White Classic last weekend, earning a piece of hardware and securing its best start to a season in more than a decade.

The Red swept its three opponents, increasing its record to 7-2.

Cornell began by playing Canisius College, beating them 3-0 in sets (25-17, 25-15, 25-18). Freshman Joanna Chang contributed nine kills, three aces and one block to Cornell’s win.

The Red then moved on to the University at Buffalo, where it squeezed by with a 3-2 win. The Bulls won the first and fourth sets, but Cornell clinched the game-winning fifth set, 15-9.

Senior Jenna Phelps, sophomore Madison Baptiste and freshman Joanna Chang led the Red in offense, each contributing double-digit kills.

Cornell’s final game was against Saint Francis University, which the Red swept 3-0 to win the tournament.

Phelps was named the tournament’s most valuable player after contributing game-winning kills and blocks in each match.

Chang and senior Jada Stackhouse both earned both earned spots on the Blue and White Classic all-tournament team.

“I think definitely offense, hitting was really important,” Chang said of what led to the team’s weekend success. “We’ve been working a lot on shots. Also blocking has gotten a lot better and…that helped a lot in the end.”

Cornell’s 7-2 record which is the Red’s best start to a season since 2005. Chang said the team has heightened confidence after such a successful start.

Next weekend, the team will square off against Columbia in its first Ivy League matchup. Last year, Cornell defeated the Lions twice (3-1 and 3-2).

Chang said that in preparation for the game, Cornell will “watch and see their hitters and how they hit and so we adjust our defense to them.”

Cornell will only be playing Ivy League teams until mid-November, when the season ends. Last year, the team placed third in the Ivy League after Princeton and Yale.

Cornell faces Columbia at 2 p.m. Saturday at Newman Arena.