NEW YORK - The Columbia volleyball team ended one of the best seasons in program history in style, as the Lions swept Brown, 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-19), to end the year with an 8-6 Ivy League record, tying the program's best ever finish in the league. The team finished with an overall record of 16-9, the best record in program history and ties for the most wins in program history.
The match was one of the quickest of the season for the Lions, as all three sets were played in just over one hour. But going into the first set, it didn't look like it would be a quick match. From the first serve, Brown and Columbia locked in a battle, as the two teams traded points event. But with the score tied at eight, Columbia went on a run. Sparked by a Brown attack error, the lions used a service ace from first-year Colleen Brennan to go up, 10-8. From there, the scored four straight points to complete the 6-0 run, using kills by first-year Christina Campbell and sophomore Heather Braunagel. The swing in momentum proved to be too much for the Bears, as facing a 14-9 deficit, they would score only six times more in the set. Columbia, however, would have no problem scoring, and in quick order, the first set was over, 25-15.
The second set was almost faster than the first, ad Columbia jumped out to a 10-2 lead before Brown could get a handle on the pace. It didn't get better for the Bears, however, as a block by Monique Roberts and Colleen Brennan made it 15-5 in favor of the Lions. The Bears were able to match the Lions point for point in the following plays, but at 20-10, the lead was too much for Brown to overcome. A kill from sophomore Megan Gaughn ended set two, 25-16, and Columbia was up, 2-0.
Set three saw Brown come out swinging, but used a kill from Roberts to go up, 3-2, and stay up for the rest of the set. Back-to-back kills from Erin Longinotti gave the Lions their biggest lead of the set, 20-10. Brown managed to stage a rally, scoring nine more points before the end of the set, but Columbia managed to come out on top, take set three, 25-19, and the match, 3-0.
Senior Martina Kajanova was honored before the game for her four years with the program prior to the match, and she had six digs in the effort. First-year Madeline Rumer led the Lions with 10 kills in the win, while Katherine Keller led the defense with 14 digs. The Lions hit well as a team, with a .376 attack percentage on the day, and the stats reflected that, as multiple Lions were crucial to the win. Braunagel had seven kills, hitting .429, and three blocks, while junior Cindy Chen had two kills and eight digs. Gaughn led the all around effort, with eight kills, seven digs and two blocks, while first-year setter Colleen Brennan was outstanding, with 34 assists, 10 digs and two blocks. Roberts added five kills and four blocks, while Campbell had seven kills and Longinotti added four.
The match marks the end of the 2010 season for the Lions. Final Ivy League standings and All-Ivy teams will be announced later in the week.