With a roster featuring nine freshmen, it was expected that the start of the season would be a learning experience for the 2019 Tompkins Cortland Community College volleyball team. The process started on Wednesday with the Panthers hosting Corning Community College for the season opener. While the Panthers lost in straight sets, the hope is that the team can take some positives from the night and look for better results in the future. Corning had already played a match before Wednesday's match with the Panthers – the Red Barons are now 1-1 on the year.
With four of the freshmen in the starting lineup, the Panthers scored the first two points on the night. The score was tied at 4-4 before Corning ran off six of the next seven points to lead 10-5. The home team scratched back to within three at 10-7, and then again at 13-10, but the Red Barons closed the set out with a 12-3 run to take the opener 25-13.
Both the second and third sets saw the Red Barons take control early, running out to double-digit leads by the time the Panthers had scored their first five points. The home team couldn't recover in either set, with the final score in each coming in at 25-12.
Sophomores Erin Harkenrider (Dryden/Dryden H.S.) and Jessica Kenyon (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) led the team in stats, with Harkenrider posting three kills, three digs, and one ace and Kenyon finishing with eight digs. Freshman Madison Hartenstein (Newark Valley/Newark Valley H.S.) handed out four assists to go with one ace.
Next up for Tompkins Cortland is a road trip to SUNY Broome. The Panthers and Hornets square off on Wednesday, September 11.