In its final home game until Nov. 9, the volleyball team came up short against Ivy League rival Columbia. The Red (6-13, 2-6 Ivy League) dropped the first two sets of Saturday’s match, but came roaring back to force a fifth set before the Lions (9-8, 4-4) won the fifth, 18-16, in extra points.
In the annual ‘Dig Pink’ game to sponsor awareness for breast cancer, Cornell lost 22-25 and 19-25 in the first two sets, respectively, and trailed 10-2 in the third coming out after the break. The Red came all the way back after junior outside hitter and captain Kelly Marble had back-to-back kills to tie the score, 20-20. Three Lions’ errors and two kills by freshman outside hitter Breanna Wong later and Cornell had taken the third set, 25-21.
The Red carried that momentum into the fourth set where the team held a slim margin throughout and won 25-23. The Red led the fifth set, 4-1, before Columbia tied it later in the set at 12-12. Cornell seemed to have the game won at 15-14, when Columbia’s Denise Dearman had apparently hit the net giving the Red the victory. However, the officials ruled that a Cornell blocker had touched the ball tying the game at 15-15. The two teams were tied at 16-16, but back-to-back kills by the Lions gave the visiting team the win.
“We all did our jobs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th sets, and it just didn't go our way,” Marble said. “We have to start off playing like that from the beginning.”
During many of its matches the team fails to be consistent in its play throughout each set. Last week, the team almost blew a two-set lead against Dartmouth, but eventually stepped up in the fifth at the last moment.
“It felt good to come together after the first two sets and fight as a team to take them to five,” said junior outside hitter Sierra Young. “We left it all on the court and raised our level of play to a new standard.”
Statistically, Cornell had big performances from Marble, who had a double-double (20 kills and 13 digs), and Young, who posted 19 kills and 10 digs. Junior middle blocker Rachel D’Epagnier led the team with a .471 hitting percentage and nine blocks. Senior setter Lucy Zheng recorded 46 assists, while sophomore setter and captain Kelly Reinke contributed 11 to the Red’s effort.
Cornell hits the road for its next four matches against Ivy League opponents. Next weekend the team plays at Brown (5-13, 1-7) and Yale (12-5, 8-0). The following weekend, the Red is at Dartmouth (2-16, 1-7) and Harvard (8-11, 5-3).