With two home games lined up against Ivy League rivals Cornell and Columbia this past weekend, Bruno claimed victory in four sets (26-24, 25-15, 25-23, 25-20) Friday against the Big Red, while falling short to Columbia the following night in a three-set shutout (13-25, 20-25, 17-25).
Brown (6-14, 2-8 Ivy) trumped Cornell (6-15, 3-7) in hitting during the first match, with middle blocker Taylor Bantle '15 and outside hitter Brittany Link '15 contributing to the team's victory with nine kills each. The Bears also dominated with service aces, racking up a total of nine to Cornell's three.
Head Coach Diane Short attributed the Bears' win to "serving and defense, as well as just timely hits."
In addition to a strong offensive performance, Brown showed up the competition with its back row defense. Defensive specialist Kathryn Conner '15 led her team with a match-high 20 digs, and Alexandra Rieckhoff '14 contributed another 18.
The Bears fell to the Lions (10-9, 5-5) the following night, proving unable to sustain their focus for the second game.
"We were making errors we don't usually make. With volleyball you have to keep adjusting to the team that you're playing, and we weren't able to make those adjustments," Short said. "Columbia makes less mistakes. They are a stronger serving team, a better passing team, they're one of the best blocking teams - they also mix their shots up."
Columbia tallied eight blocks throughout the game and finished with an impressive .333 hitting average, compared to Bruno's .083.
Bantle said the team went into the Cornell matchup "with a lot of energy" but lost some focus for the next night's game because of the win.
Short said Columbia's fan turnout contributed to the Bears' poor showing. "The energy was flat. Columbia fans were louder than our fans," she said.
The Bears will travel to Princeton for their next match this Friday.