Jason Wu/Sun SeniorEditor

Outside Hitter Joanna Chang '23 hits against UAlbany, Newman Arena, September 10, 2022.

September 15, 2023

Volleyball Earns Three Consecutive Losses After Falling to Syracuse  

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This past weekend, Cornell volleyball hit the road for the Ellis Rowland Memorial Tournament in Hamilton, New York. The Red was looking to regain its momentum after it fell to Syracuse, 3-1, and gave the Orange its first win of the season but lost all three of the matches it played. 

On Friday, Sept. 8, Cornell volleyball (1-6, 0-0 Ivy) battled West Virginia (4-5, 0-0 Big 12) and fought hard to win the third set of the match, 25-23, but ultimately lost the fourth set to the Mountaineers, 19-25. 

For the Red, the highlight of the match came late in the third set when, tied at 20 apiece, sophomore outside hitter Eliza Konvicka landed a season-high, three service aces in a row, to give the Red a 23-20 lead, which was used to eventually seize the set.

“Yeah, she’s pretty explosive,” said head coach Trudy Vande Berg on Konvicka’s performance. “She’s working really hard on becoming more of a leader out on the court and somebody we can depend on.”

Intent on pushing the match to a fifth set, Cornell started the fourth set with a 4-2 lead, but the advance was quickly shut down by the Mountaineers, who snatched a 5-4 lead they would not renounce. 

Heading into the first of Saturday’s doubleheaders, the Red was hoping to get its first win against UAlbany (2-6, 0-0 America East) since 2003, but instead cemented its third consecutive loss to the Great Danes. It was a tightly-contested fight for the first two sets, both of which the Red lost, 23-25. 

The third set once again provided the zenith for Cornell after Vande Berg called a timeout because of a kill by Shynelle Woroniuk that gave Albany a 24-22 lead. 

“Albany was feeling pretty good, and I just wanted to disrupt the momentum,” Vande Berg said. “And I talked to each player out there like, well, what do you want to hit in this situation? So they feel really good about taking a big swing coming back out.”

And take a big swing they did. Senior middle blocker Alexa Orent netted a kill that cut the deficit to one, and Cornell used the momentum to win the third set, 26-24. A fifth set seemed possible as the Red found itself with a 23-20 lead late in the fourth, but the Great Danes would tie the score up at 24 points and charge ahead to win the set, 26-24. 

Later that day, the Red faced Colgate (6-4, 0-0 Patriot) and once again only won the third set, 33-31, which was its longest set this season. The Red came out swinging, starting the fourth set with a 5-1 run, but the Raiders stopped the momentum and took the set, 17-25. 

The weekend concluded with three consecutive losses, but the Red isn’t letting that hold it down.  

“The consistency and the ability to finish sets are what we’re really working on right now,” Vande Berg explained. “I really want us to focus on ourselves and what we need to do to be successful.”

The match against Morgan State is 7 p.m. today, followed by a match against Iowa at 2 p.m. Saturday, both at Newman Arena. After the game on Saturday, the Red is hosting a free kids clinic where the team will be signing posters, interacting with the kids and teaching and playing volleyball. The matches can be streamed live on ESPN+.

Hamna Waseem is a Sun contributing writer. She can be reached at [email protected].