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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics

Volleyball Renews Rivalry with Cornell on Saturday

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 10/24/2013
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Satuday, Oct. 26 | 2 p.m.
Columbia vs. Cornell
Levien Gymnasium (New York, N.Y.)
Live Stats | Live Video

NEW YORK – The Columbia volleyball team is set to host a rematch with New York State and Ivy League foe Cornell on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. in Levien Gymnasium.

The Lions (5-11, 3-4 Ivy League) will look for a season split after dropping a five-set heartbreaker in the conference opener at Cornell last month. The New York rivals traded victories, 25-12, 22-25, 25-22, 26-28, forcing the deciding set, 8-15.

Meeting for the 58th time, the Big Red holds a commanding 47-10 advantage over Columbia in the all-time series. Despite this season’s loss, the Lions have seen success in the more recent years. Columbia swept the Big Red for two straight seasons, including last year when the Lions posted their best finish in program history, tying for second in the Ivy League.

Follow the Lions
Both live stats and a live video stream will be available via gocolumbialions.com and the Ivy League Digital Network by clicking the links above.

Fans can also follow live updates throughout both matches on Twitter @CUVB and @GoColumbiaLions.

Last Time Out
The Lions split their matches last weekend with a 3-0 sweep over Brown on Friday before falling to Yale on Saturday in Levien Gymnasium. First-place Yale ran its Ivy League winning streak to 21 by handing Columbia a 3-1 loss. Down 2-0 on the match, the Lions rallied for a comeback with a third set victory, but ultimately fell short by scores of 21-25, 12-25, 25-23, 16-25.

Bailey Springer and Zoe Jacobs led the way on the attack for the Lions throughout the weekend. Springer was the only player in double-digit kills in the win over Brown, and added a double-double of 15 kills and 15 digs against Yale. Jacobs posted eight kills against the Bears, including the final three and the game-winning kill. She then added another 12 kills against the Bulldogs on an impressive .417 hitting percentage.

Scouting the Big Red
Cornell comes into the weekend at 6-11 overall, including a 2-5 Ivy League mark, earning its only conference victories over Columbia and Princeton.

The Big Red was defeated by both Yale and Brown last weekend on its home court. Cornell fell to Yale in straight sets and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Bears.

The Big Red sits atop the Ivy League statistics in blocks this season, averaging 2.30 behind Rachel D’Epagnier’s league-leading 1.19 per set. Also leading the conference defensively is Natasha Rowland, who has bumped 5.04 digs per set this season.

Despite its solid defensive efforts, Cornell falls last in the league in both kills and assists while hitting just .188 as a team.

Breanna Wong has recorded a team-best 2.99 kills per set on the year, while Macey Wilson leads the Big Red with a .298 hitting percentage. Alyssa Phelps has been the primary setter for Corbell, averaging 8.74 assists per set.

Scouting the Lions
Columbia will look to reach the .500 mark on the season following Saturday’s match against Cornell. With just three upperclassmen, the Lions are a young team, but their gutsy play and versatility are hard to match when battling it out on the court.

Killing It: A pair of sophomores lead the Columbia attack, paced by Springer’s team-high 3.40 kills per set, good for second in the Ivy League. Teammate Moye-McLaren is close behind, ranked third in the league with 3.10 per set. Earlier this season, Springer recorded back-to-back double-doubles against Binghamton and Seton Hall. She exploded with new career highs of 25 kills and 16 digs versus the Bearcats, and followed that performance with 22 kills and 12 digs in the Cavalier Classic against the Pirates. Moye-McLaren has been a double-double machine for the Lions, recording seven so far this year. The outside hitter had one of her strongest matches of the season in Columbia’s win over Fordham, swinging at a .417 mark with 17 kills and 23 digs.

Block Party: The Lions are currently ranked second behind only Cornell in the Ivy League in blocks, averaging 2.21 per set. Sophomore Katarina Jovicic, senior Savannah Fletcher and first-year Kesi Neblett have been strong assets at the net for the Lions this season, each registering just shy of one block per set. Neblett has accumulated the most, tallying 55 blocks at 0.95 per set.

No Diggity: The Lions are currently ranked 55th in the nation with 15.96 digs per set, led by a team-best 3.37 average by Moye-McLaren.

Jenny on the Block: First-year Jennifer Petrovich has been key in setting the Lions’ offense. She has already racked up five double-doubles on the year and ranks fifth in the Ivy League with 7.62 assists per set.

Youth Volleyball Day
The Columbia volleyball team will be running a Youth Clinic following the conclusion of the match against Cornell on Saturday, Oct. 26 in Levien Gymnasium in an effort to give back to the community and Lions fans. There will be 60 participants from local middle and high schools who will have the opportunity to work with team. Following the clinic, an autograph session with the Columbia volleyball team and coaches is set to take place.

Up Next
After hosting Cornell this Saturday, the Lions will depart for a four-match road swing, beginning Friday, Nov. 1 in a 7 p.m. match at Princeton. Columbia will later return home to Levien Gymnasium for its final pair of home matches of the season Nov. 15-16 against Harvard and Dartmouth.

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