Cornell’s volleyball team enjoyed another Midwest Conference win Saturday morning as they rolled over the Carroll University Pioneers. This brings their Midwest standings to 4-1, a tie in first place with Ripon College, who fell in three sets to Cornell Friday night. Overall, the Rams stand with a 7-13 record.
The game was full of excitement as the Homecoming crowds provided constant encouragement. Early on, it seemed as if Cornell would scarcely need it; the first set ended 25-15 with the Rams consistently finding holes in the Pioneers’ coverage and landing shots right in the middle of their defense. Blocks by Lauren Ahart (17.), Diamond Boyd (17), and Nicole Ciari (19) crushed many potential hits from the Pioneers.
Despite the seeming inability of the Pioneers to force past the Rams’ blocks, it was the powerful hits and consistent serves which really set the pace during the games. Ahart delivered hit after exceptional hit, generally to exactly that place which was not covered.
Mariah Brandly (16), Katherine Devlin (18), and Jillian Schulte (19) enabled the Rams to capture point after point as they each delivered four or more serves straight on multiple occasions. This occurred most notably during the end of the third set when Devlin helped the Rams recover from a score of 19-24 to 23-24 before a hit during a volley went out of bounds, granting the set to the Pioneers.
That third set may have gotten off to a rough start, but the Rams had nothing to worry about in the end. Despite being down several points from early on, they fought straight through to the end of the set before powering through the fourth set, perhaps as a way of acknowledging they should not have lost the third. In fact, the Cornell Rams seemed determined to absolutely put away what was to be the last set of the night, taking an early lead of 6-1.
Blocks, particularly by Ciari in the end of the fourth set, incredible hits, and timely assists provided an ample display of just what volleyball should look like. The final point of the night seemed almost an exhibition of what a well-constructed and executed match could be, as the game ended with a satisfying hit straight into a hole on Carroll’s court.
Still, the excitement of the night was not exclusively to the incredible team effort put on by the Rams. Individually, Devlin not only helped the team push through hard on the end of the third set, but became the eighth Ram in program history to record more than 1,500 career assists. She currently has 1,524 total, despite being only in her junior year of play.
Thus, at the end of the Homecoming weekend volleyball games, the Cornell Rams stand tall and proud at the head of the Midwest Conference rankings. Two more home games remain on Oct. 13 and 22 against Knox College and Monmouth College, respectively.
Elizabeth Flick, Staff Writer