Bulldogs Sweep Binghamton to Win Yale Classic

Alexis Crusey. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Senior Cat Dailey posted her fifth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs, and senior Alexis Crusey reached double-figure kills for the third consecutive contest with a match-best 13 as the Yale volleyball team swept Binghamton on Saturday night to the win the 2009 Yale Classic. The Bulldogs took the match by scores of 25-16, 25-21 and 25-12. Crusey was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament after averaging 4.33 kills and 3.00 digs per frame against Binghamton and Central Connecticut State.

“This is the best that I have seen Lexi play this season,” said Yale Head Coach Erin Appleman. “She is one of our leaders, and it is great to see her playing at such a high level with the Ivy League season right around the corner”.

With the win over the Bearcats, the Bulldogs improve to 10-1 on the season and move to 5-0 at home. Dating back to 2008, Yale has now won seven straight matches at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Binghamton, who lost a five-set battle to Central Connecticut State earlier in the day, falls to 6-8.

Junior Kelly Ozurovich had a match-high 22 digs against the Bearcats to solidify her place on the All-Tournament Team. Ozurovich, who had 22 digs in both matches of the Yale Classic, also earned All-Tournament honors and a slot on the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll for her performance last weekend at the Seton Hall Invitational.

“Kelly has been extremely solid,” said Appleman. “Her defense and passing continue to spark our offensive effort”.

Freshman Haley Wessels wrapped up her All-Tournament bid with seven kills and three blocks against Binghamton. Wessels averaged 2.80 kills per set and had six blocks in five sets of work in the tournament. Sophomore Taylor Cramm chipped in four kills on seven errorless swings, and sophomore Bridget Hearst rounded out the Yale attack with three kills. Freshman Kerry Clavadetscher ran the offense to the tune of a match-best 33 assists.

Michelle McDonough, who earned All-Tournament honors for Binghamton, led the Bearcats with nine kills. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by setter Lindsey Mueller, who notched 17 assists and 13 digs in the match.

As a team, Yale hit .202 (39-16-114) and tallied four service aces. Binghamton hit just .009 (24-23-110) and landed two aces. The Bulldogs also won the blocking battle, 10-4. Hearst led that effort with four blocks, including two solo stuffs.

After Binghamton registered the first two points of the match, Yale put together an impressive 11-1 run, highlighted by three kills from Wessels, to grab a commanding eight-point lead. After a Bearcats’ kill ended that spurt, the Bulldogs immediately tore off an 8-1 run to gain a 19-5 advantage. Binghamton would rally late, outscoring the Bulldogs by an 11-6 margin over the remainder of the set, but the lead proved insurmountable as Yale claimed the first set, 25-16.

Set two was the most competitive of the three, as the Bearcats once again jumped out to a fast 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs would respond with three of the next four points to knot the score at 3-3, and the deadlock held up to a 5-5 tally. At that point, Yale fired off four consecutive points to gain a four-point lead that it would not relinquish. Binghamton never allowed the Bulldogs to make a large run in the set, as the lead never grew larger than six, but Yale steadily strung together two- and three-point spurts to make its lead stand up. A Crusey kill would eventually put set two in the books at 25-21 in favor of the Bulldogs.

In set three, Yale came out of the gates with three straight points and never looked back. By the time Binghamton took its first timeout, the Bulldogs held an 8-2 edge en route to building a comfortable 10-point cushion at 14-4. The Bearcats managed to put together consecutive points only twice in the frame, both with the Bulldogs within five points of victory, as Yale cruised to a 25-12 win to wrap up the 2009 Yale Classic.

Yale’s sweep of the tournament, coupled with its win against Quinnipiac this morning, marks the second consecutive year that the Bulldogs have gone unbeaten in their non-conference home schedule.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Friday, Oct. 2, as the Ivy League slate begins at the John J. Lee Amphitheater against Brown. First serve from the Elm City is scheduled for 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity