W. VOLLEYBALL | No. 1 is theirs to lose

After a disappointing loss to Penn at home last weekend, the Bulldogs saw their undefeated streak end. This weekend, they will take to the road as they look to defend their spot on top of the Ivy League standings.

However, that’s easier said than done.

The Elis (11-4, 5-1 Ivy) will finish their first leg of conference play on the road against both Cornell (6-10, 5-1 Ivy) and Columbia (5-10, 0-6 Ivy). The Big Red is currently tied with the Bulldogs for the top spot among the Ancient Eight.

On Friday night, the Bulldogs will fight for sole possession of first place among Ivy competitors when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y.

After losing the first five games of its season, Cornell was considered a long shot in the Ivy League. But the Big Red found its momentum when it counted — against Ivy competitors — which then put them atop the conference standings.

Their rapid ascent to the top reminds fans that they are just one year removed from back-to-back Ivy League Championships in 2005 and 2006.

Cornell is led by middle blocker Emily Borman, who was just named Ivy League Player of the Week. For the past three weeks, the award had been given to a Bulldog.

Although Borman might be the powerhouse on offense, the Big Red is at the top of the standings because of their defense. Cornell leads the conference in blocks and digs, averaging 2.09 and 16.22 per set, respectively.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs will face Columbia. The Lions are led by Amalia Viti, who is first in the league in kills, averaging 4.11 per set. The Lions have never won a conference championship, and are last in the Ivy League. They are currently winless in the Ancient Eight, and that’s one streak that the Bulldogs aren’t looking to break.

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