NEW YORK - Upon recently wrapping up a six-game home stand, Columbia volleyball hits the road to continue Ivy League play vs. Princeton and Penn this weekend. The Lions will take on Princeton on Friday, October 5 at 7 p.m. in Dillon Gym, followed by Penn on Saturday, October 6 at 5 p.m. at the Palestra.
Columbia (7-5, 2-1 Ivy League) had a five game winning streak snapped by Yale last weekend as the Bulldogs overcame the Lions, 3-0. Earlier that weekend, Columbia defeated Brown in an exciting, 3-2, come-from-behind victory.
Friday's match vs. Columbia and first-place Princeton (6-7, 3-0 Ivy League) marks a key contest between two of the League's top three teams. The Tigers enter the match with their sights on extending their winning streak to four, while Columbia looks to get back on track in its first Ivy League road matches of the season.
The Lions are led by a duo of the top Ivy League hitters in Heather Braunagel, who currently ranks 16th in the nation hitting with a .407 hitting percentage, and Savannah Fletcher, who is hitting .396 on the season. Senior Megan Gaughn leads the Lions with 78 kills and 2.00 kills/set.
As a team, Columbia ranks 16th in the nation and first in conference play with 2.88 blocks per set. Braunagel and Savannah Fletcher rank 1-2 in the Ivy League with 1.34 and 1.28 blocks/set, respectively.
Princeton is led by the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week in senior outside hitter Lydia Rudnick, who posted consecutive doubles-doubles to help boost the Tigers to key road Ivy League wins at Harvard and Dartmouth. Rudnick leads the Tigers with 195 kills and 4.15 kills/set.
Penn (6-8, 1-2 Ivy League), which leads the nation with 21.25 digs per set, split last weekend's matches with a 3-0 sweep over Dartmouth and a 3-2 loss to Harvard.
Leading the way for the Quakers is libero Dani Shepherd, who has been the national pacesetter for three consecutive weeks. Shepherd has 6.43 digs/set going into the upcoming weekend, while Emma White leads the Penn attack unit with 2.76 kills/set.