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Kali Duffy / Staff Photographer

After winning 10 of its 23 games this fall, the Light Blue experienced its fourth losing season in the past five years.

Volleyball wrapped up its season at home this weekend, winning against Brown on Friday before falling to Yale on Saturday.

The weekend was a momentous one for the Light Blue (10-13, 5-9), as it bid farewell to the team’s only senior, right side Anja Malesevic, who has been the best Ivy League offensive player this year, leading the league in kills per set and points per set, with 3.97 and 4.49, respectively.

In the first contest of the weekend, the Lions looked poised to dominate Brown (7-18, 2-12), which has sat dead last in the Ancient Eight so far this season. The Light Blue did just that, besting the Bears in straight sets, 25-15, 25-19, and 25-22. The Lions avenged the previous meeting between the two teams, when Brown managed to upset Columbia in Providence in one of its two Ivy League victories this season.

Friday’s game saw a solid performance from some of the Light Blue stars. Sophomore middle blocker Chichi Ikwuazom impressed with another dominant shot conversion rate, hitting .500 to increase her Ivy League leading season percentage to .380. Meanwhile, the Bears could not get anything started on offense—not one player eclipsed double-digit kills.

Against Yale (16-7, 10-4 Ivy), the Lions put up a fighting effort, but in the end could not overcome the Bulldogs, who clinched the Ivy League title with the win, sharing the honors with Princeton. The Light Blue came out of the gates slowly, losing the first set 17-25. In the next two sets, however, the Lions showed resilience in defeating the Bulldogs 30-28 and 33-31, in two of their highest-scoring sets of the year.

Columbia could not keep up the high intensity in the final two sets of the match, capitulating to the Bulldogs 19-25 and 8-15. Malesevic registered a career-high 28 kills on Saturday, one more than the previous career high of 27 that she set two weekends ago. First-year setter Audrey Cheng also recorded 62 assists, catapulting her into fourth place in the Ancient Eight in assists per set with 8.53.

Looking to replace the void that Malesevic will leave, volleyball will have to wait for next fall to fight again for the Ivy League title.

henry.schwartz@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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