September 19, 2009

Crusey Reaches 1,000 Career Digs As Yale Sweeps Seton Hall

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — Senior Alexis Crusey picked up 12 digs to climb into 10th place on Yale’s all-time digs list with 1,009 as the Bulldogs swept host Seton Hall on Saturday evening to win the Seton Hall Invitational. Senior Cat Dailey notched a match-best 10 kills and 13 digs, her third double-double of the weekend, to earn Most Valuable Player honors. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by senior Laurel Johnson and junior Kelly Ozurovich.

With the win, Yale improves to 7-1 on the season. The Pirates fall to 6-9 in defeat.

“This was another great team effort,” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. “Kelly Ozurovich and Laurel Casey both played outstanding defense, and Cat and Laurel Johnson were a great spark for the offense.”

Crusey, who ranks eighth in career kills at Yale with 1,091, is the fifth player in Bulldogs history to rank in the career top 10 in both digs and kills.

“This is a great testament to Lexi’s great performance throughout the years,” said Appleman. “She has been an integral part to our success in her career, and I’m glad she is getting the recognition she deserves.”

Dailey averaged 3.89 kills and 4.22 digs per set in her MVP performance. Johnson averaged 3.22 kills per set and hit a scorching .424, and Ozurovich, the Yale libero, averaged 7.00 digs per frame for the weekend.

Against the Pirates, Johnson had seven kills and hit .400. Crusey added six kills, sophomore Bridget Hearst tallied nine, and freshman Haley Wessels had four finishers. Ozurovich had a team-best 16 digs in the match, and sophomore Laurel Casey notched nine digs. Freshman setter Kerry Clavadetscher ran the offense to the tune of 28 assists. Wessels had a hand in four blocks as Yale tallied six stuffs in the contest. The Bulldogs also ran off eight service aces, led by Dailey with three.

After the two squads split the first six points of the match, an ace by Cordell started a three-point rally that gave the Bulldogs a 6-3 lead. Yale kept the pressure on the Pirates, and an Ozurovich ace, Yale’s third in the early stages of the match, forced the home team to take a timeout trailing 12-7. The Bulldogs would rattle off two more points after the stoppage to grab their largest lead at 14-7, and the seven-point cushion held up all the way to 19-12, at which point Seton Hall Head Coach Kris Zeiter burned his second and final timeout of the frame. The Bulldogs’ lead never shrunk to less than five for the remainder of the stanza as Yale took set one in convincing fashion, 25-16.

Both teams held multiple-point leads the early stages of the second set, with the Bulldogs eventually finding themselves up three points at 8-5. Dailey then dropped in consecutive aces to give Yale a five-point cushion, which grew to six points at 12-6 and forced a Seton Hall timeout. The Pirates would battle to within four points, but the Bulldogs continue to play tough defense and find holes in the Seton Hall set, and the lead expanded back to eight at 21-13. The eight-point edge proved to be the difference as Yale took set two, 25-17.

Set three started out in a dead heat, with the score quickly running to 7-7. At that point, the Bulldogs rallied to take six of the next seven points and grab a 13-8 advantage, forcing Coach Zeiter to burn a timeout. The run grew to a 13-3 spurt, giving Yale it first double-digit cushion at 20-10. The 10-point cushion proved to be more than sufficient, as the Bulldogs ran away with a 25-13 victory to win the Seton Hall Invitational.

Seton Hall’s Allie Matters led all players with 22 digs. Rachel Thornquist led the Pirates with eight kills, and Olivia Trudeau dished out 17 assists from the setter position.

Next weekend, the Bulldogs return to the John J. Lee Amphitheater for their final pre-Ivy tune-up, the Yale Classic. Action begins on Sept. 25 with Yale hosting Central Connecticut State. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity