October 26, 2012

All-Around Effort Leads Brown Over Cornell, 3-1

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown volleyball team returned to the Pizzitola Sports Center on Friday, taking on Ivy League rival Cornell and enjoyed its home confines in a 3-1 (26-24, 25-15, 25-23, 25-20) victory over the Big Red. It was an all-around effort that led to the win as six players each tallied four-plus kills while the Bears totaled nine service aces in their first home, conference win of the season. 

It was the sophomore class that shouldered much of the offensive load as both Taylor Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and Brittany Link (Hinckley, Ohio) each tallied nine kills to lead Brown (6-13, 2-7). Cornell (6-14, 2-7) was keyed by Rachel D'Epagnier who had a match-high 16 kills.

"It was a great Ivy win for us in which we really served well," said head coach Diane Short. "We went with a new lineup tonight and it worked extremely well for us. We also had a few key aces at the right time which helped turn the match in our favor."

The first set was highly competitive with the team trading runs until the 24-all mark. It was senior Katrina Post (Pasadena, Calif.) who came through with the tie-breaking point to bring the Bears to match-point and eventual 26-24. 

Brown rolled in the second, jumping out to a 16-8 lead. Bruno kept its foot on the gas and closed out a 10-point win on a kill from Bantle.

After the break, Cornell regrouped to take a close third set. With the scored tied at 23-all, D'Epagnier put down a key kill before assisting on a block to put the Big Red on the board.

Cornell led 5-4 early in the final frame, but Brown continued to battle, later taking a 7-6 lead and never looked back, holding the advantage for the rest of the set. Cornell closed within two points at 22-20, but a kill and service ace from junior Alexandra Rieckhoff (Laguna Beach, Calif.) brought the Bears to match point and kill from Link closed out the game.

Sophomore libero Kathryn Conner (Newport Beach, Calif.) posted a match-high with 20 digs while Rieckhoff was not far behind with 18 of her own in addition to three blocks, three service aces and three kills.

Sophomore setter Maryl Vanden Bos (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) ran the offense for the Bears and registered a match-high 24 assists.

Brown returns to the court tomorrow with a 5 p.m. showdown with Columbia on the Williams Court.