A red-hot Cornell volleyball team will hit the road to take on two Ivy League opponents this weekend, hoping to continue riding its winning streak after a 3-0 sweep of Columbia to open Ivy League play.
Penn (7-3, 0-1 Ivy) and Princeton (5-5, 1-0) are next up for Cornell. After the win over Columbia, Cornell has six consecutive wins dating back to Sept. 14. The most grueling portion of the team’s schedule — seven straight weekends of Ivy matches — is just getting started. But the Red is confident it has what it takes to earn the top spot in the Ancient Eight.
“I think the team has really bought into everything we’ve been doing,” said sophomore outside hitter Avery Hanan, who led to team with 13 kills in last Saturday’s match. “Every day at practice we’ll just show up ready to go, ready to work on whatever we need to do in order to have the best success we can that weekend.”
Further reflecting upon their successful start to the season and the team’s overall mindset, junior setter Zoe Chamness, who led the team with 23 assists last Saturday, said the team is determined to show it can be the best in the conference.
“We came into the season believing that we could win this league,” Chamness said.
So far, the team is on the right track, 1-0 in league play and sporting the best overall record among Ivy League teams, at 8-2.
Moving forward to this Friday’s match against Penn and Saturday’s match against Princeton, the Red will aim to slightly adjust its game plan to continue putting matches in the win column.
“Against Columbia we focused on stopping one player, but Penn is a really well-rounded team,” Chamness said.
“We executed our game plan really well against Columbia, and I think that we need to do the same thing this weekend,” Hanan said. “This week will be a lot of working on whatever we need to do to beat Penn and Princeton and hopefully we can put that plan into action and we’ll have the same kind of success.”
During recent practices, the players are unified in the goal staying aggressive, especially on the defensive end.
“We’ve been working a lot on just getting every ball that we can off the ground, just keeping everything alive no matter how it looks, if it’s pretty or not, just get the ball over and let them make the mistakes,” Hanan said. “We’ve been working a lot on just defensive scrappiness and so hopefully that will carry over and help us this weekend.”
Chamness echoed her teammate’s remarks, saying, “when things aren’t going our way, we just want to remember to stay scrappy.”
Last Friday, Princeton squared off against Penn, beating the Quakers 3-0. This weekend, the Red seeks to pick up a win against both teams. Cornell will face the Quakers at 7 p.m. Friday in Philadelphia before heading to Princeton for a 5 p.m. matchup Saturday.