Jason Wu/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell Volleyball break a huddle during their game against UAlbany, Newman Arena, September 10, 2022.

November 16, 2022

Volleyball Wins on 50th Anniversary, Swept by Princeton

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Volleyball hosted their final series of the season this past weekend, coming away with a split. The Red defeated No. 8 University of Pennsylvania 3-1 on Friday, then were swept by Princeton on Saturday. 

Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the Cornell volleyball program, and Cornell celebrated by dominating No. 8 Penn (2-22, 1-13 Ivy). Powered by their offense, the team battled it out with the Quakers to narrowly win set one, 27-25.

Continuing with that momentum into set two, Cornell completely shut down Penn’s offense and came away with a 25-7 victory.

“I thought this was honestly one of the best weekends we’ve ever played, especially at home,” said senior outside hitter Joanna Chang. “I think the alumni being back in the 50th [anniversary] celebration really helped us get more pumped up.”

In set three, the two teams battled it out again, but this time the Quakers were able to narrowly edge the Red to win 26-24. But in set four, Cornell bounced back with their dominant offense to defeat Penn 25-16, and secure the match victory. 

“We really wanted that win at home,” Chang said. “Penn had only won against us [this season] and we wanted that revenge.”

Penn’s only win of the season came in early October against Cornell, after losing in a five set thriller. 

Many players had outstanding performances that helped propel the team to victory. Chang notched a career-high 20 kills to lead the team, followed by freshman outside hitter Eliza Konvicka tallying 12 kills, and freshman outside hitter Nicole Mallus recording eight kills. Additionally, sophomore libero Jackie Baker matched a career-high 20 digs, while senior setter Emma Worthington notched 50 assists. 

On Saturday, and their last game of the season, the Red were outmatched by the co-champion of the Ivy League, No. 2 Princeton (21-3, 13-1 Ivy). Cornell fought hard in each set, battling it out and keeping the score close, but they ultimately dropped all three sets to a score of 25-21. 

Cornell finished the 2022 season with a 17-6, 10-4 Ivy record and fifth place in the Ivy standings. 

“I thought we did really well, we meshed well as a team,” Chang said, reflecting on the season as a whole. “We have a lot of younger players, so I think that we did well despite not really playing with each other prior.”

With only three seniors on the team graduating, Joanna Chang, Emma Worthington and Evan Reich, the team has a promising future with a strong, young core of players. 

“I think they’re gonna do really well,” Chang said, on the future of the team. “I also know there’s a couple of really good players coming up from high school, so I’m really excited to see where that goes.”