Still searching for its first win against an Ivy League opponent, Cornell’s volleyball team hit the road to face Brown University on Friday night and Yale University on Saturday Night. Despite many closely fought sets in both matches, the Red dropped both contests 1-3 and 0-3, respectively.
The Red (4-7, 0-3 Ivy) started off strong in its match against Brown (10-3, 3-0 Ivy), as it won the first set 25-20 and held the Bears offense to only a .08 hitting percentage. However, Brown’s offense turned around in the second set, hitting .293 compared to the Red’s .178. The Bears ultimately out-matched Cornell, as they recorded 58 kills compared to the Red’s 46 and 55 assists to the Red’s 41 and 74 digs to the Red’s 66. Cornell ended up losing the next three straight sets 21-25, 18-25 and 15-25, respectively.
“We just aren’t executing in tight situations. We had moments of greatness tonight and showed what we can do, but we would follow it up with a couple of easy points for Brown,” said Head Coach Trudy Vande Berg.
A highlight of the loss was the strong performances by seniors Madison Baptiste and Casey Justus, who both recorded 10 kills. Freshmen Jackie Baker and Camryn Carlo also made huge impacts in the game. Baker recorded 14 digs, the second highest on the team, along with six assists. Carlo immediately contributed to the game when she entered in the third set, tallying four blocks.
“Jackie Baker played out of her mind and Camryn Carlo came in and did some great things,” Vande Berg said. “We just need to put it together as a team.”
In its game against Yale (9-3, 2-1 Ivy), the Red was swept by the Bulldogs (22-25, 19-25, 22-25) despite the score being tied late in all three sets. In the first set, the score was knotted at 19, but the Bulldogs were able to score the next five out of six points to secure the win. In the second set, Cornell and Yale were tied 16-16, but once again the Bulldogs won the next six points to take control. In the third set, the score was tied at 22-22 before the Bulldogs won the next three points to win the match.
All three sets came down to the Red not being able to score late. Despite the losses, individual players, specifically Justus and Baker, once again performed well. Justus notched a team-high 10 kills and four blocks, while Baker recorded a team-high 12 digs.
“I think we played well in general, but were not able to finish through and win the close sets in both of the matches,” Justus said. “I think we are evenly matched with both teams, but they were able to perform better in the tight situations.
The Red will continue to search for its first Ivy win next weekend when they host Princeton University (9-2, 3-0 Ivy) and the University of Pennsylvania (4-8, 1-2 Ivy) at Newman Arena.
“Moving forward, I think if we focus on combining the individual talent into team play, then those matches will be wins for us next round,” Justus said.
Cornell will face off against Princeton on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Penn on Saturday night at 5 p.m.