NEW YORK - The Columbia volleyball team finished the 2011 season with a loss on the road to Princeton, 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-6).
The match got off to a bad start for the Lions, as Princeton opened the first set with a 10-2 lead on the Lions. Though Columbia would go on a 4-0 run to close the lead to 13-7,and a 5-0 run to nearly catch the Tigers, 22-20, Princeton finished set one on top, 25-22.
The second set saw a bit of a better start for the Lions, as Columbia tied the set up 3-3 with a kill from senior Cindy Chen. With Nicole Goldbaber serving, the Lions went on a 5-0 run, including back-to-back kill from Kelsey Musselman, a block from Monique Roberts and Chen, a kill from Chen and a service ace from Goladhaber. Up 8-3, it was Columbia’s turn to have a comfortable lead. It wouldn’t stay that way for long, as the Tigers notched a run of their own, scoring five unanswered points to tie the set up at 18. But Columbia used a kill from Megan Gaughn to go up 21-20, and the Lions had a five-point run, including an ace from Musselman, to take set two, 25-20, tying the match up at 1-1.
The third set proved to be the closest of the match so far, as the two teams stayed locked together, alternating leads and consistently tying the score. It wasn’t until Princeton went on a 5-0 run to go up 23-16 that either team proved to be above the fray. Though Columbia would notch kills from Heather Braunagel and Madeline Rumer, Princeton took set three and the 2-1 lead, 25-18.
The fourth set saw Columbia battling to stay in the match, and battle the Lions did. Tied up at 2-2, the Lions used a kill from first-year Caitlin Brenton, followed by a kill from Chen to go up, 4-2. From there, Gaughn helped widen the lead with a kill followed by back-to-back service aces, putting the Lions up 11-6. Princeton managed to tie it up at 18, but a kill from Caitlin Brenton sparked a 6-1 run for the Lions that gave them the fourth set, 25-20, forcing a fifth set in the match.
Princeton came out rolling in the fifth, however, quickly going up 10-3 on the Lions. Though Columbia managed to score three more times in the fifth, the lead was too much to overcome, and the Tigers took set 5, 15-6, and the match, 3-2.
Megan Gaughn led the Lions with 14 kills and 15 digs, while Charlee Dyroff led the team on defense with 25 digs. Senior Cindy Chen had eight kills and 15 digs, while setter Kelsey Mussleman had 31 assists, three service aces and 15 digs in the loss. Senior Monique Roberts added nine kills and five blocks, while sophomore Savannah Fletcher had eight kills and four blocks.
With the loss, the Lions finish the season 15-10 overall and 9-5 in the Ivy League.