|Kills||Kathryn Attar (28)||Anja Malesevic (28)|
|Assists||Franny Arnautou (35)||Audrey Cheng (62)|
|Aces||Kate Swanson (2)||Luciana Del Valle (2)|
|Digs||Kate Swanson (24)||Kalie Wood (27)|
|Blocks||Chiara Spain (6)||Chichi Ikwuazom (5)|
NEW YORK — Senior Anja Malesevic closed out her Columbia volleyball career with a collegiate-best 28 kills on Saturday night against Yale. It came as part of a thrilling five-set match at Levien Gymnasium that saw the Bulldogs eventually come out on top (17-25, 30-28, 33-31, 19-25, 8-15).
After posting 27 kills on three different occasions this season, Malesevic finally snapped her career-high on Columbia’s final point of the night. The lone senior also took a career-high 101 attack attempts and added 16 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Her 28 kills tie for the fourth-most in Columbia’s single-match record book.
“During the game, I had no idea where I was with attempts or with kills. I was just playing and enjoying,” said Malesevic, who averages an Ivy-League best 4.22 kills and 4.77 points per set. “I was really happy to find out I broke my record, but I treated this match like every other match.”
Malesevic was joined by her mother, Tatjana, brother, Rade, and uncle, Branko, on the court for Saturday’s pre-match ceremony. Including Saturday night’s totals, Malesevic ends her Columbia career with 724 kills and 356 digs, including 312 kills and 146 digs during her senior campaign.
“It was amazing to have my family here,” added Malesevic, who is originally from Belgrade, Serbia. “They have been supporting me all four years watching on the Ivy League Network, but having them here in person was extra motivation. I’m really happy to have them here so they could see my last match in person.”
Despite the final outcome, Malesevic’s final match in a Columbia uniform was a thriller. The two sides played bonus volleyball to decide the second and third sets, both of which ended in Columbia’s favor. Malesevic had seven kills in each of those sets, including two late in the third with Yale holding set point. Columbia’s 33-31 set victory in the third marked its longest set of the season.
The Lions took a 2-1 lead after fighting off Yale in that third set, but the Bulldogs prevailed by hitting .438 to win the fourth and .318 in the fifth to clinch the match. Kathryn Attar tied Malesevic on the night with 28 kills for Yale.
On top of Malesevic’s performance, the Lions got s season-high 20 kills from sophomore Chichi Ikwuazom. The reigning Co-Rookie of the Year in the Ivy League hit a team-best .389 and added a team-high five blocks. Ikwuazom finished the year with 110 total blocks, which ranks fourth at Columbia for a single season.
Junior Natasha Kosowicz also recorded double-figure kills on the evening with 14. First-year setter Audrey Cheng had a season-high 62 assists on Columbia 72 total kills. Five Lions reached double figures in the digs column, including a match-high 27 by sophomore libero Kalie Wood. Cheng had a dozen to record her fifth double-double of the year, while Kosowicz had 17 digs for her second double-double.
The Lions finish the season with an overall record of 10-13 and a 5-9 mark in the Ivy League.