With the first half of Ivy League play now finished, the Red (6-12, 2-5 Ivy League) will host Columbia (8-8, 3-4) this Saturday at 2 p.m. to kick off the homestretch of the 2012 season. The team will also be selling t-shirts and wristbands to raise money for Side-Out Foundation’s Dig Pink National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally.
In the Red’s first meeting with Columbia on Sept. 22, the Lions came away with the sweep in three sets despite the efforts of freshman outside hitter Breanna Wong and senior middle blocker Rachel D’Epagnier. In her Ivy League debut, Wong had a team high 13 kills, and D’Epagnier chipped in with five kills of her own for a .455 hitting percentage.
Coming off a 3-2 win over Dartmouth at home last weekend, the Red hopes to continue its dominance in Newman Arena, where the squad is 4-2 so far this season. The Lions come to Ithaca having lost four of their last five games and putting their conference record to below .500 for the first time this season. They are led by Heather Braunagel, who is first in the conference in kills and is 22nd in the nation in hitting percentage at .394. Assisting her at the net is Megan Gaughn, who is averaging a team-high 2.31 kills and 2.37 digs per set. The first time the two teams met, the tandem of Braunagel and Gaughn combined for 14 kills.
D’Epagnier, Wong and junior outside hitter Kelly Marble will lead the attack for the Red. Marble leads the team in kills with 204 and is sixth in the Ivy League in kills per set with 2.91.
After the match this weekend against the Lions, the Red will face every other Ivy League team one more time, finishing the season with two straight games at Newman Arena.