October 6, 2006

Bears Nearly Topple Cornell, Lose 3-2

Oct. 6, 2006

Box Score

Providence, RI - In what will described as an instant classic by those in attendance, the Brown volleyball team (4-11, 0-3) fell just short of beating two-time defending Ivy League Champion Cornell Friday night, falling 3-2. All five games were heavily contested in what was a two-hour, nine-minute slugfest that featured more than a few epic rallies, with the Big Red eventually winning by scores of 30-25, 25-30, 30-26, 29-31, and 15-11. Sophomore Lyndse Yess (Eugene, OR) had a monster night for the Bears, tying for the match high with 19 kills while also tallying 13 digs, five service aces, two solo blocks, and a .314 hitting percentage.

The fourth game was easily the highlight of the match. Brown jumped out to an early lead that it extended to as much as five points at 11-6. However, the Big Red, sensing victory if they took the fourth game, chopped away at the lead, tying things up at 17-17 and working to a 21-19 lead. The Bears answered back, going ahead again by as many as three before Cornell came back again to take a 29-28 lead. With the visitors serving match point, Brown held tough, winning the next three points on kills by senior Rikki Baldwin (Magnolia, TX), senior Jessica Kondrick (San Diego, CA), and Yess. Junior setter Alanna McDonald (Seattle, WA) and Yess keyed the Brown effort in the game, with the former setting 11 of her 29 assists while the latter had eight kills.

In the decisive fifth game, Cornell's superior presence at the net finally proved too much for Brown to handle. Eight of the Big Red's nine kills in the game were by players standing six feet or taller, including three each by 6'4" Joanna Weiss and 6'1" Alaina Town.

To open the match, the Bears put a bit of a scare into the Big Red, but little else, as the visitors rode a five-point run after the opening game was tied at nine to the five-point victory. However, Brown kept its opponents on their toes for the rest of the match by shifting its offensive flow between two setters. After sophomore setter Natalie Meyers (Huntington Beach, CA) set the entire first game, McDonald started the second to mostly positive results. The two switched back and forth the rest of the way, with Head Coach Diane Short riding the hot hand until the team needed a boost offensively.

For the match, junior Julie Mandolini-Trummel (Crystal Lake, IL) was second on the team with 17 kills, also posting a .368 hitting percentage. Senior co-captain Shawn-Elyse Tulac (Claremont, CA) and Baldwin followed with 16 and 15 kills, respectively. Meyers and McDonald split the assists almost perfectly, totaling 30 and 29, respectively. Junior libero Katie Lapinski (Niles, IL) had a match-high 29 digs.

On Saturday, the team will try to tally its first Ivy League victory when it hosts Columbia at 4 p.m. at the Pizzitola Center.