Small College Sports

Cornell volleyball's season of high expectations now includes a win over rival Coe

Rams overwhelm host Kohawks in 4 sets, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15

Cornell volleyball coach Jeff Meeker (center) talks to his team after the Rams defeated Coe in four sets, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15 in a non-conference match at Kohawk Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. (Douglas Miles/The Gazette)
Cornell volleyball coach Jeff Meeker (center) talks to his team after the Rams defeated Coe in four sets, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15 in a non-conference match at Kohawk Arena in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. (Douglas Miles/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — While it no longer figures into its conference plans, Cornell’s volleyball rivalry with Coe remains an important piece to any successful season.

After being swept on their home floor last season, score this one for the Rams.

“We just came out and we really wanted to win,” Cornell junior libero Sydney Meeker said after the Rams defeated Coe in four sets, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15, Wednesday night at Kohawk Arena. “This is a really important match for us every year. It is the first match of the Bremner Cup. … It kind of means a lot to us, so to be able to come out and play a really good team on their home floor. I am really proud of us.”

Meeker is one of three Mount Vernon alumni — junior middle blocker Katie Wycoff and impactful freshman right side hitter Rory Light — on the Cornell roster, which returns a trio of second-team all-Midwest Conference selections in Meeker, junior middle blocker Allison Eikenberry and sophomore outside hitter Alissa McEndaffer.

The Rams (3-1) have reached the NCAA tournament seven times since 2011, and were picked by MWC coaches to win the league for the eighth year in a row.

“We do a really good job of playing team volleyball,” said Cornell Coach Jeff Meeker, who is leading the Rams for his 18th season. “Our players really like each other, they love being around each other and that will be a strength as we go through this season.”

McEndaffer led the Rams with 19 kills, while Eikenberry added 13. Cornell senior outside hitter Barbie Becker posted a team-high 26 digs, Meeker added 17 and junior setter Danielle Amonica accounted for 42 assists.

With the match tied at a set apiece, Cornell closed set 3 with a 7-2 surge, then jumped on Coe with a 19-8 explosion to begin the decisive fourth set.

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“We started strong,” Sydney Meeker said. “We kept that energy and that drive to win every single ball throughout the whole set.”

The victory gives Cornell the first point of the 2019-20 school year in the Bremner Cup, the yearly competition between both schools across all sports.

Coe (2-3) — picked to finish third in the American Rivers Conference — was led by junior right side hitter Morgan Kluesner, who tallied 15 kills.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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