Three 2015 Cornell graduates, all of whom also graduated from Mount Vernon High School, helped elevate Cornell’s three major women’s athletics programs to national prominence during four years of unparalleled success on the Hilltop.
Kylea Weber ’15 (volleyball, softball), Taylor Dicus ’15 (volleyball, basketball), and Kari Martin ’15 (softball) all played on Cornell’s first NCAA Division III tournament qualifiers in their respective sports. Since the trio arrived, all three programs reached high-water marks for wins in a single season.
All-Americans Weber and Dicus directed the Rams to 102 volleyball victories and four NCAA berths, punctuated by an appearance in the 2014 Regional Final (Round of 16). Weber, the 2014 Midwest Conference Player of the Year, left her mark as the program’s all-time digs leader. Dicus, a four-time first team all-MWC choice, finished as the nation’s active leader in career blocks.
Dicus (the daughter of assistant football coach Don Dicus ’85) led the women’s basketball team to four consecutive trips to the conference tournament, highlighted by an incredible 25-2 run in 2012-13 that extended to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. An all-region honoree who led Division III in field goal percentage in 2013-14, Dicus compiled 1,247 career points and 912 rebounds.
Martin and Weber were instrumental in the Rams’ record-setting 30-8 softball campaign this spring. As a sophomore, Martin helped hoist the program’s first conference championship trophy that resulted in an NCAA berth. Martin, a four-year starter, graduated as the career leader in batting average. Weber, who joined the team as a junior, established a 2015 record for most runs scored in a season.
The three also had an impact on attendance at games.
“There’s no question that their participation in our program significantly impacted the atmosphere at our events because there are community members who watched them play throughout high school who were excited to come and see them play on our campus,” said athletic director John Cochrane. “All of our athletes benefit from that. More attendance and more people appreciating their effort and talent makes a better experience for all of our athletes.”
In 2012-13, Cornell achieved a rare women’s championship trifecta by claiming MWC tournament titles in volleyball, basketball, and softball. That feat happened only two other times in the conference’s storied history.