November 13, 2009

Eight Players Record Kills as Bulldogs Sweep Columbia

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Though the math may not be on the Yale volleyball team’s side as far as repeating as Ivy League Champion, the Bulldogs certainly played like a team on a mission on Friday, sweeping past Columbia at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven by set scores of 25-11, 25-12 and 25-18. Yale got kills from eight different players, led by 13 from senior Cat Dailey, in the straight-set victory.

With the win, Yale improves to 19-4 overall and 9-3 in the Ivy League. The victory, coupled with Penn’s five-set loss to Harvard, the Bulldogs are still alive in the chase of the Ivy League crown, trailing the Quakers by two matches in the standings with two left to play for each squad. Columbia falls to 11-15 overall and 2-11 in Ancient Eight play in the loss.

“It was great to see the team play with intensity and have fun playing volleyball again,” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. “Having the [Yale Precision Marching Band] in the stands added to the atmosphere; they really boosted our energy level.”

Dailey added 11 digs to her baker’s dozen of kills to post her eighth double-double of the season and also chipped in with three service aces. She hit .478 (13-2-23) to lead an efficient Bulldog attack that swung at a .311 (47-14-106) clip for the match. Senior Alexis Crusey had 12 kills and sophomore Bridget Hearst hammered home 11 finishers. Sophomore Taylor Cramm had four kills, and the trio of Haley Wessels, Kerry Clavadetscher and Laurel Johnson each had two. Freshman Anya Cekauskas had one kill to round out a Yale attack that saw every player who took a swing record a kill.

Clavadetscher ran the offense from the setter slot, doling out a match-best 36 assists. Junior libero Kelly Ozurovich had a match-high 12 digs to move into sixth place all-time in Yale history and eclipse the 1,200-dig mark with 1,202 in her career. Wessels led the battle at the net with five blocks.

The Bulldogs came out firing in set one, grabbing an 8-3 lead to force a quick Lions’ timeout. Columbia took the first point after the stoppage, but Yale responded with a 7-0 run to take a 15-4 lead and put the set out of the reach. The Bulldogs coasted from that point forward to take set one, 25-11.

A 6-1 Yale run opened the second set, but Columbia battled back this time around. The Bulldogs kept their opponents at an arm’s length, but the Lions hung tough to a score of 15-10 in favor of the home team. At that point, Yale made its move with a six-point spurt to claim a commanding 21-10 advantage. A Hearst kill made it official, with the Bulldogs claiming victory in set two, 25-12.

Set three was the most competitive frame of the contest, with the score running to a 6-6 tie. The Bulldogs grabbed three quick points at that juncture to take a 9-6 lead, but the Lions played Yale to a dead heat over the next 14 points to stay within striking distance down 16-13. The Bulldogs, however, took the ensuing two points to take an 18-13 lead and pulled away late to wrap up the sweep with a 25-18 set-three victory.

Sarah Thompson had six kills to lead the Columbia offense. Alex Marchyshyn dished out 11 assists for the Lions, and a trio of players shared the team high of seven digs. Monique Roberts had five blocks, including three solo stuffs.

The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow afternoon, as Cornell visits the Elm City for Senior Day. First serve is slated for 4 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity