NEW YORK - Columbia volleyball bounced back from a loss to Harvard last weekend in style, as the Lions beat Cornell soundly in Levien Gym Friday night, beating the Big Red 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-14). With the win, the Lions are now 12-6 overall and 6-2 in the Ivy League.
The Lions led for most of the match, with Cornell taking the lead only a handful of times for a brief moment. Set one opened with a Columbia kill by junior Megan Gaughn, and the Lions were off, up 1-0. From there, Columbia consistently stayed ahead of the Big Red, widening the lead to 12-9 before Cornell started to mount a comeback. Cornell kept the score tied for several points, eventually taking the lead from Columbia 17-16. But the Lions answered with a kill from junior Heather Braunagel to tie it up, and a kill from Gaughn gave Columbia the lead again, 18-17, and they wouldn't trail in the first set again. Cornell scored two points facing set point to stay in the match, but a kill from sophomore Savannah Fletcher ended it in Columbia's favor, 25-22.
The first set would prove to be the closest of the day, as the Lions began to pull away. Set two started with a Cornell attack error, followed by a kill from sophomore Madeline Rumer, to see Columbia take a 2-0 lead. The Lions would increase that lead to 9-6 with kills from Braunagel and Gaughn, and though Cornell closed the gap to 14-12, Columbia began to pull away for good. A service ace from sophomore Colleen Brennan made it 20-13, and from there, it was only a matter of time. A kill from Braunagel made it set point, 24-18, and fittingly, a kill from Braunagel ended it, 25-18. Columbia had a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
The third set saw Cornell go up 3-1 on the Lions early, but a service ace by Gaughn tied it up at 3-3, and a kill from Rumer put the Lions ahead 4-3. Again, that was all Columbia needed, as Cornell wouldn't get close again. Up 13-10, a kill from Fletcher sparked a run by the Lions, and Columbia would score seven points in a row before the Big Red would get back on the board. Up 21-11, the Lions had a comfortable lead, and it only took a few points to make it official. First-year Denise Dearman came in for the last few points, and made her time on the court count, as she had the game-winning kill for Columbia, taking set three 25-14, and the match, 3-0.
Junior Heather Braunagel led the Lions, as she had 15 kills, hitting an outstanding .478. She also had a dig and two blocks in the win. Junior Megan Gaughn had yet another double-double, as she finished with 12 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Madeline Rumer had seven kills and 10 digs, while first-year Caitlin Brenton hit .250 on the way to eight kills and three blocks. Sophomore Savannah Fletcher had six kills (hitting .600), along with a team-high four blocks, including one solo. Sophomore setter Colleen Brennan also had a double-double, with 44 assists and 11 digs in the win, while sophomore Charlee Dyroff led the defense with 24 digs.
Up next for the Lions is another home Ivy League weekend, as Columbia will host league-leader Yale, Friday, October 28th at 7 p.m., and Brown, Saturday, October 29 at 5 p.m.