The Yale volleyball team (12–2, 2–1 Ivy) is looking to bounce back from a narrow defeat to Penn last Saturday as the Bulldogs take their first Ivy League road trip to visit Cornell (5–10, 2–2) on Friday and Columbia (10–7, 1–3) on Saturday.

The Bulldogs have not played on the road in nearly a month, and they are preparing for the new mentality.

“It will be interesting to be out on the road again,” said libero Kelly Ozurovich ’11.

Yale will first face Cornell, a team the Elis swept last year in two three-set victories. However, Cornell recently beat Dartmouth, which has the second-best Ivy League record in the conference, so the match could prove to be tougher than in the past. Nevertheless, Yale is still riding an eight-match, Ivy League, road winning streak as well as a six-match winning streak following a loss, both dating back to last year. Rebounding from the five-set loss against Penn will certainly be motivation — along with staying in the Ivy League championship hunt — for the Bulldogs to keep those streaks alive.

On Saturday, Yale heads to the Big Apple to face Columbia, another team the Bulldogs beat last year in two sweeps. But like Cornell, the Lions have improved greatly from last year and should test the Bulldogs.

Still, the Bulldogs are led by some of the best players in the conference and are the favorites. Ozurovich, who earned her 1,000th career dig on Oct. 2 against Brown, is ninth in all of Division I with an average of 5.55 digs per set this season. Outside hitter Cat Dailey ’10, the reigning Ivy League player of the year, currently leads the Ivy League in kills with 4.28 per set.

As a team, Yale currently leads the Ivy League in blocks (2.33 per set), digs (18.36 per set) and opponent hitting percentage (.122).

This weekend may prove crucial in the Ivy League championship race, and it does not get less important next week when the Elis face archrival Harvard.