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Cornell finishes year second in conference

By Ross Pattermann

The Cornell Chiefs volleyball program finishes second in the Eastern Lakeland Conference, after wrapping up the regular season, splitting a pair of league matches with Birchwood and New Auburn. The Chiefs pushed the Bobcats to the limit in a five-set road loss, then moved past the New Auburn Trojans on the road in a three-set sweep.

Oct. 15 vs. Birchwood conference (L 2-3)

Cornell found itself in Birchwood, taking on the number one team in the conference. The Bobcats had yet to drop a conference contest through 2019, but it was no surprise it was Cornell who gave them their hardest test, nearly pulling off the upset.

The Chiefs used a combination of blocks, aces and kills, to take an early advantage, as they blazed past the Bobcats in the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-21. But the Bobcats refused to relinquish the victory on their home court and came storming back, to take sets three and four by scores of 25-21 and 25-19.

From there, the match went back and forth, as each team searched the other team’s defense for weaknesses. In the end, it was the Bobcats who would come out on top, preserving their undefeated mark in the conference, escaping with a 16-14 victory in the final set.

Leading the charge for Cornell, was Bryanna Bonander with 17 assists, 7 aces and 6 kills. Michayla Turchen ended the match with 5 kills and Erin Crowell had a strong night, with 16 kills and 7 blocks.

Michaiah Galster chipped in with 11 assists and 7 aces, and Alyssa Helland paved the way on defense, with 22 digs.

Oct. 17 vs. New Auburn conference (W 3-0)

The Chiefs ended their regular season, with a three-set sweep, 25-7, 25-10 and 25-8, of the New Auburn Trojans on the road.

Leading Cornell on the night, was Teaira Spaeth with 7 kills and 5 aces, while Crowell added 7 kills.

The victory gives the Chiefs a 9-3 mark in conference play.