Pair of Double-Doubles Guides Yale to Sweep of Hofstra

Kerry Clavadetscher. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — Senior Cat Dailey slammed a match-best 13 kills, including the 500th of her collegiate career, and added personal season high of 15 digs for her second double-double of the season as the Yale volleyball team downed Colonial Athletic Association foe Hofstra in straight sets to kick off action at the Seton Hall Invitational at Walsh Gymnasium on Friday evening. Freshman setter Kerry Clavadetscher also posted her first career double-double with a match-best 32 assists and 10 digs. Both totals marked career bests for Clavadetscher. In addition, senior Alexis Crusey recorded 14 digs to bring her career total to 997, three shy of becoming the fifth player in Yale history to tally 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.

With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 5-1 in 2009. Dating back to the 2008 campaign, Yale has now won six straight matches following a loss. The Pride of Hofstra fell to 2-10 in defeat.

“It was great to see us play well on the road,” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. “Hofstra played tough, solid defense, and we responded well.”

Crusey, sophomore Bridget Hearst and freshman Halley Wessels each added six kills for the Bulldogs. Junior libero Kelly Ozurovich posted a Yale-high 19 digs in the match, and sophomore Laurel Casey also reached double figures with 10 digs. Cherry Hill, N.J. native Laurel Johnson tallied a season-best 10 kills with a .421 hitting percentage in her home state, and added three blocks and a career-high five digs.

“It was great to see Laurel to have such a good match in front of a hometown crowd,” said Appleman.

As a team, the Bulldogs hit .175 (42-17-143), as compared to a .099 (35-21-141) clip for the Pride. Yale outblocked its opponent, 6-2, and accumulated four services aces to Hofstra’s three.

Hofstra jumped out to an early lead in the first set at 4-3, but Bulldogs rallied with four straight points, propelled by tough serving by sophomore Katie Cordell, to nab a 7-4 advantage. The Pride controlled the next stretch of action, and the score was soon deadlocked once again at 8-8. The stalemate held up until 10-10, at which point Yale rattled off three points to take a 13-10 lead that it would not relinquish in the set. Yale pushed its advantage to five points at 18-13 to force a Hofstra timeout, but the stoppage did little to derail the Bulldogs’ momentum. The lead would grow as large as eight points as Yale took set one by a score of 25-17.

The Pride notched the first three points of set two, but the Bulldogs would immediately grab four of the net five points to tie the score at 4-4. Hofstra then responded with four straight points of its own to take an 8-4 lead and force Coach Appleman to call her first timeout. In total, the Pride took six consecutive points to build a 10-4 advantage before a Dailey kill squashed the rally at 10-5. However, the five-point cushion would hold up all the way to 15-10, when a Dailey block sparked a quick three-point rally that forced Hofstra Head Coach Kristina Hernandez to burn a timeout. The Pride came out strong after the stoppage, and held fast with a two-point lead up to a score of 22-20, when a Hofstra error and a block by Johnson and Hearst finally brought the score back to dead-even at 22-22. The two squads traded points to 23-23, and a Hearst kill gave Yale a set-point opportunity. The Pride broke that chance with a kill, but a Pride blocking error on the ensuing rally gave the Bulldogs their second chance at set point. This time Yale cashed in on the opportunity as the Pride failed to return a Hearst attack, giving the Bulldogs a 26-24 victory.

Set three started where the previous set left off, as a back-and-forth affair, before the Pride grabbed the first substantial lead at 11-8. The Bulldogs responded immediately with five straight points to claim a multiple-point advantage of their own at 13-11. The Yale lead would grow as large as six points over the next stretch of action, but was eventually cut all the way down to two points at 20-18, forcing Coach Appleman to take a timeout. The Bulldogs responded to their coach with two straight points, a Hearst kill and a Johnson block, to run the score to 22-18. The four-point advantage proved to be the difference, as the Bulldogs took the match with a 25-21 win.

Monica Knight led the Pride with 11 kills and added 15 digs for a double-double. Chrissey Cruz distributed 26 assists and totaled 15 digs for Hofstra, and Kylee Maneja piled up a match-high 25 digs.

The Bulldogs return to the court tomorrow to close out the 2009 Seton Hall Invitational. Yale will challenge the New Jersey Institute of Technology at 1 p.m. and will wrap-up the event against the host Pirates at 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity