NEW YORK — The Columbia volleyball team travels to Dartmouth and Harvard for its first back-to-back of the Ivy League season. The Lions take on Dartmouth on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by a Saturday matchup against Harvard at 5 p.m.
Fans can watch the Lions all weekend long on the Ivy League Network. Live stats will also be available courtesy of DartmouthSports.com and GoCrimson.com.
The Lions (5-5, 0-1 Ivy) began the Ivy League season with a four-set loss at Cornell last Saturday. The Lions overcame Cornell’s 8-1 start in the second set, 26-24, but the Big Red hit above .300 in both the third in fourth sets to win the match. Despite the result, sophomore Chichi Ikwuazom registered a season-high 10 blocks, including six in the second set alone. First-year Jamie Dailey led the offense with a team-high 14 kills, while junior Luciana Del Valle went for 11 kills, eight digs and two blocks. The loss was just Columbia’s second in its last nine Ivy League openers, all of which have come against Cornell.
ACING THE COMPETITION
Columbia ranks No. 3 nationally and sits atop the Ivy League in aces per set (1.97). The Lions have gone for 10 or more aces in three matches, including a season-high 13 aces on opening weekend against The Citadel (Sept. 2). Sophomore Grace Campbell leads the team with 17 total. Campbell ranks No. 5 nationally in aces per set (0.59), which is also the top mark in the Ivy League.
PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF
Reigning Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Ivy League selection Chichi Ikwuazom ranks No. 36 nationally in hitting percentage (.393). Ikwuazom also ranks No. 1 in the Ivy League in hitting according to the NCAA’s statistical minimum of 3.33 attacks per set. Last season, as a rookie, Ikwuazom hit .427 to finish the season No. 4 in the NCAA.
Ikwuazom is also among the top 100 nationally in blocks per set (1.19) heading into the weekend. The New York native went for a season-high 10 blocks in Saturday’s Ivy League opener at Cornell, marking her third career 10-block match. Last season, Ikwuazom led the Ivy League with 1.37 blocks per set, including 25 block solos.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Columbia plays its first five Ivy League contests on the road. The road trip started last Saturday at Cornell. Following this weekend’s matches at Dartmouth and Harvard, the Lions travel to Yale (Oct. 6) and Brown (Oct. 7), before finally returning home to play Penn (Oct. 13) and defending league champion Princeton (Oct. 14). Columbia also played its first five league matches away from home in 2015, going 2-3 through the first five contests with victories over Cornell and Penn.
Total Kills – Luciana Del Valle (98, 2.65/set)
Hitting Pct. – Chichi Ikwuazom (.393)
Assists – Grace Campbell (235, 8.10/set)
Digs – Kalie Wood (143, 3.67/set)
Aces – Grace Campbell (17, 0.59/set)
Total Blocks – Chichi Ikwuazom (44, 1.19/set)
Total Points – Chichi Ikwuazom (112.5, 3.04/set)
IVY LEAGUE HONORS
Week 2 (Sep. 4-10) - Rookie of the Week: Jamie Dailey - Honor Roll: Luciana Del Valle, Anja Malesevic
Week 3 (Sep. 11-17) - Honor Roll: Chichi Ikwuazom
Week 4 (Sep. 18-24) - Honor Roll: Jamie Dailey, Chichi Ikwuazom
INSIDE THE SERIES
Dartmouth holds a 24-22 edge in the all-time series, but Columbia has dominated the series 11-3 since 2010. The Lions won seven straight series meetings and 10 of 11 from 2010-14, including five straight in Hanover. Columbia swept the season series in 2016 by winning six of seven sets contested.
Harvard holds a 37-16 lead in the all-time series, but the Lions have contested the series nearly even since 2010. Columbia is 6-7 against the Crimson over the last 13 meetings, but Harvard has not been defeated by the Lions in Cambridge since 2012. Led by the efforts of its senior class, Columbia earned a four-set victory in last year’s home finale (25-20, 30-32, 29-27, 25-14).
Dartmouth (4-6, 0-1 Ivy) began the Ivy League season last Friday at Harvard, falling in a close four-set match (12-25, 25-19, 23-25, 20-25). The Big Green were led by the efforts of three freshmen, as Olympia Nagel-Caland posted a career-best 12 kills, Tori Dozier tallied 35 assists and Lauren Douglas came up with nine digs. Nagel-Caland was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for her performance, earning the Big Green’s first such selection since 2013. Dartmouth leads the Ivy League in blocks per set (2.54) and opponent hitting percentage (.178).
Harvard (6-4, 1-0 Ivy) has won five straight, including last Friday’s Ivy opener over Dartmouth. The Crimson went 3-0 to win the New England Challenge (Sept. 14-15), earning a five-set victory over Boston College, a four-set win at Northeastern and a sweep of UMass Lowell. Junior Christina Cornelius hit .467 and went for a career-high 18 kills paired with 10 digs to earn a double-double in the victory over Dartmouth. Harvard has the Ivy League’s most effective attack, entering the weekend with a .242 team hitting percentage, which also ranks among the top 70 in the NCAA.