NEW YORK - The Columbia volleyball team rallied back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Dartmouth, 3-2 Saturday, after celebrating the members of the senior class. Columbia won 25-17, 15-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-10 to improve to 15-7 overall, 9-3 in the Ivy League. Seniors Cindy Chen, Nicole Goldhaber and Monique Roberts played their last home Ivy League match, and were honored before the game for their four years of dedication to the Columbia volleyball program.
The Lions opened on a roll in the first set, going up 5-2 on the Big Green with kills from Madeline Rumer and Megan Gaughn. From there, Columbia used a kill from senior Cindy Chen to go up 10-6, and the Lions stayed up for the rest of the set. The widest lead of the set came with a kill from first-year Caitlin Brenton, making it 20-11. A kill from Monique Roberts ended it, 25-17, giving Columbia an early 1-0 lead.
Dartmouth came roaring back to take the next two sets 25-15 and 25-20, barely allowing Columbia to take the lead.
But with the game on the line, Columbia came out strong in the fourth set, ready to down the Big Green. A kill from Heather Braunagel tied the set up at 1-1, and a block by Braunagel and Brenton gave the Lions a 2-1 lead. From there, Dartmouth tied it up, 4-4, but Columbia got a kill from senior Monique Roberts to take the 5-4 lead. That was all the Lions needed, as they wouldn’t relinquish the lead again. A solo block by Braunagel made it 10-6, and Dartmouth called a timeout to rally the troops. Though the Big Green would score two points straight out of the break, they couldn’t sustain it, and Columbia surged ahead again, using a kill from Braunagel to go up 12-9. Columbia eventually rallied to score three straight points to go up 23-19, and a service ace by first-year Molly Winger made it set point, 24-19. Dartmouth scored twice more before a service error handed Columbia the 25-21 win, forcing a fifth set with the match tied at 2-2.
A small taste of success was all that the Lions needed, as they cruised to a win in the fifth. A kill from Brenton made it 6-2, and a kill from Roberts widened the lead to 9-4. From there, all Columbia had to do was hold one, and that they did. Up 14-10, the Lions used a kill from Madeline Rumer to end it, taking the fifth set 15-10, and the match, 3-2.
Once again, Columbia won with a total team effort. Junior Megan Gaughn had 11 kills and 10 digs, while senior Cindy Chen had six kills and a team-high 20 digs. Monique Roberts notched eight kills and three blocks, while Madeline Rumer added eight kills and two blocks of her own. First-year Molly Winger and sophomore Charlee Dyroff bolstered the defense with 14 and 15 digs respectively, while Caitlin Brenton had eight kills and five blocks. Sophomore Savannah Fletcher added six kills, while sophomore Colleen Brennan had 49 assists, eight digs and two blocks in the win.
Up next for the Lions is a mid-week non-league matchup with Sacred Heart, Tuesday, November 8 at 7 p.m.