ITHACA, N.Y. - Columbia volleyball defeated Cornell for the second time this season in a thrilling 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon by scores of 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 18-16.
Columbia (9-8, 4-4 Ivy League), which opened Ivy League action with a 3-0 sweep over Cornell (6-13, 2-6 Ivy League) earlier this season on its home court, earned its fourth consecutive win over the Big Red behind a season-high six players in double figures.
Senior Megan Gaughn made history as she became the first-ever Columbia volleyball player to reach the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig mark. Following her dominating 16-kill, 18-dig performance today vs. Cornell, Gaughn has recorded an impressive career double-double, accumulating 1,170 kills and 1,007 digs.
Also recording a double-double was first-year Bailey Springer, who recorded 12 kills and 10 digs. Junior Colleen Brennan came just shy of posting a double-double with a career high-tying 51 assists and nine digs. Caitlin Brenton put up 10 kills on the day, while Charlee Dyroff recorded 17 digs. Molly Winger was the final Columbia player in double figures as she posted 13 digs.
The Lions used an early 5-0 run in the first set to build up to a 6-2 lead. Cornell went ahead, 8-7, after scoring four unanswered points, but Columbia quickly regained its lead by scoring the next two points. The set went back-and-forth until the Lions embarked on an 8-2 run to take a comfortable 15-10 lead. The Big Red worked its way back up to even the score, 20-20. The set would be tied three more times before Columbia scored three unanswered points that included two kills by Gaughn to close out the set with a victory.
The second set started off in Cornell's favor up to a 6-6 tie, when the Lions scored three straight to take their first lead. The set became neck-and-neck, with the lead reversing several times. Columbia took control following a 17-17 tie, breaking up the close match with three consecutive kills from hot-attacking Gaughn. Four different Lions recorded kills to close out the match, including two by Alex Reale, while Cornell scored just twice more en route to a second set Columbia victory.
The Lions continued to roar in the third set, wasting no time in posting a 10-2 advantage. Columbia held on to its lead all the way up to a 20-20 tie, during which Cornell scored four straight to go ahead, 22-20. A kill by Lucy Tilton would be the final point for the Lions as the Big Red finished off the set with three more points for the win.
The fourth set was another battle, with the score tied on nine occasions. With the score knotted at 23-all, Cornell scored two in a row with kills by Breanna Wong and Sierra Young to force a deciding set.
Needing a win in the final set, Columbia fought to go ahead, and did not do so until a kill by Denise Dearman followed by a Cornell attack error pushed the Lions ahead, 16-15. The Big Red quickly evened the score one last time with a Young kill, but two more consecutive kills by Gaughn finalized the Columbia win.
Columbia continues Ivy League road action next weekend with a 7 p.m. Friday match at Yale followed by a 5 p.m. match on Saturday at Brown.