In their final road trip of the season, volleyball faced off against Dartmouth and Harvard. Despite getting swept by Dartmouth, the team bounced back to swiftly defeat Harvard, 3-1.
In the first set of Friday’s match against No. 3 Dartmouth (16-6, 8-4 Ivy), Cornell was outmatched by the Big Green’s overpowering offense. Dartmouth executed 14 kills out of 30 attempts with five errors for a 0.3 hitting percentage, while the Red recorded only five kills out of 23 attempts with five errors for a 0.0 hitting percentage. Cornell went on to drop set one, 25-12.
Set two and three were much closer competitions. Scoring neck and neck for the majority of both matches, the Red had a strong chance to win each set. Unfortunately, they came up short towards the final couple of points of both sets and dropped sets two and three by slim margins, 25-21 and 25-22, respectively.
“I don’t know if it was so much that they were tougher to beat,” said sophomore middle blocker Camryn Carlo. “There were just things we needed to work on and we obviously improved upon those things in our match against Harvard.”
The team looked to bounce back, as they traveled to Cambridge to compete against No. 5 Harvard (5-15, 4-8 Ivy). Cornell started off set one strong, scoring the first six points right out of the gate. The Crimson, however, did not go down quietly by putting pressure on the Red’s defense and keeping the score close throughout the match.
Late in the set, Harvard was leading 23-22, but Cornell scored the next three points to secure the set one victory, courtesy of a kill by junior middle blocker Sydney Moore, a service ace by sophomore libero Jackie Baker and a block by Carlo.
“I think offensively we performed a lot better,” Carlo said. “[We] just performed as a unit instead of more individualistic play.”
In set two, the Red started off strong again and took a commanding early 5-1 lead. They would continue extending that lead and never looked back, swiftly defeating the Crimson, 25-17.
Harvard stormed back in set three. After a 5-0 run by Cornell to take an 11-9 lead, the Crimson responded by scoring seven out of the next eight points to retake a 16-12 lead. Although the Red continued battling, Harvard held on to their lead and won set three, 25-19.
The Red looked to seal the match victory in set four. Early on, the Crimson led 8-5, but Cornell stormed back to score nine consecutive points and retake a 14-8 lead. The team would hold on to their lead, dominating the Crimson and winning the match with a 25-14 set four victory.
“I think we really stepped up from our previous weekend,” Carlo said. “I’m really happy with our win over Harvard, especially since it was their senior night. I don’t think they were expecting us to bring the fire that we did and we proved everyone wrong this weekend.”
This weekend, the Red (5-16, 3-9 Ivy) hopes to continue the momentum as they host the season’s final two matches against No. 2 Princeton (19-3, 11-1 Ivy) and No. 8 Penn (2-20, 1-11 Ivy). Penn is coming off two heart-breaking five set losses against No. 1 Yale and No. 4 Brown the weekend prior.
“I think [we] just [have to] bring that energy that we had against Harvard and just continue to push,” Carlo said. “Obviously, Princeton is a great team and Penn has taken Yale and Brown both to five sets this past weekend, but we know what to expect. We’ve been doing our jobs this week in practice, so now all we have left to do is leave it out there on the court and get the win.”
Match one against Penn starts at 7 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 11 and match two against Princeton will begin at 5 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 12, both at Newman Arena. They will also be available to stream on ESPN+.