Jason Wu/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Middle Blocker Sydney Moore '24 attacks the ball against UAlbany, Newman Arena, Sept. 10, 2022.

October 12, 2022

Volleyball Leaves Weekend Road Trip with Losses Against Princeton and Penn

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This past weekend, volleyball hit the road facing off against Princeton and Penn. Despite a valiant, hard-fought effort, including a five set thriller against Penn, Cornell failed to come away from the weekend road trip with a victory. 

Competing against the undefeated No.2 Princeton (13-2, 5-0 Ivy), the Red faced a tough opponent on Friday. In the first set, the Tigers began to pull away early by going on a 12-1 run, including scoring seven consecutive points. The Tigers continued to dominate throughout the next two sets while Cornell failed to gain momentum, as they ultimately got swept to a score of 25-9, 25-19, 25-19. 

“Princeton was pretty tough for us,” said freshman outside hitter Jordan Walker. “They were equipped for what we dealt them. They basically studied us just like how we studied them, so we had to change the way we attacked them. They were prepared, they were stacked on our best hitters. We just had to navigate around that.” 

In Saturday’s match against No.8 Penn (2-13, 1-4 Ivy), the Red and the Quakers went head to head, taking the match to a full five sets. In set one, Cornell narrowly edged Penn 28-26, courtesy of a kill by senior outside hitter Joanna Chang that broke the 26-26 tie and an attack error by Penn that sealed the victory. 

The Quakers took set two 25-18, but the Red stormed back in set three, taking an early 7-2 lead. The team would go on to extend their lead to 19-10 and never looked back, winning the third set 25-17. 

Looking to seal the match victory in set four, the two teams fought closely until the last point. Tied at 22-22 late in the set, the Quakers scored three consecutive points to pull away and ultimately win 25-23. 

“With Penn, that was a fight,” Walker said. “We fought really hard in that game. I think we played really well in that game honestly, we just got comfortable because we thought we had it and they stayed relaxed the whole time.”

In the fifth and final set, the Red scored two points via a kill by junior middle blocker Sydney Moore and a service ace by freshman outside hitter Eliza Konvicka to tie the score at 11 a-piece. Penn scored the next two points, and Cornell responded with another kill by Moore to bring them back within one point at 13-12. However, it wasn’t enough to overtake the Quakers, as they would score two more points to win the game-deciding set 15-12.

“We were very much up and down with our energy throughout the game,” Walker said. “But we should have executed and finished it and we didn’t.”

Despite the disappointing weekend results, many players had career-high performances. Walker tallied eight kills in Friday’s match against Princeton, leading the team. Walker also recorded 11 kills in Saturday’s match, marking a career high. Konvicka also led the team with a career high 20 kills on Saturday and three aces. Moore also notched a season high 15 kills on Saturday. 

According to Walker, although the season is still young, there is still room for improvement for the team. Especially by focusing on executing the game plan will be crucial moving forward into the rest of the season. 

“I think we have all the right components, it’s just about executing them,” Walker said. “We’re great in practice, [our] practices are very tough and we are improving on the parts that we need to improve on, and we just need to reflect that in our games.”

Next weekend, No.6 Cornell will host No.7 Harvard and No.4 Dartmouth at Newman Arena. 

“We… started studying Harvard and Dartmouth in our practices,” Walker said. “We [plan on] attacking their weaknesses, and I’m pretty sure they plan on doing the same to us, but we will be ready.”

The first match against Harvard will take place at 7:00 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 14, and match two against Dartmouth is set for 5:00 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15.