||Chichi Ikwuazom (16)
Anja Malesevic (16)
|Filippa Hansson (12)|
|Assists||Grace Campbell (46)||Amanda Hubbard (41)|
||Grace Campbell (3)
||Filippa Hansson (3)
Masa Zirojevic (3)
|Digs||Kalie Wood (31)||Natalia Rivera (22)|
||Chichi Ikwuazom (7)
||Julia Azevedo (3)
Katharina Krepper (3)
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Columbia volleyball team came up just short in the Big Apple Battle championship game, falling to LIU Brooklyn in five sets (19-25, 25-15, 25-23, 24-26, 13-15) Sunday afternoon. The contest was held at the Steinberg Wellness Center on the campus of LIU.
After splitting the first two sets, Columbia (5-4) gutted out a third set that saw 13 ties and five lead changes to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Lions battled back from 17-12 down in the fourth to earn two match points, but the Blackbirds (7-6) saved both and scored the final four points of the set to force a deciding fifth. The Lions trailed for most of the tiebreak before leveling it at 13 all. LIU called for time and scored the final two points to win the match and the tournament.
Sophomore Chichi Ikwuazom and senior Anja Malesevic led Columbia’s attack with a match-high 16 kills apiece. The output tied for Malesevic’s career best, while Ikwuazom hit .387 and also completed the afternoon with a match-high seven blocks. Ikwuazom hit .431 with 36 kills and 18 blocks through the weekend’s three matches and was one of two Lions named to the Big Apple Battle All-Tournament Team. Junior Luciana Del Valle was the other, going for 26 kills, 31 digs, four blocks and three aces through the weekend. She came up with eight kills and 11 digs against LIU.
Sophomore libero Kalie Wood led the defensive effort from the ground, recording an impressive 31 digs in Sunday’s championship match. It was the first 30-dig match by a Lion since Cassie Wes went for 33 in a victory over Brown last October.
Grace Campbell set the offense and tallied 46 assists to go with 13 digs for the first double-double of her sophomore season. The Visalia, California, native had seven double-doubles her rookie season.
Columbia begins the Ivy League season next weekend at Cornell. First serve on Saturday is slated for 2 p.m. The Lions will play their first five league matches on the road before returning to Levien Gymnasium on Friday, Oct. 13, to host Penn.
Big Apple Battle All-Tournament Team
Natalia Rivera (MVP) - LIU Brooklyn
Amanda Hubbard - LIU Brooklyn
Filippa Hansson - LIU Brooklyn
Luciana Del Valle - Columbia
Chichi Ikwuazom - Columbia
Olivia Fairchild - Fordham
Aleksandra Gligoric - St. Francis