The 2011 season ended on a sour note for Columbia volleyball (15-10, 9-5 Ivy) as the squad was swept on the road this weekend at Penn (10-14. 6-8 Ivy) and Princeton (18-8, 11-3 Ivy).
In its final weekend of play, the squad first traveled to Philadelphia to face off against the Quakers. In their first match this season at Levien on Oct. 8, the Lions managed to narrowly defeat a competitive Penn squad in five closely contested sets.
The second contest witnessed another closely contested meeting that forced another five-set match, although this time the Lions were unable to tally a win. In what has been a common theme throughout the season, the Lions on the road struggled during their first set. Despite close play by the Light Blue, the Quakers took the first game, 30-28.
Columbia came back in the second and third sets, winning both by scores of 25-20, setting the stage for a pivotal fourth set during which the Lions’ luck ran out. The Quakers came from behind to win the match, beating the Lions 25-12 and again by 15-9 in the final sets of the night.
In its last match of the season, the team traveled to New Jersey to face rival Princeton. With Yale’s victory over Harvard on Friday clinching the Bulldogs’ claim to the Ivy crown, nothing but second place was at stake during this match. Princeton, which was 10-3 in the conference, was already in second place. But Columbia, with an Ivy record of 9-4, could have taken a share of second place with a win at Princeton.
However, this wasn’t meant to be as the Tigers got off to a strong start, taking the first set 25-22. Columbia took the second set 25-20, securing the win with a five point run after both squads were tied 20-20. The two teams went back and forth throughout the night. The Tigers clinched the third set 25-18 and the Lions came back against to win the fourth set 25-20, coming back from a 16-10 deficit in the middle of the game. Unfortunately for the Lions, Princeton dominated the final set of the contest 15-6 and effectively ended the Light Blue's season.
With the loss to Princeton, the Light Blue closed out the year 15-10 (9-5 Ivy) and third in the conference.
Junior outside hitter Megan Gaughn led the team in kills, scoring 284 through the course of the season. Five Lions—Madeline Rumer, Caitlin Brenton, Heather Braunagel, Monique Roberts, and Cindy Chen—had over 100 kills during the season. On defense, sophomore libero Charlee Dryoff led the squad with 425 digs, and four other Lions—Chen, Gaughn, Colleen Brennan, and Molly Winger—also had 100 or more digs for the season.