Despite having a chance to clinch late in the fourth set, Columbia volleyball (2-8, 0-1 Ivy) found itself on the losing end of a 3-2 match at Cornell.
“The outcome is very frustrating,” head coach Jon Wilson said. “It happens, though. We played at a higher level at times and at other times we made too many errors.”
The Lions came out strong in the first set, dominating the Big Red 25-12. Senior Colleen Brennan returned from injury and split setting duties with first-year Jennifer Petrovich. They distributed the ball well, as the Lions were able to hit a combined .526 with 12 kills and just two errors in the first set.
But things began to fall apart from there, as the Lions let a 21-17 lead slip away in the second set. They had just clawed back from a 15-9 deficit with strong service pressure and a strong defense to prevent the Big Red from taking over the game. At 22-19, the Lions were left stunned as Cornell went on a six-point run to tie the match at one.
“When you make mistakes early on in the game, you tend to have the same endgame pattern of making mistakes,” Wilson said. “That being said, we’re getting better, and we got to swing for the match in the fourth set, which was a good thing.”
The Lions were able to rebound with a back-and-forth win in the third set, 25-22. Then, in the fourth, the Light Blue had opportunities to put away the match at 24-22 and 25-24. They failed to capitalize, and Cornell escaped with a 28-26 win. Columbia then ran out of answers, as Cornell went on a six-point run midway through the fifth set and won the deciding set, 15-8.
The outside hitters, sophomores Bailey Springer and Atlanta Moye-McLaren, both had strong games. Moye-McLaren finished the match with 17 kills and 13 digs.
“Bailey and Lanti played very well,” Wilson said. “They’re on the way to becoming very good outside hitters in the league.”
The blocking efforts of senior Savannah Fletcher and first-year Zoe Jacobs as well as the serve receive and defense also looked strong.
“Zoe and Sav each had six blocks, that was a positive,” Wilson said. “If any aspect of our game was 5 percent better, we would win that match. We passed well, we serve received well. We had good defense, but the few breakdowns we had cost us.”
The Lions will play their first home Ivy matches next weekend with Penn on Friday and Princeton on Saturday.