ATLANTA, Ga. – It took a comeback in five sets by the fourth-ranked team in the country to snap Cornell's 10-match winning streak at this weekend's Emory Volleyball Tournament.
Cornell (13-3 overall) finished 3-1 with three sweeps during a productive southern trip. On Friday, the Rams handled NCAA votes-getter Randolph-Macon (25-22, 25-20, 25-18) and Lynchburg (25-23, 25-22, 25-23).
Cornell dropped Saturday's five-set fight with No. 4 Emory (25-23, 19-25, 17-25, 25-15, 15-7), which moved to 18-1. The Rams closed the tournament with a 25-16, 25-23, 25-12 rout of Brenau.
The Rams had a pair of all-tournament selections in senior outside hitter Kathleen O'Connor and junior middle blocker Taylor Dicus. O'Connor notched a team-best 49 kills (3.5 kps) to go with 28 digs, 10 aces and 10 blocks. Dicus was an efficient .396 hitting with 44 kills (3.14 kps) and a team-high 21 blocks (1.5 bps).
The Rams appeared on their way to a signature win over Emory, taking a 2-sets-to-1 lead on the Eagles' home floor. Emory pulled away in the middle portion of Set 4 to even the match at 2-2.
In the decisive fifth set, Cornell gained early momentum and a 4-3 lead on back-to-back kills by O'Connor and Katie Sickelka. Emory responded with eight unanswered points to put the match out of reach.
O'Connor racked up 24 kills in the Emory match, doubling the next-best player total on the court. She hit .328 and completed her double-double with 10 digs. Dicus and Jessica Noble tallied 12 kills apiece, with Noble adding 14 digs.
Kylea Weber delivered 17 digs. Setters Katherine Devlin and Kelsey Gaillot provided 26 and 22 assists, respectively. The Rams made it tough on themselves with 13 service errors against Emory.
Dicus had 10 kills and Weber 17 digs in the Randolph-Macon win. Against Lynchburg, Dicus and O'Connor led the attack with 14 kills apiece. The Rams had 15 players contribute in the finale with Brenau.
Coming up – Cornell begins its Midwest Conference title defense Friday, Oct. 4, in the MWC opener at St. Norbert (6-12), the coaches' pick to finish second behind the Rams. The Rams travel to Appleton, Wis., Oct. 5 to face league foe Lawrence at 11 a.m., followed by a nonconference match with Lakeland at 1 p.m.