Volleyball Travels North for Ivy League Weekend Series
NEW YORK – The Columbia volleyball team travels north for its first full Ivy League road weekend with a pair of matches at Dartmouth and Harvard. The Lions are set to battle the Big Green on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. match at Harvard on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Follow the Lions
Live stats and a live video stream will be available for both matches via the Dartmouth and Harvard athletics pages 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
Coming off an Ivy League home-opening split last weekend, the Lions are 3-9 on the season and 1-2 in conference action.
Columbia opened its 2013 Ivy League home slate with a thrilling five-set comeback victory over Penn last Friday by scores of 22-25, 25-11, 20-25, 25-23, 15-7.
Sophomores Bailey Springer and Atlanta Moye-McLaren led the Columbia offense as the only players from either team to post double-figure kills. Springer, who ranks second in the Ivy League in kills per set (3.34), posted a match-high 14 kills to go with seven digs and two services aces. Moye-McLaren, ranked third in the conference in kills (3.11/set), contributed 11 kills and nine digs, coming up just shy of her seventh double-double this season.
Columbia fell short of a comeback against Princeton last Saturday in a tightly contested 3-1 match in Levien Gym. The Lions registered the loss by set scores of 23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 16-25.
Sophomore Lucy Tilton posted a career-high 16 kills to lead the way for Columbia against the Tigers, while Springer chipped in with another 11. First-year Cassie Wes had a team-high 11 digs, and senior Colleen Brennan led the Lions with 35 assists.
Scouting the Big Green
Dartmouth (7-8, 0-3 Ivy League) dropped a pair of conference matches on the road to Brown and Yale. The Big Green fell to the Bears in five sets, rallying from a 2-1 deficit to force a decisive game. On Saturday, Dartmouth fell to defending Ancient Eight Champion Yale in straight sets, 3-0.
Dartmouth has three players posting high kill numbers this year, led by Emily Astarita (2.43 per set). Molly Kornfeind is close behind with 2.40 kills per set, while Paige Caridi is averaging 2.32.
As a team, the Big Green are ranked 42nd in the nation and lead the conference with 16.04 digs per set, paced by a 3.80 average by Holly Harper.
On the defensive side of things, Elisa Scudder is ranked 37th in the nation and leads the Ivy League with 1.29 blocks per set.
Columbia will look to extend its six-match winning streak over the Big Green dating back to 2010. 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 Crimson
Harvard (6-6, 1-2 Ivy League) also fell in both of its matches at Yale and Brown last weekend. First-place Yale swept the Crimson in straight sets on Friday, but Harvard battled it out in a five-set thriller to Brown on Saturday.
First-year Corinne Bain, ranked fifth nationally with 0.61 service aces per set, led the Crimson with the program’s first-ever triple-double at Brown, recording 15 kills, 33 assists and 11 digs. Swinging at a .333 clip, Bain also added three blocks and four aces in the loss.
Offensively, Kathleen Wallace currently leads Harvard with 2.15 kills per set, while Bain holds a team-high 5.90 assists per set and Natalie Doyle has 3.60 digs per set.
As a team, Harvard leads the Ivy League in blocks, averaging 2.24 per set behind Caroline Walters’ 1.09 per set, good for second in the league.
It’s been a tough battle between Columbia and Harvard in recent years. 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 Lions:
Columbia will look earn a winning Ivy League record following its set of road matches at Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend. 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 3.34 kills per set, good for second in the Ivy League. Teammate Moye-McLaren is close behind, ranked third in the league with 3.11 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: Senior Savannah Fletcher and first-year Kesi Neblett have been strong assets defensively for the Lions this season. Fletcher leads the way for Columbia registering 44 blocks (0.94/set). Neblett is close behind, tallying 39 blocks on the season (0.91/set). Neblett made a career-high seven blocks (two solo) against Binghamton, followed by another six versus Seton Hall.
No Diggity: The Lions are currently ranked 48th in the nation with 15.87 digs per set, led by a team-best 3.11 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 second in the Ivy League with 8.14 assists per set.