NEW YORK – After splitting last weekend’s matches at home, the Columbia volleyball team is looking for a sweep, as the Lions prepare to host Dartmouth and Harvard, Friday, October 29 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, October 30 at 5 p.m. This will be the second time Columbia faces each squad this season.
Last Time Out
The Lions are coming off of one of the most exciting weekends in program history. On Friday, October 22, Columbia managed a 3-2 upset of a Princeton squad that had been undefeated in Ivy League play. It was the first time the Lions have beaten Princeton since 2003, and only the third win over the Tigers in program history. With a record crowd of 500+ fans in attendance, it truly was a game to remember. The next time, Columbia came just two points away from forcing a fifth set against defending champions Penn, losing 3-1. With the split, Columbia stands at 12-6 overall, 4-4 in the Ivy League, good for a hold on fourth place.
Scouting the Big Green
One of the most exciting wins of Columbia’s season was a 3-1 victory over a hot Dartmouth squad in September. Since then, the Big Green has cooled considerably, as they are coming off of a five match losing streak, and sit at 12-7 overall, and 3-5 in the Ivy League. Dartmouth and Harvard share fifth place heading into this weekend.
The Big Green are led by Madeline Baird, who paces the team with 286 kills (3.92 kills per set). First-year Elisa Scudder has the best hitting percentage on the squad at .332, while Kendall Houston paces the offense in the setter position, with 464 assists and a 9.10 assists per set average.
Scouting the Crimson
Earlier this season, Columbia and Harvard had a thrilling match, as the Crimson rallied back from being down 2-0 to beat Columbia, 3-2. The Lions will eagerly await Crimson’s arrival in Levien Gym, where Columbia is 10-1 this season, and the Lions don’t plan on increasing the number in the loss column.
Senior Anne Carroll Ingersoll leads the Crimson attack with 2.24 kills per set, with 123 kills on the year. Mikaelle Comrie and Taylor Docter are also threats, averaging 2.08 and 1.96 kills per set respectively. Harvard currently sits tied with Dartmouth for fifth place in the league, with a 3-5 Ivy League record, and 6-14 overall. Last weekend, Harvard split its matches, falling to Yale, 3-1, before beating Brown, 3-1.
Leading the Lions
Sophomore Megan Gaughn continues to be a steady force for Columbia in Ivy League play, as she leads the team, and is third in the Ivy League in kills per set, at 3.86. Junior Monique Roberts leads the league in hitting percentage (.351), and both she and first-year Madeline Rumer have better than a 2.00 kills per set average for the Lions, as Roberts averages 2.50, and Rumer has 2.42. First-years Savannah Fletcher and Katherine Keller are also huge helps for Columbia on defense, as Fletcher leads the league in blocks per set (1.17), while Keller is fourth in the league with 4.67 digs per set. As a defense, Columbia is the best in the League, with the lowest opponent hitting percentage for the season (.147).
Columbia will sneak in a non-conference mid-week match up before hitting the road once again, as the Lions are heading to Sacred Heart, Tuesday, November 2 for a 7 p.m. match. Following that, the Lions take to the New Jersey Turnpike to face off against league leaders Penn and Princeton, Friday, November 5 and 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 6 at 4 p.m.