After two league losses at home over the weekend, the volleyball team is returning to the basics.
Losses to the University of Pennsylvania (13-4, 4-1 Ivy) Friday night and Princeton (10-3, 3-2) Saturday have left the Bulldogs (7-8, 1-4) without much room for error in their nine remaining Ancient Eight matches.
But instead of finding new ways to succeed in game situations, the Bulldogs are returning to fundamentals.
“We need a good base to get started again in Ivy League competition,” deep setter Jessica Kronstadt ’04 said. “We have to stay positive and realize that in order to beat these teams, we have to play to our full potential, which we’ve only done in spurts this year.”
Setter Jacqueline Becker ’06 said the Bulldogs need to work on maintaining their composure throughout each match.
“We’ve been struggling with the fundamentals of volleyball — passing, working as a team, staying together, having similar goals,” Becker said. “We tend to lose it toward the end of games. We’re always in there, but then we make a few mistakes in a row and people start hanging their heads and dwelling on their errors.”
The Bulldogs never found an offensive rhythm against Penn as the Quakers ran to a 3-0 (30-19, 30-22, 30-26) victory.
Outside hitter Jana Freeman ’05 led the Bulldogs against the Quakers with 12 kills, while setter Taryn Gallup ’04 had 11 and Kelly McAlearney ’05, subbing for the injured Dana Loberg ’03 at outside hitter, added 10.
Saturday’s match against Princeton started out the same way, and although the Bulldogs attempted to claw back, they ended up on the short side of a 3-1 (30-23, 30-21, 26-30, 30-24) decision.
Middle hitter Renee Lopes ’06 had 13 kills and only one error for a .571 hitting percentage, while Freeman again led the team with 14 kills. Deep setter Joey Lee ’03 had 18 digs.
Becker, who had 84 assists in the two matches, played competitively for the first time against her sister Marissa, who is a junior at Princeton and led the Tigers with eight digs.
“It was fun, we were making remarks to each other under the net,” Becker said. “I know a lot of the people on the Princeton team from club volleyball, so it was enjoyable.”
Becker said that her parents, who sat between the two teams’ fan sections, will be in attendance when the Bulldogs and Tigers square off in Princeton Nov. 15. But if the Elis can’t get their fundamentals straightened out quickly, the Becker sisters may find themselves playing for family bragging rights rather than an Ivy title.
The Elis will get a chance to improve their Ivy League record this weekend when they travel to Columbia Friday and Cornell Saturday.