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Bulldogs Hammer Princeton, 3-0

Bridget Hearst. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Bridget Hearst. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

PRINCETON, N.J. — After dropping a tough four-set battle at Penn last night, the Yale volleyball team bounced back on Saturday afternoon with a convincing sweep of Princeton at Dillon Gymnasium. Senior Alexis Crusey notched her second consecutive double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs as the Bulldogs took the match by set scores of 25-12, 25-16 and 25-21. Sophomore Bridget Hearst led all players with 11 kills on 19 errorless swings.

“After last night’s defeat, it was nice to come back and play with intensity against a tough Princeton team”, said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman.

With the victory, Yale improves to 17-3 overall and 7-2 in the Ivy League. The Bulldogs have now won four consecutive matches against the Tigers and eight straight contests after a defeat. Princeton falls to 7-13 overall and 5-4 in Ancient Eight play.

Senior Cat Dailey added seven kills and eight digs for the Bulldogs, and freshman Haley Wessels tallied six finishers. Sophomore Taylor Cramm registered five kills, senior Laurel Johnson picked up three and freshman Kerry Clavadetscher had one kill from the setter spot. Clavadetscher dished out a match-best 35 assists, and junior libero Kelly Ozurovich shared the team high in digs with 11.

The Bulldogs took four of the first five points to start the match, but the Tigers responded with a four-point spurt of their own to take an early 5-4 lead. An ace from Dailey and a pair of Princeton attack errors keyed the next run, a five-point streak for the Bulldogs to regain the lead at 9-5. The Bulldogs continued to roll to a 10-point advantage at 17-7, at which point Princeton Head Coach Jolie Ward took her first timeout of the frame. Yale was undeterred by the stoppage, leading by as many as 14 points en route to a 25-12 set-one win.

The Bulldogs hit the ground running once again in set two, racing out to a 13-1 advantage, sparked by tough serving from Dailey, to force a Princeton timeout. The Tigers came out of the stoppage firing, chiseling the lead all the way down to five points at 17-12 and causing Appleman to burn a timeout in an attempt to quell the home team’s momentum. Yale would run off four straight points out of the timeout to regain a commanding 21-12 edge, and that nine-point cushion proved to be the difference as the Bulldogs took set two, 25-16.

After the intermission, it was Princeton who jumped out to an early lead with a 6-2 edge in set three. The Bulldogs would battle back, however, and the score was soon tied at 10-10. Yale would take the lead at 12-11, and would not relinquish that advantage the rest of the way as a 5-0 run gave the Bulldogs a more comfortable lead at 16-11. Princeton made a late charge, breaking four match-point opportunities, but a Hearst kill ended it with Yale taking the match with a 25-21 win.

Lydia Rudnick led the Princeton offense with 10 kills. Michaela Venuti doled out 22 assists, and Hillary Ford had a match-high 15 digs for the Tigers.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity