NEW YORK - The Columbia volleyball team will wrap up the 2013 season on its home court this weekend with a pair of Ivy League matches vs. Harvard and Dartmouth.
Columbia (5-16, 3-9 Ivy League) will take on Harvard on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. followed by a 5 p.m. match against Dartmouth on Saturday, Nov. 16 for Senior Night.
Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night
Friday night will be Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night. All faculty and staff members at Columbia are encouraged to attend this special evening. Admission is FREE and the first 250 fans will receive a FREE Columbia Volleyball water bottle.
Celebrating the Seniors
On Saturday, the Columbia volleyball team will honor its two seniors, Colleen Brennan and Savannah Fletcher, who have both been a member of the squad for all four years. Brennan, a setter and two-time captain who hails from Glenview, Ill., has tallied 2,327 career assists as a top-notch setter for the Lions, moving her into second in the all-time Columbia record books. Fletcher, a middle blocker from Freeland, Wash., has accumulated 202 blocks in her career as a LIon to rank sixth in the record books.
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.
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard (13-8, 8-4 Ivy League) enters the weekend tied with Penn for second place in the conference standings after falling to the Quakers in five sets last weekend.
Leading the way for the Crimson’s offense is Caroline Walters, swinging at a .314 clip, and Kathleen Wallace, averaging 2.57 kills per set. Defensively, Caroline Holte is ranked fourth in the league with 1.01 blocks per set, while Kristen Casey holds a team-best 3.18 digs per set.
It’s been a tough battle between Columbia and Harvard in recent years. Harvard downed the Lions in straight sets earlier this year. The teams split matches over the last three seasons, including a road win for each in 2012. The Lions pulled off a 3-1 victory at Harvard last year by pulling out clutch wins in extra points in the first and final sets (27-25, 19-25, 25-18, 28-26). Brennan established a career-high 57 assists to set up the Lions for the win.
Scouting the Big Green
Emily Astarita leads Dartmouth with a team-high 2.79 kills per set, while Stacey Benton has 8.88 assists per set. On the defensive side, Elisa Scudder ranks second in the league with 1.06 blocks per set, while Holly Harper is averaging 3.22 digs on the year.
Columbia will look to extend its seven-match winning streak over the Big Green dating back to 2010. In their matchup earlier this year, Columbia was down 0-2 following the first two sets and rallied for a come from behind victory to defeat Dartmouth in a five-set thriller. Last season, the Lions downed Dartmouth 3-1 at home and 3-0 in New Hampshire. Current sophomores Bailey Springer and Atlanta Moye-McLaren had a solid outing in Levien against the Big Green a season ago, hitting .579 and .545, respectively, to lift Columbia to a season-high .348 hitting percentage.
Scouting the Lions
Columbia is currently 5-16 on the season, including a 3-9 Ivy League mark after dropping its last six matches. 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 league-best 3.55 kills per set. Teammate Moye-McLaren is close behind with 3.10 kills 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 six 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 third in the league in blocks, averaging 2.13 per set. Senior Savannah Fletcher and first-year Kesi Neblett have been strong assets defensively for the Lions this season, especially at the net. Neblett leads the way for Columbia with just under one block per set (0.95). Fletcher and Jovicic are close behind, making 0.94 and 0.83 blocks per set, respectively.
No Diggity: The Lions are currently ranked second in the Ivy League and 65th in the nation with 15.94 digs per set. Senior Molly Winger has tallied a team-high 3.39 digs per set average, marking the sixth highest in the conference this year.
Jenny on the Block: First-year Jennifer Petrovich has been key in setting the Lions’ offense. She has racked up five double-doubles on the year and ranks fifth in the Ivy League with 7.39 assists per set.